1. Saudi needs to be willing to take a lot of egg on their face.
Caving would reduce the Kingdom's strength as leader of the cartel, paint the Saudi leadership's willingness to part with billions in lost USD reserves and the incursion of foreign debt as weak and foolish and entirely undermine Saudi's long-term strategy. Saudi would not have embarked on this course if they weren't willing to take the pain and ride out the storm.
2. The cartel needs to actually implement cuts.
I can't for the life of me see Iran or Venezuela complying.
3. Debt service needs to become more problematic for US marginal producers.
We haven't seen enough bankruptcies nor pain to put a dent in the US as a swing producer. Production cuts will extend financing credit for another quarter for these marginal producers, who in many cases will increase production on a sustained move above $40.
That said, with shorts at all time highs and net positioning becoming more short, traders can't take the risk of any cut rumors actually being true. Therefore, you are wise to expect and respect large moves on short-covering. We've seen the last two massive builds as short-covering signals. Last week's build marked a local low and ushered in an 18% rally. This week's historic build also marked a local low from which we've also since seen a 19% rally.
The BOJ's overnight move is for risk assets in the immediate term and we should expect to see oil trade higher with global equities. However, the reason the acted further underscores the threat of a global slowdown. I expect shorts to build as this grim reality displaces exuberance and it becomes clear product cuts aren't in the cards.
36 is an obvious . I'd watch for a failed attempt above 35 to add to shorts with a target of 31.35 at the prior consolidation .