The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude oil (the U.S. benchmark) has exploded over the last week. The lower line in the chart below shows the August light crude oil contract having broken out to the highest level in 14 months. Today's rise puts August crude at 103.12, which is $4.34 below the price of European brent crude (which ended at 107.46). Both varieties of crude usually trade around the same price. U.S. crude has been much weaker than brent over the last two years, owing to supply bottlenecks in the the U.S. With those having been relieved, the U.S. oil market is catching up to Europe. The upper line in the chart shows the August Brent Crude contract trading at a three-month high. Energy traders are betting that WTI crude will catch up to the price of Brent and close the unusual gap between the two.


- John

John Murphy
About the author: is the Chief Technical Analyst at, a renowned author in the investment field and a former technical analyst for CNBC, and is considered the father of inter-market technical analysis. With over 40 years of market experience, he is the author of numerous popular works including “Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets” and “Trading with Intermarket Analysis”. Before joining StockCharts, John was the technical analyst for CNBC-TV for seven years on the popular show Tech Talk, and has authored three best-selling books on the subject: Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets, Trading with Intermarket Analysis and The Visual Investor. Learn More
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