WTI finished Friday at$59.32/Bbl, a loss of $2.13 from the previous week. The May WTI contract has traded sideways for the past four weeks, settling within a $3.80 range top to bottom. The lateral price action could imply a more stable supply and demand background as OPEC+ balances production increases with a demand recovery. As oil prices have relaxed, a faster end to the OPEC+ supply cuts seems less likely.
Concerns about the pace of demand improvements due to new lockdowns and OPEC+'s plan to increase production have kept price from rallying. The price recovery in late 2020 and early 2021 was due to supply restrictions, and the cartel continues to leave many millions of barrels on the sidelines to help support price. The demand recovery has been slow, but air travel is showing a quick revival since February, at least in the TSA lines.
Factors threatening oil prices are more severe lockdowns, progress on talks between Iran and the US, and OPEC compliance. It's important to remember that those who systematically de-risk their portfolios tend to perform better in the long run. Traders relying on chart patterns are rightly perplexed right now, as prices have not established a direction.