Up five dollars one day. Up ten the next. Down three. Up five. Down three.
With all the ups and downs in oil lately, the recent volatility in the oil market seems extreme. We've even heard some traders say that in all their years of trading, the volatility in oil is like nothing they have ever seen. However, while oil has been having large swings in dollar terms, based in percentages, the swings have hardly been historic. The chart below shows the 10-day average intraday high/low spread of oil since 1986. At current levels, the average daily intraday spread over the last ten days has been 4.4%. While these intraday swings are considerably higher than the long-term average, calling them 'historic' might be somewhat of a stretch.