Oil prices fell on Thursday as the prospect of increased crude production from Saudi Arabia and Russia prompted profit-taking the day after futures hit four-year highs on a boost from imminent U.S. sanctions on OPEC’s No. 3 producer Iran.
Price charts showed crude futures at technically overbought levels. The relative strength index (RSI) for both Brent and U.S. crude rose this week to above 70, a level often regarded as signaling a market that has risen too far.
“The market was a bit over-extended on a short-term basis,” said Brian LaRose, senior technical analyst at ICAP-TA.
“I would need to see both $84.35 and $82.85 broken (for Brent) to suggest that something more than just a minor rest stop in an ongoing uptrend is likely to take place here.”
Also weighing on oil prices, crude inventories at the U.S. hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose about 1.7 million barrels from Sept. 28 to Tuesday, traders said, citing a report from market intelligence firm Genscape.