WTI bounces off lows, still below $49.00

Crude oil prices have started the week on the back footing, pushing the barrel of West Texas Intermediate back below the $49.00 mark.

WTI lower on rig count data

Prices for the black gold have faded the initial spike to daily highs above the $49.00 handle as market participants continue to ponder another uptick in US oil rig count.

In fact, according to driller Baker Hughes, US oil rig count rose by 14 to 631 during last week, fuelling prospects of rising US oil production and thus weighing on traders’ sentiment.

In addition, the ongoing recovery in the greenback seems to be capping the upside in crude oil prices. After dropping to the 99.90 area in early trade, the US Dollar Index has now regained the psychological 100.00 handle, putting the USD-denominated space under extra pressure.

Later in the week, the usual weekly reports on crude oil stockpiles by the API (Tuesday, -0.531 mb prev. ) and the EIA (Wednesday, -0.237 mb prev.) should keep the attention on oil prices.

WTI levels to consider

At the moment the barrel of WTI is losing 1.05% at $48.79 and a breakdown of $48.16 (low Mar.14) would open the door to $47.09 (2017 low Mar.14) and then $44.82 (low Nov.29). On the flip side, the next resistance lines up at $49.62 (high Mar.15) followed by $50.11 (high Mar.10) and finally $50.92 (100-day sma).