Oil exchange traded fund traders are gluttons for punishment, raising their positions in an increasingly oversold market, even as other prominent market observers anticipate further pain ahead.
Over the past month, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate oil, has plunged 24.5% while the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO) plummeted 25.2%. [Positioning for an Oil ETF Rebound? Watch For Contango.]
Meanwhile, ETF investors funneled $935.3 million into USO and and added $21.2 million into BNO over the past month, according to ETF.com data.
“Speculators added net longs in oil for the second consecutive week, sending non-commercial positioning in the black gold to levels last seen in November,” according to Danske Bank, the Financial Times reports.
WTI crude oil futures are now trading around $46.4 per barrel and Brent crude oil futures are hovering near $47.8 per barrel, its lowest in almost six years.
Due to the heavy selling, Brent crude oil price’s 14-day relative strength index, a momentum gauge, has dipped to 15.7, near a historic low and trading in oversold territory, Additionally, WTI crude oil reflects similar price movements and is trading 47% below its 200-day simple moving average, or two standard deviations below the long-term trend line.
Due to the excessively bearish pace in the oil market, technical analysts argue that oil is setting up for a snap back.