Oil Prices to be Range-Bound This Week: CNBC Survey

Our weekly CNBC survey asks traders, analysts and strategists about their outlook for crude. Here are this week's results:

Overall sentiment: Neutral

Total Respondents: 10

  • Neutral: 6
  • Bullish: 2
  • Bearish: 2

Key Neutral Factors:

  • Expected correction in equity markets to be balanced out by supply concerns
  • Light volume to prevent strong moves in any direction

Key Bullish Factors:

  • China's continued demand will support prices

Key Bearish Factors:

  • Talk about pullback of government stimulus will weigh on oil prices

Key Neutral Themes:

Pete McGuire, Commodity Warrants Australia

"We believe prices will maintain over the next week or two in the 77-82 range."

Ben Westmore, National Australia Bank

"I'm expecting oil to track broadly sideways next week. On one hand I think equity markets are set for a slight correction and oil will be tempted to follow market sentiment down. However, I see concerns around the supply side of the oil market as being a more pertinent factor in the near term."

"The back end of oil price futures curves already hints that investors are worried about the possibility of supply constraints further out, and the re-emergence of geopolitical concerns in oil producing countries is likely to feed this concern to support oil prices. Fundamentals remain weak, although the supply overhang seems to be given little regard by market participants at present."

Key Bullish Themes:

Gavin Wendt/Senior Resource Analyst

"I believe prices will rise next week. We haven't seen the same sort of price action in the oil space as we have in the gold sector, but I don't believe we are too far away.

I am not too concerned by relatively high oil inventory levels, as these can be gobbled up pretty quickly by rebounding demand. And it wasn't so long ago that the market was concerned by high inventories of LME base metals, but how quickly things have changed.

"I believe prices will continue to edge up closer to the US$85 per barrel mark by year's end, with a likely strengthening in demand helping to bring oil firmly onto investors' radar screens into 2010."

Key Bearish Themes:

Roger Nusbaum, The

"The Iran situation is clearly not new. It does ebb and flow occasionally but picking the one time that this matters more than a couple of days is tough to do but I'll say for now (hopefully) not a meaningful driver."

"China demand has been and will be somewhat lumpy but seems to be headed in one direction, up. Although the signs of recovery in China are not perfect I do buy into a recovery there."

"I am slightly bearish for the immediate term but more for the financial instrument argument than immediate term fundamentals."

Mike Sander, Sander Capital Advisors

"I would be bearish on the price of oil. Much of the economic rebound has been from massive government stimulus and now that the economy has rebounded many nations around the world are talking about cutting back."

Both the ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and U.S. President Barack Obama made comments
over the last few days indicating they need to start slowing down government spending. If this occurs, equities and commodities prices should feel pressure to stay flat to down in price. Timing is difficult."