WTI crude – Spikes on reported tanker attacks

Oil spikes on reports of tanker explosions

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Oil prices have spiked on Thursday following reports of tankers being attacked in the Gulf of Oman, off the coast of Iran.

This comes a month after allegations of sabotage in the same region, which was blamed on Iran and threatened to stoke further tensions in the region. It comes at a time when the US has imposed sanctions on Iran in an attempt to reduce oil exports to zero, ruin the economy and apply maximum pressure to the regime after Trump pulled out of the nuclear accord.

The knee jerk reaction is more a response to the risks associated with higher tensions in the region and prospect of more attacks, than immediate impact on oil supplies. It comes at a time when oil prices have been under pressure from weaker economic prospects and record US output, despite efforts by OPEC and its allies to reduce output and cut the oversupply.

WTI Daily Chart

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WTI was hovering around $50 – long term support and 61.8% retracement of the 2018 lows to 2019 highs – when the reports came out which may have aided the rally, being such a key support level. As long as prices remain below $55 though, being the recent high, it will continue to look vulnerable. A lower high, if registered, would be seen as weakness given what triggered the rally.

What may give a bullish impression today is a close above $53, which would create a bullish engulfing pattern – albeit a slightly imperfect one – and see us close above the 55-period moving average on the 4-hour chart which price has recently tracked below. This would make the next couple of days very interesting.

WTI 4-Hour Chart

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years’ experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.

Craig Erlam

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