Commodity News

GOLD INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 30143.58   Targets: 30171.91 --- 30215.34 --- 30258.80 --- 30302.30
Stoploss : 30100.19
Sell at / below: 30100.19   Targets: 30071.87 --- 30028.52 --- 29985.20 --- 29941.92
Stoploss : 30143.58

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SILVER INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 39676   Targets: 39705.95 --- 39755.77 --- 39805.62 --- 39855.50
Stoploss : 39626.21
Sell at / below: 39626.21   Targets: 39596.26 --- 39546.51 --- 39496.80 --- 39447.12
Stoploss : 39676

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CRUDEOIL INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 4222.42   Targets: 4236.57 --- 4252.85 --- 4269.17 --- 4285.51
Stoploss : 4206.19
Sell at / below: 4206.19   Targets: 4192.10 --- 4175.92 --- 4159.78 --- 4143.66
Stoploss : 4222.42

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NATURALGAS INTRADAY LEVELS :


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 200.1   Targets: 203.55 --- 207.13 --- 210.74 --- 214.39
Stoploss : 196.57
Sell at / below: 196.57   Targets: 193.19 --- 189.73 --- 186.30 --- 182.90
Stoploss : 200.1

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COPPER INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 456.32   Targets: 461.45 --- 466.83 --- 472.25 --- 477.70
Stoploss : 451
Sell at / below: 451   Targets: 445.93 --- 440.66 --- 435.43 --- 430.23
Stoploss : 456.32

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NICKEL INTRADAY LEVELS:

 

 

 


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 868.2   Targets: 875.14 --- 882.55 --- 889.99 --- 897.47
Stoploss : 860.84
Sell at / below: 860.84   Targets: 853.96 --- 846.66 --- 839.40 --- 832.17
Stoploss : 868.2

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LEAD INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 167.46   Targets: 170.64 --- 173.92 --- 177.23 --- 180.57
Stoploss : 164.25
Sell at / below: 164.25   Targets: 161.14 --- 157.98 --- 154.86 --- 151.76
Stoploss : 167.46

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ZINC INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 229.1   Targets: 232.79 --- 236.62 --- 240.48 --- 244.37
Stoploss : 225.33
Sell at / below: 225.33   Targets: 221.71 --- 218.00 --- 214.33 --- 210.68
Stoploss : 229.1

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ALUMINIUM  INTRADAY LEVELS:


Indian Business Trade

Buy at / above: 144.59   Targets: 147.54 --- 150.59 --- 153.67 --- 156.79
Stoploss : 141.6
Sell at / below: 141.6   Targets: 138.71 --- 135.78 --- 132.88 --- 130.02
Stoploss : 144.59

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World Market News

Yen Weaker As Japan Politics Eyed for Snap Polls, North Korea Events


Indian Business Trade

The yen held weaker in Asia on Monday on reports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may call a snap election for October to build on support for his handling of tensions with North Korea.

USD/JPY changed hands at 111.20, up 0.34%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.8017, up 0.16%.

Elsewhere, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.N. Security Council has run out of options on containing North Koreas nuclear program and the United States may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.

And President Donald Trump tweeted: "I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!"

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 91.65.

China reported house prices data for August rose 8.3%, compared with a 9.7% increase seen in July.

Overnight, the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Friday, after retail sales data unexpectedly undershot expectations in August while sterling rose to its highest since June last year adding to downside momentum in the greenback.

A sluggish month for motor vehicle sales weighed on retail sales growth in August, suggesting that consumer spending in the third-quarter may come under pressure, tapering investor expectation of strong third-quarter economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales dipped 0.2% last month, missing expectations of a 0.1% rise.

The soft retail sales data came just hours ahead of manufacturing and consumer sentiment that topped forecasts.
The New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey declined to 24.4 for September from 25.2 previously, although this was significantly above consensus expectations of 19.0.

After hitting seven month highs in August, the consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, fell to 95.3 in September but handily topped expectations.

Sterling, meanwhile, added to gains from the previous session, hitting its highest level since the Brexit vote, piling further pressure on the greenback after Bank of England committee member Gertjan Vlieghe, said the “moment is approaching” for a rate increase.

 

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Gold Prices Set for Weekly Loss as Safe-Haven Demand Fades


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices fell as investors shrugged off a rise in geopolitical uncertainty that followed after North Korea launched a missile over Japan on Friday while growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates later this year kept the precious metal on track for a weekly loss.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $2.91, or 0.22%, to $1,326.39 a troy ounce.

A day after data showing inflation rose to its highest in seven months fuelling expectations of a December rate hike, gold prices remained on track to snap three-week winning streak. Losses, however, were limited by weak U.S. economic data.

The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales dipped 0.2% last month, missing expectations of a 0.1% rise. A duo of reports on manufacturing and consumer sentiment followed the weaker-than-expected retail sales data.

The New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey declined to 24.4 for September from 25.2 previously, although this was significantly above consensus expectations of 19.0.

The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, fell to 95.3 in September but handily topped expectations.

According to investing.coms fed rate monitor tool, more than 50% of traders expect the Fed to hike rates in December.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.19% to $17.70 a troy ounce while platinum futures lost 0.87% to $972.40.

Copper traded at $2.95, down 0.22%, while natural gas fell by 1.66% to $3.02.

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Crude Oil Settles Higher, Best Performance in 7-Weeks


Indian Business Trade

Oil prices settled higher racking up their biggest weekly gain since July on Friday amid rising expectations that higher oil demand will reduce excess crude supplies to Opecs five-year average target.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery rose $0.00 to settle at $49.89 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.23% to trade at $55.60 a barrel.

