Crude oil have plumbed fresh six-year lows, touching down to $42.18 on a report from the American Petroleum Institute calling a build in supplies. That’s a long way from $107, where oil traded just nine months ago. But experts don’t think the bottom is in just yet. In fact, they have no idea when the slick slide will finally stop.
“When oil broke $110 a barrel, it broke economic reality. Consumers simply can’t afford the gasoline that you net out from that price” said Stephen Schork, editor of the Schork Report. “This is the same thing in reverse. We’ve diverged from reality and reason.”
Schork says that in the short-term, $42.20 and $40 will serve as important levels but added that “all I can do is follow the momentum.”
“I can’t tell you when oil has reached a bottom—and by the way, no one is going to be able to tell you,” the analyst said.
Currency strategist Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management reaches a similar conclusion.
“Nothing can tell you where oil’s going to go but oil,” Schlossberg said, when asked whether the currency market provided any hint about oil’s next move.
And how about technical analysis? After all, the idea behind chart-reading is that all of the market’s jibber-jabber is silenced, leaving only price and sentiment to determine whether an asset is attractive.
“The collapse in crude continues to confound here,” said Richard Ross, technical analyst with Evercore ISI. “The short-term price action is sloppy at best. It’s almost indefensible.”
Still, Ross does spot some sense in the drumbeat of selling.
Recent action “is consistent with that longer-term bottoming process,” he said.
The technician notes that oil has enjoyed (or more accurately, suffered) a strong correlation with the euro of late.
“Until the euro stops going down, until that dollar pauses, it’s going to be very difficult for crude oil to find its footing and rally. But we do think that both of those [events] unfold over the coming months,” he said.