The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, has tumbled 10.5% over the past two weeks and technical analysis of crude oil charts points to more downside for the commodity.
That after oil rallied earlier this week in what could prove to be no more than a short-lived bounce. Analysts attributed Monday’s strength to technical trading after oil prices dipped toward the $40 a barrel, a level last seen in August amid concerns over China’s economy, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the CME Group, traders held over 20,000 December put option contracts at $40, giving them the right to sell a Nymex futures contract if the price falls to the level. The December contracts expired Tuesday, so traders would be closing out positions ahead of the expiry date.
The Organization of Petroleum Countries has kept up production to pressure high-cost rivals, such as the developing U.S. shale oil producers. The International Energy Agency expects it will take several years before OPEC can effectively price out high-cost producers. [Oil ETFs Face World-Record Supply Glut]
In the face of the rising global supply glut, investors can utilize a number of inverse or bearish ETF options to hedge against further declining energy prices. For instance, the United States Short Oil (NYSEArca: DNO) tracks the opposite moves of the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, and the DB Crude Oil Short ETN (NYSEArca: SZO) also tracks the simple inverse of oil. [Leveraged ETFs Are Popular Plays Among Swing Traders]