Opec said production in August fell by 79,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 32.76 million as falling production from Venezuela, Iraq, the UAE and Saudi Arabia offset rising output from Nigeria.

“It is clear the rebalancing process is under way,” Opecs secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said, expressing optimism that growing demand in the second of the half of year would continue to dent excess supplies.

That was followed by the International Energy Agency report forecasting a surge in demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 1.6m bpd, or 1.7%. The bullish outlook on oil demand, lifted expectations that the demand and the supply imbalance in oil markets would continue to narrow in the coming months.

The duo of reports overshadowed data showing U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected last week, as the fallout from Hurricane Harvey, which tore through the U.S. oil heartland of Texas in August, forcing refineries to shutdown weighed on crude demand.

The post-Harvey refinery recovery is underway, however, as data earlier in the week from IHS Markit indicated that 13 of 20 affected U.S. refineries were restarting operations.

Crude output is expected to remain subdued as U.S. oil rigs continued to decline, pointing to a slowdown in production which could bolster crude prices.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States declined by 7 to 749.

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Crude Oil Mixed In Asia As US Rig Count Data Offers Support


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil prices traded mixed in Asia on Monday with U.S. rig count data showing a drop aiding sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery was flat at $50.44 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.20% to $55.73 a barrel.

Last week, oil prices settled higher racking up their biggest weekly gain since July on Friday amid rising expectations that higher oil demand will reduce excess crude supplies to Opecs five-year average target.

Opec said production in August fell by 79,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 32.76 million as falling production from Venezuela, Iraq, the UAE and Saudi Arabia offset rising output from Nigeria.

“It is clear the rebalancing process is under way,” Opecs secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo said, expressing optimism that growing demand in the second of the half of year would continue to dent excess supplies.

That was followed by the International Energy Agency report forecasting a surge in demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 1.6m bpd, or 1.7%. The bullish outlook on oil demand, lifted expectations that the demand and the supply imbalance in oil markets would continue to narrow in the coming months.

The duo of reports overshadowed data showing U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected last week, as the fallout from Hurricane Harvey, which tore through the U.S. oil heartland of Texas in August, forcing refineries to shutdown weighed on crude demand.

The post-Harvey refinery recovery is underway, however, as data earlier in the week from IHS Markit indicated that 13 of 20 affected U.S. refineries were restarting operations.

Crude output is expected to remain subdued as U.S. oil rigs continued to decline, pointing to a slowdown in production which could bolster crude prices.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States declined by 7 to 749.
The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

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Hurricane Maria threatens weary Caribbean with more destruction


Indian Business Trade

A second powerful storm in as many weeks was bearing down on a string of battered Caribbean islands, with forecasters saying that Maria had strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday and would intensify before hitting the Leeward Islands on Monday night.

Maria was about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of the Leeward island of Dominica with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) per hour at 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

"Maria ... could be near major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards," the forecaster said.

Maximum sustained winds were expected to accelerate to 120 miles per hour within 72 hours, by which time the hurricane could reach the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a weakened economy and fragile power grid.

The government of Puerto Rico has already begun preparations for Maria, which is expected to make landfall there on Tuesday, officials said.

The storm is moving west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour (24 kph) and is expected to cross the Leeward Islands on Monday night, the NHC said.

Hurricane warnings were in place for the French island of Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, while a hurricane watch was in effect for U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia and Martinique.

Maria is approaching the eastern Caribbean less than two weeks after Irma hammered the region before overrunning Florida. That storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic with winds up to 185 miles per hour (298 kph), killed at least 84 people, more than half of them in the Caribbean.

The NHS also issued a tropical storm watch for portions of the U.S. mid-Atlantic and New England coast by Tuesday as a second hurricane, Jose, moved slowly north from its current position in the Atlantic Ocean about 335 miles (535 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The eye of Jose, with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), should remain off the U.S. East Coast, the NHS said.

Even so, by Tuesday it could bring tropical storm conditions from Fenwick Island, Delaware, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and from East Rockaway Inlet on New Yorks Long Island to the Massachusetts island of Nantucket.

Up to five inches (13 cm) of rain could fall over parts of the area, and the storm could bring dangerous surf and rip currents as well.

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Gold Falls In Asia As NKorea Risk At Bay, Copper Jumps


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday as investors moved away from risk trades on North Korea tensions, but copper staged gains as housing data from China showed countinued gains for prices albeit at a slower pace that the previous month.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 19%, to $1,322,62 a troy ounce. Copper futures on the Comex rose 0.81% to 2.976 a pound

China reported house prices data for August rose 8.3%, compared with a 9.7% increase seen in July.


Last week, gold prices fell as investors shrugged off a rise in geopolitical uncertainty that followed after North Korea launched a missile over Japan on Friday while growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates later this year kept the precious metal on track for a weekly loss.

A day after data showing inflation rose to its highest in seven months fuelling expectations of a December rate hike, gold prices remained on track to snap three-week winning streak. Losses, however, were limited by weak U.S. economic data.

The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales dipped 0.2% last month, missing expectations of a 0.1% rise. A duo of reports on manufacturing and consumer sentiment followed the weaker-than-expected retail sales data.

The New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey declined to 24.4 for September from 25.2 previously, although this was significantly above consensus expectations of 19.0.

The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, fell to 95.3 in September but handily topped expectations.

According to investing.coms fed rate monitor tool, more than 50% of traders expect the Fed to hike rates in December.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

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Copper records biggest weekly fall since March


Indian Business Trade

Copper was steady on Friday, helped by a weaker dollar but still recorded its biggest weekly price fall since March as investors took profits from a speculative rally to three-year highs.

