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  • WTI crude oil futures fell into negative territory and even briefly below $45.00 in wake of a bearish weekly EIA report.
  • Crude oil traders now return their focus to broader risk appetite ahead of key risk events incoming this week.

WTI crude oil slumped from above $46.00 to fresh weekly lows below $45.00 in wake of a bearish weekly EIA crude oil inventory report. The American benchmark for sweet light crude has since recovered from worst levels and around $45.50, but still trades with losses of around 0.2% or 10 cents on the day.

Bearish EIA report

Crude oil prices took a hit in wake of a much larger than expected headline build in EIA crude oil inventory data. Crude stocks rose 15.189M barrels last week versus expectations for a drop of 1.424M. This took total US crude oil inventories to 503.2M barrels, about 11% above the average over the last five years. Gasoline and Distillate stocks also posted much larger than expected builds of 5.222M (exp. 1.414M) and 4.222M (exp. 2.271M) respectively, while US production was steady at 11.1M barrels per day.

WTI continues to trade within recent ranges

Although close to lows on the week, WTI continues to trade largely within this month’s ranges, a range capped by the mid-$46.00s to the upside and supported by the upper $43.00s to the downside.

Looking at WTI on a shorter time horizon, however, it does seem to have formed something of a bearish trend channel, with the downtrend linking the 4, 7 and 9 December highs acting as resistance and the downtrend linking the 7, 8 and 9 December lows acting as support.

WTI four hour chart