This oil bear market could drag on for years

The bear market in oil may still be in its early stages.

It’s been seven years since West Texas Intermediate crude oil topped at $US140 per barrel.

In a note on Wednesday, Credit Suisse research analysts published the chart below, showing that bear markets have never ended that quickly.

“Historically, we would note that bear markets in oil have tended to last somewhat longer than the current episode (between 11 and 28 years),” they wrote.

The chart shows the price of oil in constant dollars over the last 150 years. The red lines are prolonged rallies, while the declines, in black, are bear markets.

As for their current outlook, the analysts say oil is oversold at this point, but the market is too optimistic.

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