Monday, May 16, 2016

Gas down while oil is up for May 2016

A year ago Friday, I wrote Gas in stasis for now as oil rises off bottom.  At that time, "the corner station had lowered its price to $2.49, while the open stations down the street were still selling regular for $2.39."  Last Thursday, I drove past those stations for what might be the last time this month, and saw that all of them were selling regular at $2.27.  Not only is gas still cheaper than it was this time last year, it's lower than it was at the end of April, when the "corner station was selling gas for $2.29, while the two stations down the street were higher for once at $2.32."  Good news, but it may not last for long.  Bonddad wrote last week that Oil's Weekly Technical Picture Is Improving.

 Above is a weekly chart of West Texas Intermediate Crude.  The following are important technical developments:

1.) Prices moved above the 10, 20 and 50 day EMA.  These averages will now provide technical support rather than resistance.
2.) While momentum is still negative, it is rising and about to cross over the very important "0" level. 3.) Volume is high.  Volume spiked when prices fell into the mid-20s.  This could represent a selling climax.  Additionally, volume continues to increase as prices climb.
4.) Prices moved through the downward sloping trend line that that connects the mid-2015 and 4Q15 price highs.
5.) Prices remain in an uptrend.
In other words, expect oil to keep rising, adding to the usual price increase because of driving season.

Oil-Price.Net confirms the increase shown above, listing Friday's closes for WTI at $46.21 and Brent at $47.83.  WTI is above the $45.92 close at the end of April, while Brent is slightly below the  $48.13 it sold for two weeks ago.  RBOB has also risen slightly from $1.58 at the end of April to $1.59 now.  GasBuddy supports the trend, showing the Detroit average rising from $2.21 two weeks ago to $2.24 today.

My reaction to the above data was to fill up Dez yesterday at a station that was selling regular for $2.18 and midgrade for $2.48.  I don't expect gas will get any cheaper between now and July.

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