The April Nymex contract finally broke out of its recent tradingrange by falling a relatively large 8.7 cents to $2.141 onThursday. “Today was massive long liquidation by funds, coupledwith weaker cash prices,” a broker told NGI. “The market droppedbelow the magic 40-day moving average (at $2.205), and fell belowtrendline support at $2.19. Both those things triggered a series ofstop loss orders, which helped propel April even lower. April lookspretty negative on the charts. There was a lot of technical damagetoday. The market will most likely want to continue to test thedown side,” he said.
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The April Nymex contract fell 2.9 cents to $2.292 on Monday,following the spot month’s failed attempt to clear a majorresistance level. “April was in a two hurdle race today, but ittripped on the second hurdle,” a trader told GPI. “On the one hand,April was able to break out of the symmetrical triangle formationby moving above $2.34. However, April immediately fell back once itfilled in the chart gap at $2.355. There were quite a few standingsell orders at that price, so it’s no wonder the contract fellback,” he said.
The April Nymex contract gained 3.7 cents to settle Friday at$2.321, thanks to what one broker called strong fund buying.However, April may be hard pressed to add much more to that.According to the latest Commitments of Traders report,non-commercials extended their net long position by 7,649 contractsto 9,543 during the last two weeks. The broker estimates that 60%of those positions are in April, which would mean these speculatorswould have to wind out of approximately 5,700 April contractswithin the next four weeks. However, if April breaks out of itsrecent technical trading range within the next several days, it islikely funds will add to their overall long position, meaning moreselling pressure would mount on April and May as we approach theApril expiration, a source argued.
The March Nymex futures contract fell another 1.9 cents to$2.198 Friday, as traders continued the falloff in prices theystarted on Thursday. “This was not a case of traders gunning forstops, where they try to push the contract under support hoping thecontract will fall even more. This was simply an extension ofThursday,” a broker said.