Buoyed by the December jobs report released last Friday, crude oil and the related exchange traded products ended the first week of 2019 in upbeat fashion. The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) , which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, gained nearly 2% last Friday to start the new year with a weekly gain.
Oil prices have been steadily on the decline and are off by over 40% since the October highs, despite an agreement earlier in December between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies like Russia to cut a combined 1.2 million barrels per day from the market in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Still, some market observers see upside potential for oil to start the new year and some of that bull thesis lies with OPEC.
“Crude oil bounced around the $50 level in November and December, forming a layer of resistance. That price had previously acted as support for the commodity,” according to CNBC.
The $50 per barrel area is viewed as important by some technical analysts with the belief being that if oil can move above that area, significant gains could be had from there.
“If we can break above that and hold, that’ll show that we got a real nice double bottom, much like we got in 2016, and should give us a nice upside rally. It may not be 80 percent but it should be a good rally,” said Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, in an interview with CNBC.