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Crude oil price in holding pattern; what does this mean for BP share price?

oil prices
oil prices

Crude oil price was little changed in overnight trading even as the market received positive inventories data from the American Petroleum institute (API). Brent is trading at about $34 while that of West Texas Intermediate is at about $32.

Crude oil in holding pattern ahead of EIA report

Yesterday, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed that crude oil inventories declined by more than 4.8 million barrels. This was the biggest decline in months and is a sign that demand is coming back to the market. This is mostly because many states in the US have started to ease travel. Just last week, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that inventories had declined by more than 4 million barrels in the previous week.

Today, the EIA will release its inventories report. Analysts expect the numbers to show that the inventories rose by more than 1.25 million barrels. But analysts have been wrong before, and there is a possibility that they will decline again.

On Friday, data from Baker Hughes showed that US producers had slashed wells at the fastest pace in more than a decade. This means that the production will potentially be constrained even as more people start returning to work.

Crude oil price and BP share price

Oil companies make money when the price of oil is high. As one of the oil supermajors, BP is affected by oil prices. Indeed, as shown below, BP share price tends to track that of Brent. Therefore, with oil prices set to rise, there is a likelihood that the price of the company’s shares will continue to surge as well. The company’s decision to maintain its dividend even as profits declined by more 67% could further provide support to the shares.

BP Share Price relationship with Brent

Crude oil vs BP shares

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Brent crude oil technical outlook

On the four-hour chart, we see that Brent crude oil price has hit some resistance after several days of rallying. On the four-hour chart, the price has been forming bullish flags and pedant patterns during this upward trend. These are shown in pink below. At the current consolidation, the price seems to be forming a bullish flag. Therefore, I expect the crude oil price to continue rising as bulls remain in control.

On the flip side, a move below 32.05 will invalidate this pattern. This price is along the 78.2 per cent retracement level. It is also an important psychological level and also along the upper side of the bullish flag pattern.