Up $0.08 or -0.18%

It's a wrap for the crude oil market in 2018. The contract is settling the day at $45.41 or -$0.08 or -0.18%. The low reached $44.73. The high extended to $46.53.

For the year, the price of crude futures fell 24.8% from the 2017 close. That is a big loss in what was probably expected to be a good year on the back of stronger growth, higher inflation and Iran sanctions which was expected to take supply off the market.

However the sanctions ended up more bark than bite, and global growth slowed (more outside the US) which helped to sap demand. More US production also contributed to more global supply.

Finally, a 4th quarter influencer to the downside was the brutal killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis on October 2nd.

It is not a stretch to think that the guilt of Saudi Arabia in the killing of the journalist gave Pres. Trump, leverage to demand lower oil prices - especially since the US growth and stocks were starting to ease. The high price for 2018 peaked on October 3rd, a day after the brutal killing. Since the high at $76.90, the price has tumbled nearly 41%. That is a big move.

Looking at the daily chart below, the low for the year was reached just a few days ago at $42.36 (December 24). The low approached a swing low going back to June 2017 at $42.05. The price closed near the 61.8% of the move up from the 2016 low (from $26.05 to $76.90). That retracement comes in at $45.47.