How Much Upside Do Oil Prices Have Left In The Near Term?

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Crude oil prices hit their highest level in a year and a half on Monday, following last weeks strong performance with another push higher. The surge follows last weeks surprise decision by OPEC to cut production for the first time since 2008.

Recent Performance

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Brent futures LCOc1 pushed above $55/bbl on Monday morning, while WTI crude prices topped $52/bbl. Brent crude prices are up 19 percent since the November 30 deal, while WTI prices are up 16 percent.

Oil and oil stock investors have been thrilled by the markets reaction to the deal. Since the deal was announced, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (ETF) (NYSE:XLE) is up 6.7 percent. At the same time, the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Explore & Prod. (ETF) (NYSE:XOP), the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSE:OIH) and the United States Oil Fund LP (ETF) (NYSE:USO) are all up between 13 and 15 percent.

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Looking Forward

Now that oil prices are hitting new 52-week highs, oil investors must determine how much upside remains in the near term.

Benzinga asked traders on Twitter where they see WTI crude prices closing out the year.

The overwhelming majority (78 percent) of respondents see oil finishing the year between $50 and $60/bbl. Slightly more (43 percent) see prices closer to $50, while 35 percent see them closer to $60.

Year-to-date, the USO ETF is now up 4.8 percent.

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