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Crude Oil Couldn’t Care Less About “Fundamentals”

Instead, here’s historic evidence it adheres to Elliott waves

by Bob Stokes
Updated: February 23, 2023

If there's one financial market that investors evaluate based on "market fundamentals," it's crude oil.

This Feb. 10 Reuters news item provides an example:

Oil may resume its rally in 2023 as Chinese demand recovers after COVID curbs were scrapped and lack of investment limits growth in supply, OPEC country officials told Reuters, with a growing number seeing a possible return to $100 a barrel.

Of course, whether the price of crude oil rises to $100 this year remains to be seen. The point is to show you a typical forecast based on "fundamentals."

Yet, over the decades, there have been scores of crude oil forecasts based on "fundamentals" which have simply not panned out. Indeed, quite a few times, prices will move in the opposite direction from the consensus of the "fundamentalists."

However, Elliott Wave International has observed that crude oil tends to follow Elliott wave patterns of investor psychology.

Let's look at a historical example. Back in 2008, crude hit an all-time high of almost $150 a barrel. Predictably, the mainstream saw more upside; calls for $200 a barrel were common. But here's a chart from our June 2008 Global Market Perspective with the "5" wave label (indicating an Elliott wave end to oil's rise). The commentary from that issue is below the chart:


The fifth wave has carried to the upper line, which signals that the rally is nearing an end. Oftentimes, prices will "throw over" the upper channel for a brief period.

As you can see at the bottom of the chart, the Daily Sentiment Index (courtesy revealed that 90% of traders were expecting oil's price to keep rising. Many energy observers were citing "fundamentals" as the reason why. Meanwhile, both Elliott waves and sentiment agreed: A major top was near.

Indeed, a dramatic "throw over" did occur as crude oil topped a little more than month later. Prices then plummeted 78% in just 5 months, as this chart shows:


Mind you, no analytical method can offer a guarantee about a financial market, and that includes the Elliott wave method.

That said, Elliott wave patterns are far preferable to "fundamentals" as a way of anticipating crude oil's turns and trends.

Learn what our March 2023 Global Market Perspective, which publishes March 3, expects next for the price of crude oil by following the link below. (Meanwhile, catch up on oil's current pattern in the February issue, online now.)

Price Targets Set for Key Global Financial Markets

EWI's analysts set price targets for an array of financial markets in the U.S., Europe and the Asian-Pacific -- in accord with the Elliott wave model.

Price targets are a far more effective strategy for investors and traders, versus making impulsive decisions "in the moment."

Realize that most investors feel highly optimistic at major tops, and deeply pessimistic at major bottoms. In other words, investors' emotions have historically betrayed them at key turns.

Learn the price targets our global Elliott wave analysts have set for major global financial markets -- and why.

Follow the link below to get started.

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