While some investors booked profits, supply deficits and solid demand for metals in top consumer China were expected to keep prices around current levels, ABN AMRO analyst Casper Burgering said. COPPER: Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended at $6,508 a tonne, up 0.1 percent on the day and down 2.8 percent this week. It has slipped from a three-year high of $6,970 on Sept. 5 but is still up 18 percent so far this year.

TECHNICALS: Support was between $6,300 and $6,400 around the 50-day moving average and the high point of prices in 2015.

STOCKS: Inventories in LME-registered warehouses registered their biggest weekly inflow since May, rising 67,600 tonnes to 276,025 tonnes and putting pressure on prices. SPREADS: Rising stocks helped to push the discount for cash copper over the three-month contract to above $40 a tonne, its highest since December 2009. This suggests more metal will be delivered over the coming days.

Discounts on cash aluminium, nickel and lead to their three month contracts also rose to multi-year highs. But cash zinc traded at a premium to three-month metal for the first time since February on concerns over immediate availability after mine closures in China.

CHINA: A rare flurry of disappointing data suggested the Chinese economy is finally starting to lose some momentum. But demand for metals in China should remain strong, ABN AMROs Burgering said. OUTPUT: Chinas non-ferrous metal output fell to a one-year low in August. MARKETS: Share prices and the U.S. dollar edged lower after North Korea fired a second missile over Japan. A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper for non-U.S. investors. NICKEL: LME nickel , used in stainless steel production, closed down 0.9 percent at $11,090 a tonne, its weakest since Aug. 21, after Chinese steel prices clocked up their biggest weekly loss since early June. TECHNICALS: Nickel has fallen more than 10 percent from a high of $12,380 on Sept. 4. Fibonacci support was at $10,965 and $10,530, Marex Spectron brokers said in a note.

LEAD: Lead prices were supported by falling inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, which declined by 44.5 percent from last Friday to 16,568 tonnes. LME lead rose 2.3 percent to $2,359 a tonne. PRICES: Aluminium fell 0.6 percent to $2,085 a tonne, zinc added 0.9 percent to close at $3,039 and tin was unchanged at $20,540.

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Gold Price Sinks To Daily Low In Morning New York Action


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices have dipped to their daily lows in late-morning U.S. trading Friday. A terror attack in London and another North Korean missile launch overnight have not benefitted the gold market bulls. However, dont be surprised if traders step in and "buy the dip" before the close of New York trading today, ahead of the weekend. December gold was last down $3.20 an ounce at $1,326.20.

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Chinas lead output in August lowest since November


Indian Business Trade

Chinas lead output in August fell to its lowest since November while zinc output fell 4.6 percent from a year earlier, the latest sign that the governments environmental crackdown has roiled the production of critical metals, data showed on Monday.

The data was released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Please click on for the previous months tables.

The following table shows output figures in tonnes:

Metal Aug Pct Chg* Refined Copper 749,000 +0.8 Lead 401,000 +3.6 Zinc 494,300 -4.6 Iron Ore 115,500,000 -0.5

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Copper slides on lacklustre China data


Indian Business Trade

Copper fell to a four-week low on Thursday after some weaker than expected data from China pointed to slowing demand from the metals top consumer.

Benchmark copper fell 0.7 percent to $6,498 per tonne, after earlier touching its lowest since Aug. 18. Copper has fallen 7 percent from its September high.

"Softness in Chinese data has been a bit of an issue and I would chalk todays fall in copper down to that," said ETF Securities commodity strategist Nitesh Shah.

From a fundamental perspective, the price of copper should be high, but the pace at which the rally has taken place is surprising," he said.

Copper surged 28 percent from its May low to its 2017 peak of $6,970 hit on Sept. 5 on expectations of strong demand from China and a softer U.S. dollar.

CHINA DATA: Data showed slower than expected growth in investment, factory output and retail sales but a rebound in property sales and construction starts is likely to keep Chinas overall growth relatively robust and on target. "We had expected momentum to carry the Chinese economy for at least a month longer, given the strong PMIs and recent price action in commodities (implying at least speculation of growing demand)," said Liberum analyst Ben Davis.

COPPER STOCKS: On-warrant LME inventories - those not earmarked for delivery - rose 26,000 tonnes to 186,125 tonne and are up 67 percent from a September low touched last week. DISCOUNT: The discount or contango for the cash copper contract to the three-month forward on the London Metal Exchange jumped to over $40 a tonne , an eight-year high. Traders said this pointed to more metal being delivered in coming days.

NICKEL DISCOUNT: The nickel contango hit a three-year high above $80 a tonne.

CHINA OUTPUT: Chinas non-ferrous metal output - which includes copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel - fell to a one-year low in August in a sign that Beijings environmental crackdown is curbing supplies of base metals. LEAD DEMAND: Demand for lead in China, the worlds largest consumer, comes chiefly from vehicle battery makers. However, lead output has declined because of environmental investigations that have shut down smelters operating illegally. ALUMINIUM: Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a global producer a premium of $95 per tonne for shipments in the fourth quarter, reflecting lower spot premiums, two sources involved in the pricing talks said on Thursday. PRICES: Aluminium closed down 0.6 percent at $2,098 a tonne, zinc shed 0.6 percent to $3,005, lead added 0.7 percent to $2,307, tin inched up 0.1 percent to $20,525 and nickel slipped 1.4 percent to $11,200.

 

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Gold Weakens As U.S. Inflation Beats Expectations In August


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices fell on Thursday following better-than-expected U.S. inflation data from August.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in August, after edging up just 0.1% in July, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. Consensus forecasts were calling for a rise of 0.3%.

