U.S. light, sweet crude for May fell to $92.79 a barrel on Thursday, yet some professional traders saw it as a bullish sign that black gold wasn't trading at a lower level, especially given a flurry of headwinds.
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"We got the Cyprus issue, we still got a weak economy in Europe going on, China is still on the fence on how their economy is coming out of their little selloff and demand really hasn't picked up in this country," said Anthony Grisanti, founder of GRZ Energy in New York. "So I actually I like crude because I think it's held up well under all these negative circumstances."
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To play it, Grisanti plans to buy the May futures contract at $92.20 with a target of $94.10 and a stop at $91.40.
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The U.S. Federal Reserve, for example, this week reaffirmed its policies on bond purchases and record-low interest rates. In September, the Fed launched a third round of quantitative easing (QE), in which it has bought $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities per month, primarily in mortgage-backed bonds. Those open-ended purchases mean the Fed will continue to flood markets with cheap liquidity indefinitely, in order to drive down unemployment. To pay for those purchases, the Fed is basically printing money out of thin air.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan continues efforts to end years of economic stagnation through open-ended asset purchases.
"Crude is obviously mostly an industrial thing, but when currencies are being bashed around the world, it takes on a component of like a substitute for currencies a little bit," Iuorio said. "When the Fed started to announce QE green light, I think that that's good for crude."
Even so, the technicals will continue to drive crude prices, Iuorio added. He doesn't think crude will break out of its range of $92 a barrel to $94.40 a barrel.
Read on for 10 Things You Need to Know to Trade Futures