After a slow start to the week, crude oil prices are rising sharply thanks to new data that shows falling stocks. Yesterday's American Petroleum Institute figures demonstrated that crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories fell significantly. This was one of the first reports in recent history that showed both crude and refined product stocks falling simultaneously. Given the ongoing imbalance in crude oil markets (demand continues to accelerate ahead of supply), we remain bullish on the commodity until Q1 2018 (when we expect these dynamics to change direction).
WTI is currently trading just above $54.80. Brent crude is currently above $61.30. Both WTI and Brent crude are now looking overbought in the short-term. While this does not suggest an imminent pullback, it does suggest caution going forward.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (October 25) showed falling crude oil stocks and rising gasoline inventories. While crude oil inventories unexpectedly rose (+0.86m vs. -2.49m expected), gasoline stocks (5.46m vs. -1m expected) and distillate stocks (-5.2m vs. -0.5m expected) were down sharply . US crude inventories have been falling for the past few weeks. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices were steady following the EIA report.
After rising sharply following good US Q3 GDP data and the higher likelihood of tax reforms, we are upgrading crude oil to bullish. The caveat is that both Brent and WTI are in overbought conditions today. This is based on technical indicators on the daily chart.
Thanks to ongoing crude oil strength, we are upgrading the commodity to bullish in the medium-term. Prices are rising as crude stocks continue to fall around the world, despite rising US exports that are driving concerns regarding future supply. Looking at various technical indicators on the weekly chart, Brent crude is looking overbought while WTI is trading within normal conditions.