The pickup was mainly led by increased gasoline and shelter costs, both rising 6.3% and 0.5%, respectively, the report said.

Annualized inflation also beat forecasts by coming in at 1.9% instead of the expected 1.8%.

In an immediate reaction to the data, gold prices plunged, with December Comex gold trading at $1,322.10, down 0.47% on the day. Thursdays New York trading session began with gold modestly lower, as the yellow metal was still going through a corrective pullback after reaching a 12-month high last week.

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Crude Oil Prices Hover at Multi-Month Highs


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil prices were hovering at multi-month highs on Thursday, as news of a decline in global oil production continued to support the commodity.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude October contract was at $49.92 a barrel by 09:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT), up 62 cents or about 1.24% and at its highest level since August 10.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London gained 45 cents or 0.82% to a five-month high of $55.60 a barrel.

Prices were boosted after the International Energy Agency on Wednesday said global oil supplies fell for the first time in four months in August, while also revising its 2017 oil demand estimate up to 1.6 million barrels a day from its July estimate of 1.5 million.

The data came a day after the latest OPEC report showed that oil production from the cartel fell last month for the first time since March.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday that output declined by 79,000 barrels a day to 32.76 million in August, driven mainly by a drop in Libya, Gabon, Venezuela and Iraq.

On a less positive note, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories rose by 3.2 million barrels, above analysts expectations, last week.

However, gasoline stockpiles fell by 8.4 million barrels, marking the largest weekly drop on record in EIA data going back to 1990.

The build in crude inventories came after Hurricane Harvey shut production in some Gulf of Mexico fields and refineries in Texas as some domestic producers also trimmed output to avoid a larger glut at storage.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures declined 0.36% to $1.639 a gallon, while natural gas futures slipped 0.13% to $3.054 per million British thermal units.

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U.S. Natural Gas Futures Turn Positive After Storage Data


Indian Business Trade

U.S. natural gas futures initially turned around and registered gains in North American trade on Thursday, despite data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 91 billion cubic feet in the week ended September 8, while analysts had forecast a smaller increase of just 85 billion.

Natural gas for delivery in October on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 1.5 cents, or 0.49%, to trade at $3.079 per million British thermal units by 10:32AM ET (14:32GMT).

Futures had been falling 0.13%, or 0.4 cents at around $3.054 prior to the release of the supply data.

That compared with a build of 65 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 179 billion from a year earlier but was 43 bcf above the five-year average.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.311 trillion cubic feet, 5.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 1.3% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas prices have gained more than 5% so far this week after Hurricane Irma struck the U.S. southeast with less force than once feared, easing worries over a hit to energy demand.

Despite recent gains, prices look set to remain on the back foot in the weeks ahead as traders react to the reality that higher summer demand for the commodity is coming to an end.

Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.

But with autumn due to start on September 22, power burns to feed air conditioning demand have probably peaked for now, market analysts said.

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Gold Prices Steady on Dollar Weakness


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices rose for the first time in three days after the dollar came under pressure but gains were capped as data showed the pace of U.S. consumer prices hit a 7-month high in August raising expectations for a Federal Reserve rate hike later this year.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $2.61, or 0.20%, to $1,330.50 a troy ounce.

Gold prices halted a three-day losing streak as the dollar eased despite inflation and jobs data topping expectations pointing to an improving U.S. economy which could influence the Federal Reserve to stick to its plan to hike rates at least once more this year.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its consume price index rose 0.4% last month after edging up 0.1% in July. The uptick in consumer prices in August was the largest monthly gain in seven months and lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.9% from 1.7% in July.

In a separate report the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 284,000 in the week ended Sept. 10, confounding forecasts of a 2,000 increase.

Some analysts believe, however, the Fed will taper its rate hike outlook as inflation will continue to undershoot the central banks expectations, boosting demand for gold.

“The Fed are notoriously optimistic with its inflation expectations, so investors could be surprised with how slow the body actually raises the cost of borrowing which is good news for gold,” said Adrienne Murphy, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.41% to $17.79 a troy ounce while platinum futures lost 0.15% to $981.75.

Copper traded at $2.96, down 0.81%, while natural gas rose by 0.26% to $3.06.

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Crude Oil Settles Higher as Stronger Demand Fuels Rally


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil prices settled at seven-week highs on Thursday buoyed by a pair of reports earlier in the week suggesting that rising global oil demand could stem the glut in crude supplies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery rose 59 cents to settle at $49.89 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.20% to trade at $55.27 a barrel.

Crude oil futures started the session on the front foot surging above $50 a barrel for the first time in five weeks, as investors continue to cheer an International Energy Agency (IEA) report released Wednesday estimating global oil demand this year will climb by the most since 2015.

The IEA revised upwards its estimate for demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 1.6m bpd, or 1.7%. The bullish outlook for oil demand, lifted expectations that the demand and the supply imbalance in oil markets would continue to narrow in the coming months.

The IEAs report came a day after Opec said production in August fell by 79,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 32.76 million as falling production from Venezuela, Iraq, the UAE and Saudi Arabia offset rising output from Nigeria.

The fall in Opec output came as a relief to investors, many of whom had questioned the oil-cartels commitment to tackle excess supplies following a drop in the groups the rate of compliance with the global accord to curb production.

"Stronger demand and supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia are the main reasons for the oil price upsurge," said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018.

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Crude Oil Down In Asia On NKorea Missile Test


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil fell in Asia on Friday after North Korea tested an intermediate range ballistic missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and into the Pacific Ocean in the latest tit-for-tat with the U.S. and its allies for pushing UN economic sanctions, with investors looking ahead to the latest weekly U.S. rig count data.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery dropped 0.52% to $46.93 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 0.29% to $55.10 a barrel.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled at seven-week highs on Thursday buoyed by a pair of reports earlier in the week suggesting that rising global oil demand could stem the glut in crude supplies.

