Oil could soon overtake its 2017 highs, strategist says

Crude oil is on pace to wrap up a strong September, having gained a little over 9 percent month to date.

Some see further gains ahead as much of the commodity's losses have been recouped.

"Investors have really gained confidence in oil, after the OPEC cuts that were originally discussed earlier in the year are starting to take shape here, and oil production is being curbed," Phil Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Further fueling the commodity's recent upside is the International Energy Agency having upped its demand outlook for the end of this year and into 2018, Streible said.

Due to this combination of production cuts and growing demand, oil could head up to its 2017 high, just above $55, or even $60 per barrel by year-end. A global supply glut has plagued the market for several years, and OPEC member countries and non-member producers have vowed to implement cuts to curb such oversupply.

His forecasts would imply between 7 percent and 16 percent of upside from current levels; crude oil has not traded at $60 per barrel since mid-2015.

At this point, traders should seek to remain long the oil market above $50 per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, Streible said.

"If we got a two-day consecutive close below the $50 level, use risk management. Take the position off. Otherwise, it could be a nice wild ride back to the upside, and we may even see $60 by year-end," he said, if economic data continues to be supportive.

WTI crude oil settled about 1 percent lower on Thursday, at $51.56 per barrel, slightly below its five-month highs.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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