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CRUDE OIL closed higher due to short covering on Monday as it bounced off the 87% retracement level of the 20112012rally crossing. The highrange close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening when Tuesday's night session begins. Stochastics and the RSI remain neutral to bearish signalling that sideways to lower prices are possible nearterm. If it extends this month's decline, last October's low crossing is the next downside target.