Crude oil futures started the session on the front foot surging above $50 a barrel for the first time in five weeks, as investors continue to cheer an International Energy Agency (IEA) report released Wednesday estimating global oil demand this year will climb by the most since 2015.

The IEA revised upwards its estimate for demand growth in 2017 by 100,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 1.6m bpd, or 1.7%. The bullish outlook for oil demand, lifted expectations that the demand and the supply imbalance in oil markets would continue to narrow in the coming months.

The IEAs report came a day after Opec said production in August fell by 79,000 barrels a day (bpd) to 32.76 million as falling production from Venezuela, Iraq, the UAE and Saudi Arabia offset rising output from Nigeria.

The fall in Opec output came as a relief to investors, many of whom had questioned the oil-cartels commitment to tackle excess supplies following a drop in the groups the rate of compliance with the global accord to curb production.

"Stronger demand and supply restrictions from OPEC and Russia are the main reasons for the oil price upsurge," said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018.

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Gold Gains In Asia After NKorea Missile Test Raises Risk

 


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices gained in Asia on Friday after North Korea fired a missile over the northern Japan island of Hokkaido and into the Pacific Ocean, drawing a new line in the sand for the U.S. and allies to respond.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.46% to $1,335.36 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices rose for the first time in three days after the dollar came under pressure but gains were capped as data showed the pace of U.S. consumer prices hit a 7-month high in August raising expectations for a Federal Reserve rate hike later this year.

Gold prices halted a three-day losing streak as the dollar eased despite inflation and jobs data topping expectations pointing to an improving U.S. economy which could influence the Federal Reserve to stick to its plan to hike rates at least once more this year.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price index rose 0.4% last month after edging up 0.1% in July. The uptick in consumer prices in August was the largest monthly gain in seven months and lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.9% from 1.7% in July.

In a separate report the U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 284,000 in the week ended Sept. 10, confounding forecasts of a 2,000 increase.

Some analysts believe, however, the Fed will taper its rate hike outlook as inflation will continue to undershoot the central banks expectations, boosting demand for gold.

“The Fed are notoriously optimistic with its inflation expectations, so investors could be surprised with how slow the body actually raises the cost of borrowing which is good news for gold,” said Adrienne Murphy, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

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Crude drops in Asia on supply worries, shrugs of US demand signs


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude oil benchmarks drifted weaker in Asia on Thursday, shrugging of some demand signals from the U.S. overnight and waiting for more on rig count figures by Baker Hughes and OPEC compliance with output cuts.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery fell 0.36% to $49.41 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent dropped 0.40% to $52.15 a barrel.

The rig count figures are a proxy for U.S. shale oil output - with both the number of rigs drilling and output gaining steadily in the past year as prices hove around $50 a barrel.

Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered data showing supplies of U.S. crude fell for the fifth-straight week while refinery activity continued to grow.

Crude prices recovered from a 2% plunge sustained the prior session, after a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude and gasoline stockpiles fell last week, pointing to an uptick in demand for crude and refinery activity.

Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 1.5m barrels in the week ended July 28, below expectations of a draw of about 2.9m barrels. It was fifth-straight week of falling crude inventories.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, fell by roughly 2.5m barrels, confounding expectations of a draw of 636,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by 150,000 barrels, compared to expectations of a decline of 525,000 barrels.

The mostly bullish report comes amid a hoppy start to the week for oil prices, following renewed investor skepticism over Opecs ability to tackle the glut in supply after reports showed Opec production rose to a high for the year at 33 million barrels per day (bdp). That is despite the groups pledge to increase compliance with the deal to cut production.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.

 

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Global demand for gold drops 14 pct in first half of 2017 –WGC


Indian Business Trade


Global demand for gold fell 14 percent in the first half of this year due mainly to a sharp decline in purchases by exchange traded funds, the World Gold Council said in a report on Thursday.
Central bank buying also fell slightly in the first half but purchases of bars, coins and jewellery grew thanks to strong demand in India and Turkey, the industry-funded WGC said in its latest Gold Demand Trends report.
Gold-backed ETFs saw record inflows last year to match a 30 percent rise in gold prices between January and June.
But with prices rising only around 8 percent in the same period this year, funds added only 56 tonnes in the second quarter, down 76 percent from last year, bringing first half inflows to 167.9 tonnes.
European ETFs accounted for 76 percent of first half inflows taking their holdings to a record 978 tonnes.
"This year demand is a little more balanced," said Alistair Hewitt, the WGCs head of market intelligence. "While we saw huge inflows into ETFs last year, the physical markets of jewellery, bars and coins slumped to multi-year lows."
Total global demand for gold amounted to 2,004 tonnes in January-June, down from 2,318.7 tonnes in the same period last year. For the second quarter alone, demand was 953 tonnes, the lowest quarterly total in two years.
Jewellery purchases rose 8 percent over April-June helped by a rebound in buying in India ahead of a new sales tax and in Turkey thanks to a more stable economy, but first half buying remained below 1,000 tonnes for only the fourth time since 2000.
Purchases of gold bars and coins were up 13 percent in the second quarter and 11 percent in the first half as Chinese, Indian and Turkish demand increased.
Central banks bought 94.5 tonnes of gold in the second quarter as Turkey joined Russia and Kazakhstan in expanding its reserves, but first half purchases were down 3 percent at 176.7 tonnes.
Hewitt said he expected central banks to buy 350-450 tonnes of gold over the full year and for total annual demand to be around 4,200-4,300 tonnes. That would be slightly below last years 4,337.5 tonnes, the highest annual level since 2013.

