My father worked for a long time in what was then the nuclear research center in Karlsruhe.

Among other things, he was responsible for radiation protection in the “hot cells”, a pilot plant for the reprocessing of nuclear fuel rods.

I learned often enough that this job was anything but “without”: Then there was often wild beating on our front door at night, my father quickly got dressed and set off with his driver.

The nuclear research center regularly published publications that reported on the state of research and current and planned projects. I still remember well how I once could hardly believe my eyes: in a very early writing, if I remember correctly, from the 1960s, there were visions of the future of nuclear energy: One illustration showed a nuclear-powered helicopter.

There is no need to comment. But sometimes I would like us to look to our future with the same enthusiasm, with the same confidence and, yes, maybe also naivety. In contrast to then, we have mature, largely uncritical technologies to supply the world with plenty of energy. With a dash of naivety: The world would only have to finally begin to pave the deserts of this planet with solar systems and bring the generated energy to the consumer in the form of hydrogen or superconducting. But we don't. All over the world there is more and more emphasis on the burning of hydrocarbons.

This can be clearly seen in the price development of oil in the past 15 months: While at the peak of the Corona crisis in April 2020, every buyer of a barrel of oil not only paid nothing, but even got a few dollars on top, were recently again almost $ 78 for a barrel of Brent. It is increasingly disturbing for me that a rise in the price of oil is still interpreted as a kind of indicator of prosperity: the higher the price, the more oil is in demand and the better we are all.

From a technical point of view, however, one almost inevitably has to come to the conclusion that this is over for the time being. The oil price has exceeded its peak for a long time, or will do so in the foreseeable future without any previous, decisive new highs. The chart of “North Sea Oil” shown here shows three weighty reasons for this assessment: On the one hand, the price has fallen below the upward trend that has accompanied it since the April lows of 2020. While that is not the ultimate reason for predicting a less rosy future for the oil price, it is a noteworthy one.

It becomes more important if, on the other hand, the undercutting of the critical support zone between $ 69 and $ 73 a few days ago is included in the analysis.

Because then, at the latest, the upward breakout of this zone two months ago must be interpreted as a classic “bull trap”.

The biggest problem, however, is the price of a barrel of Brent due to its "negative divergence" of the MACD shown, a very robust standard indicator in technical analysis.

Such patterns are seldom to be trifled with.

They show that the indicator could no longer understand the new highs: They were simply countered far too quickly.

And that in turn is a first-rate signal of weakness.

It would therefore be astonishing if the price of oil continued its rally and soared to levels above $ 80 permanently. It is far more likely to fall into the support area around $ 55. Should the oil price really be an economic indicator, the global economy is likely to go into a tailspin, at least temporarily. Better: The majority of market participants will soon expect that they will.

As an aside: Maybe we should think again about whether it is right to shut down all of our nuclear reactors now.

If the states that all rely on nuclear power were to imitate us, the world, measured against Fukushima and Chernobyl, would replace a relatively local catastrophe that has so far taken place every 25 years with an absolutely safe global one.

After all, nuclear power is almost CO2-neutral, while gas or coal power, which is currently largely replacing it, is not.

The author heads Staud Research GmbH in Bad Homburg.

Keywords: