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Retail Sentiment in Crude Oil Trading

  6 Months   1 Year   3 Years   Max
Last update: October 15, 2019, 16:16 EDT


Retail Sentiment chart displays the percentage share of retail traders who are bullish on WTI oil (light cyan area) and those who are bearish on WTI oil (light red area). The chart also shows the net-sentiment (light orange curve) and plots the price of the crude oil prompt month futures contract (NYMEX WTI - bright blue curve). Retail sentiment data is provided by, a global financial portal, IG Group, the world's largest provider of CFDs and CMC Markets, a UK-based financial derivatives dealer.

Historical data are available from April 17, 2017.

The chart is interactive. You can click on any series in the legend to hide/show the data. You can also click on the chart and drag out a specific area you wish to zoom. Alternatively, use calendar filter to select a specific data range. Also, to print or download the chart, click on the "menu" button in the top right corner of the chart.

Update: every weekday

Source:, IG Group, CMC Markets, CME Group, Bluegold Research calculations

Traders' Note

It is widely assumed that the majority of retail traders are usually wrong in their assessment about future price direction and tend to oppose the prevailing trend. Therefore, one possible way to make money in crude oil trading is to do the opposite of what retail traders are doing. In other words, one can use retail sentiment chart as a contrarian indicator. When most are long, expect price losses. When most are short, expect price gains. Surely, this is a very simplistic approach, but can still offer additional guidance at trading.

  • net-sentiment is bullish when it is above 0;
  • net-sentiment is bearish when it is below 0;
  • it has been observed that retail traders eventually get it right, but only at the very extremes - i.e., when net-sentiment is near or above +25 (for long positions) or near or below -25 for (short positions);
  • WTI price is the most recent price at the time of data collection.

Related charts: Retail Sentiment in Natural Gas

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