 

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U.S. natural gas slides to 5-month low amid bearish weather outlook


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures extended its sharp losses from the prior session on Tuesday to hit a five-month low as updated weather forecasts predicted that below normal temperatures across the U.S. could persist through the first half of August.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.766 per million British thermal units by 9:40AM ET (1340GMT), down 2.8 cents, or around 1%. It fell to its lowest since March 2 $2.768 earlier in the session.
Prices saw a drop of roughly 2% on Monday amid bearish weather forecasts.
A weather system with cooling will linger over the East with showers and thunderstorms through August 5, resulting in comfortable temperatures.
A fresh weather system will arrive over the central, southern, and eastern U.S. the following week, resulting in light demand.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.990 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 3.7% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Early market expectations for this weeks storage data due on Thursday is for a build in a range between 17 and 27 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 28.
That compares with a gain of 17 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a withdrawal of 6 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 44 billion cubic feet.

 

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Oil down 3 percent as ample OPEC supply weighs


Indian Business Trade


Oil slid about 3 percent from a two-month high on Tuesday as major world oil producers kept pumping out supply, worrying investors that several weeks of steady gains had pushed the rally too far, too fast.
Selling picked up in the late morning as oil broke below Mondays lows, and with more than 725,000 U.S. futures contracts traded by 12:17 p.m. EDT (1617 GMT), it was shaping up to be one of the busiest sessions in the last several weeks.
OPEC production rose in July, a Reuters survey found Monday, despite a deal to cut output. That prompted selling after U.S. oil futures had risen more than 16 percent since late June.
"It seems to be more technical and a combination of that and the OPEC story has everybody running for exits at the same time," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
U.S. inventory reports due on Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to show crude stocks fell by 2.9 million barrels last week, the fifth straight week of declines.
Brent crude (LCOc1), the international benchmark, was down $1.55 a barrel, or 2.9 percent, to $51.18 at 12:17 p.m. EDT (1617 GMT). U.S. crude (CLc1) was down $1.53, or 3.1 percent, to $48.64 a barrel.
"Momentum indicators have us in overbought territory over the last few days, which is telling you (oil) is going to pull back somewhat," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Americas.
Gasoline and heating oil crack spreads were stronger on Tuesday after Royal Dutch Shell (L:RDSa) said its Pernis refinery in the Netherlands, Europes largest oil refinery, will remain closed through mid-August following a fire.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) is due to report its data on U.S. inventories at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT). The U.S. governments official data is out on Wednesday.
On the demand side, forecasters including the International Energy Agency have been raising their estimates. [IEA/M] Oil company BP (LON:BP) said Tuesday it sees demand growing by 1.4 to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Russia and other non-members have agreed to reduce output by 1.8 million bpd from Jan. 1, 2017 until March next year to get rid of excess supply.
Oil output by OPEC rose last month by 90,000 bpd to a 2017 high, led by Libya, one of the exempt producers.

 

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Gold hits 7-week highs as markets start to lose faith in fed rate hike


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices bounced off lows on Tuesday, shrugging off an uptick in the greenback after a raft of economic data pointed to moderate economic growth and inflation, adding to expectations the Federal Reserve may abandon its plan to raise rates again this year.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange added $5.76, or 0.46%, to $1,272.410 a troy ounce.
Gold prices hit seven-week highs, after a trio of mixed economic reports on inflation; personal spending and manufacturing activity, failed to ease concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, rose 0.1% in June. In the 12 months through June, the so-called core PCE price index increased 1.5% after advancing by the same margin in May.
Fresh on the heels of the inflation data, was a report indicating a slowdown in consumer spending as personal income failed to increase for the first time in seven months, pointing to a moderate pace of consumption growth in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Managements manufacturing gauge slowed to 56.3 in July, from a reading of 57.8 the previous month. That compared with economists expectations for the manufacturing index to fall to 56.4.
Readings above 50 are meant to signal that output in the industry is rising.
The mixed economic reports failed to ease investor doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to raise rates at least once more this year.
“I think the psychology developing over the past several months is that the Fed is expected to be more hawkish and aggressive, but I dont believe thats going to come to fruition,” said Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals, in an interview.
According to investing.coms Fed rate monitor tool, just 30% of traders expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates in December.
Gold futures have made a positive start to the week, adding to its three-week winning streak amid a slump in the dollar and continued political uncertainty in Washington.
U.S. political uncertainty remained front and centre, after President Donald Trump ousted recently hired White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci on Monday.
A weaker dollar makes commodities such as gold that are priced in the greenback cheaper to buyers outside of the United States.
In other precious metals trading, silver futures fell 0.14% to $16.762 while platinum futuresrose by 0.98% to $949.95.
Copper traded at $2.882, down 0.33%, while natural gas, advanced by 0.82% to $2.817.

