Ahead of next week's OPEC meeting in Vienna, strategists are closely watching swings in crude oil prices, which are faltering after weeks of gains.
Despite political tensions involving oil superpower Saudi Arabia and OPEC's promises to cut production, crude prices could come down by year-end, one strategist says. Here's why.
• "Tensions in Saudi Arabia are still flaring following the actions by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman," Chantico Global CEO Gina Sanchez said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation," referring to a vast political shakeup in the kingdom earlier this month that initially boosted oil prices.
• It is unlikely, however, that this will be an "actual geopolitical event," Sanchez said, and oil prices should continue settling.
• Sanchez set her year-end price target for crude oil at $52.60 per barrel, though she is expecting swings in volatility along the way, along with "occasional spikes" as regional tensions build.
• West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled lower on Monday; last week marked the commodity's first week of losses after five-straight weeks of gains, and oil continues trading in the mid-$50 range.
Bottom line: Despite what could be a bullish fundamental backdrop, crude oil may fall by year-end as political tensions simmer down.