Crude oil traders focusing primarily on technical signals have so far not managed to get the follow-through to the downside that last week's ugly bar signaled. Brent crude oil began last on a tear to reach $75/b for the first time since early November. The two main drivers were the US decision to not extend Iranian waivers towards eight countries after May 1 and the Russian pipeline contamination
that has cut flows of Russian oil into Europe.
The realisation that Washington would struggle in its quest to bring Iranian exports down to zero, as well as the stronger dollar, helped drive the price lower ahead of the weekend. This resulted in a bar similar to the one that signaled a top in the market last October. The battle between strong supportive fundamentals and a short-term deterioration in the technical outlook has kept the market stuck in a relatively tight range so far this week.