 

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Crude oil prices ease in Asia after API reports build, EIA data ahead


Indian Business Trade


Crude prices fell in Asia on Wednesday after industry estimates showed US crude supplies gained at the end of last week, though official data is awaited for confirmation.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery fell 0.73% to $48.80 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent eased 0.06% to $51.44 a barrel.
Crude oil inventories rose an unexpected 1.78 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday, with the industry data often seen as an unreliable place-setter for official data later today.
Gasoline was reported as a draw of 4.8 million barrels following a build of 1.9 million barrels the previous week. Distillate registered a draw of 1.22 million barrels after a draw previously.
Analysts estimate the Energy Information Administration will report on Wednesday that crude oil inventories were down 2.9 million barrels in the past week, while distillates fell 225,000 barrels and gasoline stocks dipped 1.050 million barrels. The API and EIA figures often diverge.
Overnight, crude futures settled lower on Tuesday, as the rally in oil prices cooled, following reports that Opec increased output despite the groups pact to curb production.
Investors skepticism over Opecs ability to tackle the glut in supply resurfaced Tuesday after survey data from Reuters showed an uptick in Opec production despite the groups pledge to increase compliance with the deal to cut production.
A survey from Reuters showed output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rose by 90,000 barrels a day in July, to a 2017 high of 33 million barrels.
The bearish survey comes a day after crude prices settled above $50 a barrel, on the back of expectations that some members of the Opec and non-Opec nations will meet on Aug 7-9 in Abu Dhabi to discuss how to increase compliance.
In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.
Meanwhile in the U.S., fresh inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday as well as a further report from EIA late Wednesday is expected to show continued tightening in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Analysts forecast crude inventories fell by 2.9m barrels in the week ended July 28, the fifth-straight week of declines.

 

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Gold dips in Asia as focus swings back to Trump policies


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices dipped in Asia on Wednesday with the near-term focus on the dollar as the Trump administrations struggles to find its economic and foreign policy footings.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.51% to $1,266.10 troy ounce.
According to investing.coms Fed rate monitor tool, just 30% of traders expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates in December.
Gold futures have made a positive start to the week, adding to its three-week winning streak amid a slump in the dollar and continued political uncertainty in Washington.
U.S. political uncertainty remained front and center, after President Donald Trump ousted recently hired White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci on Monday.
A weaker dollar makes commodities such as gold that are priced in the greenback cheaper to buyers outside of the United States.
Overnight, gold prices bounced off lows on Tuesday, shrugging off an uptick in the greenback after a raft of economic data pointed to moderate economic growth and inflation, adding to expectations the Federal Reserve may abandon its plan to raise rates again this year.
Gold prices hit seven-week highs, after a trio of mixed economic reports on inflation; personal spending and manufacturing activity, failed to ease concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, rose 0.1% in June. In the 12 months through June, the so-called core PCE price index increased 1.5% after advancing by the same margin in May.
Fresh on the heels of the inflation data, was a report indicating a slowdown in consumer spending as personal income failed to increase for the first time in seven months, pointing to a moderate pace of consumption growth in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Managements manufacturing gauge slowed to 56.3 in July, from a reading of 57.8 the previous month. That compared with economists expectations for the manufacturing index to fall to 56.4.
Readings above 50 are meant to signal that output in the industry is rising.
The mixed economic reports failed to ease investor doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to raise rates at least once more this year.
“I think the psychology developing over the past several months is that the Fed is expected to be more hawkish and aggressive, but I dont believe thats going to come to fruition,” said Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals, in an interview.

 

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Oil down 1 percent on surprise rise in U.S. inventories, high OPEC output


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices fell 1 percent on Wednesday, with rising U.S. fuel inventories pulling U.S. crude back below $50 per barrel, while ongoing high supplies from producer club OPEC weighed on international prices.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $48.68 per barrel at 0303 GMT, down 48 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement. That came after the contract opened above $50 for the first time since May 25 on Tuesday.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 47 cents - almost 1 percent - at $51.31 per barrel.
"The coup de grace came from the American Petroleum Institutes (API) Crude Inventory release late in the New York session...bringing an end to the last few weeks trend of falling supplies in storage," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
"Traders stampeded for the door to lock in profits from the last eight days bull-run," he added.
The API said that U.S. crude stocks rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week ending July 28 to 488.8 million, hitting hopes that recent inventory draws were a sign of a tightening U.S. market.
Official storage figures are due to be published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) late on Wednesday.
Outside the United States, prices were pegged back by a survey this week that showed production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hit a 2017 high of 33 million barrels per day (bpd) - despite its pledge to restrict output together with other OPEC producers, including Russia, by 1.8 million bpd between January this year and March 2018.
Because of rising output, energy consultancy Douglas Westwood said oversupply would return soon, and last for years.
"Oversupply will actually return in 2018. This is due to the start-up of fields sanctioned prior to the downturn," said Steve Robertson, head of research for the firms Global Oilfield Services. "This is in addition to the production gains through increased investment and activity in the U.S. unconventional (shale) space."
Douglas Westwood said it expected oversupply to last until 2021.
Robertson said that "external factors such as major interruptions to supply from political or weather-related events can shift the balance quickly".
But he warned that "any expectations of recovery based upon optimism or wishful thinking along it always bounces back should be tempered by a reality check, and the very real possibility that the current recovery could take much longer to materialize".

 

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Oil near two-month high as producers set to meet again


Indian Business Trade


Oil rose on Monday, putting July on track to become the strongest month this year, as news of a producers technical meeting next week added to bullish sentiment driven by the threat of U.S. sanctions against OPEC member Venezuela.
Oil traders also eyed the bullish impact from a production outage following a fire at Europes largest refinery and further signs that the U.S. market is tightening after heavy inventory falls and slower new oil rig additions last week.
"The sentiment in the oil market became very bullish after OPEC said it will meet with partners in Abu Dhabi next week to discuss compliance," said Frank Schallenberger, head of commodity research at LBBW.
Some OPEC and non-OPEC members will meet on Aug. 7-8 in Abu Dhabi to assess how the group can increase compliance with production cuts that began on Jan. 1.
Brent crude futures traded at $52.56 a barrel at 0827 GMT, up 4 cents on Fridays close. Prices hit $52.92 a barrel, their highest since May 25.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures after briefly topping $50 per barrel were at $49.72 a barrel, up 1 cent.
Hedge funds and money managers have raised bullish bets on U.S. crude oil to their highest in three months, data showed on Friday.
The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuelas oil sector in response to Sundays election of a constitutional super-body which Washington has denounced as a "sham" vote.
In Europe, a production outage at Shells 404,000 barrel-per-day Pernis refinery in the Netherlands following a fire sent benchmark European diesel margins, which reflect the profit made from refining crude oil into the road fuel, to their highest since November 2015 at $14.60 per barrel.
U.S. production has hampered efforts to rebalance the market but signs the market is tightening have emerged.
"Strong increases in the price of oil ... (were) fueled in large part by the substantial drawdowns in U.S. inventories over the past several weeks," said William OLoughlin, analyst at Rivkin Securities.
U.S. crude inventories have fallen by 10 percent from their March peaks to 483.4 million barrels.
U.S. output dipped by 0.2 percent to 9.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week to July 21, after rising by more than 10 percent since mid-2016.
Drilling for new U.S. production is also slowing, with just 10 rigs added in July, the fewest since May 2016.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures kick the week off with heavy losses


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures fell sharply on Monday, hitting their lowest level in almost a month amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.851 per million British thermal units by 8:25AM ET (1225GMT), down 9.0 cents, or around 3%. It fell to its lowest since July 5 at $2.834 earlier in the session.
Prices saw a drop of roughly 1% last week.
A weather system with cooling will linger over the East with showers and thunderstorms through August 5, resulting in comfortable temperatures.
A fresh weather system will arrive over the central, southern, and eastern U.S. the following week, resulting in light demand.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.990 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 3.7% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Early market expectations for this weeks storage data due on Thursday is for a build in a range between 17 and 27 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 28.
That compares with a gain of 17 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, a withdrawal of 6 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 44 billion cubic feet.

 

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Gold eases from near 7-week highs despite dollar slump


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices fell below breakeven on Monday, despite a more than fourteen-month slump in the dollar on the back of growing uncertainty whether the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to raise rates at least once more this year.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $1.76, or 0.13%, to $1,266.64 a troy ounce.
Gold prices traded in a narrow five-dollar range between $1,268.40 and $1,270.31, struggling to capitalise on dollar weakness amid a drop in physical demand for the yellow metal.
Gold prices in India last week recorded the biggest discount in seven months as a rebound in prices hurt retail demand while imports of the precious metal are expected to come under pressure amid a seasonal slowdown.
According to Thomson Reuters GFMS “With imports in the first half already near the whole of 2016 volumes, it is less likely in our view that imports will cross 250 tonnes in the second half.”
Meanwhile, political uncertainty from Washington continued to limited downside in gold prices, as the Trump administration struggles to deliver on its economic agenda which includes tax-reform, after the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to repeal Obamacare.
Market participants, however, will turn attention to monetary policy, as central bank policy decisions from Australia and the United Kingdom are slated for this week while U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due Friday rounds off the trading week.
Other precious metals capitalized on a slump in the dollar, as silver futures rose 0.52% to $16.781 while platinum futures rose by 0.48% to $941.10.
Copper traded at $2.894, up 0.66%, while natural gas, declined by 5.07% to $2.792.

 

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Crude settles higher, notches biggest monthly gain of the year


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Monday, as investors cheered news of a producers meeting slated for next week and possible sanctions from the U.S against Opec-member Venezuela.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery rose 46 cents to trade at $50.17 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 10 cents to trade at $52.62 a barrel.
Crude futures rose above $50 a barrel for the first in two months, after U.S. officials said sanctions on Venezuelas oil sector could be announced as early as Monday, in response to an election held on Sunday, which Washington has called a “sham”.
Also supporting upbeat sentiment on oil prices, were reports from several news agencies suggesting that some members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-Opec nations will meet on Aug 7-9 in Abu Dhabi to discuss how to increase compliance with the deal to cut production by 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) to March 2018.
The reports come a week after ministers from major crude-producing nations gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia, and vowed to increase compliance while Saudi Arabia said it would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million bpd.
Opecs compliance rate with deal to curb production, fell to 78% in June, the IEA said in its report earlier this month.
The rally in crude futures comes after weeks of bearish sentiment pressured prices to slump under $42 a barrel amid fears that growing U.S. crude stockpiles would undermine Opec and its allies efforts to stem the glut in the supply.
U.S. crude supplies, however, have fallen four weeks in row while production activity has also eased, with just 10 rig added in July, the fewest since May 2016.

 

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U.S. oil prices open above $50 for first time since May, but headwinds persist


Indian Business Trade


U.S. oil opened above $50 per barrel for the first time since late May on Monday, supported by strong fuel demand, but ongoing high supplies from producer club OPEC kept prices from rising further.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $50.25 per barrel at 0127 GMT, up 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. That marked the first time U.S. crude had opened above $50 per barrel since May 25.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $52.78 per barrel.
"U.S. gasoline demand climbed to last years highs and U.S. inventories, notably on the East Coast, declined," said French bank BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP).
Overall U.S. commercial crude oil stocks have fallen by 10 percent from their late-March peaks to 483.4 million barrels, and seasonally adjusted they are now, for the first time this year, below 2016 levels.
Despite this, there were also signs that global oil markets remained amply supplied, capping further price rises.
"Crude oil prices face multiple headwinds as OPEC struggles (to cut excess supply)," BNP said.
Oil output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has risen this month by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 2017-high of 33 million bpd, a Reuters survey found, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal.
This comes despite a pledge by OPEC and other producers, including Russia, to cut output by 1.8 million bpd between January this year and March 2018.

 

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Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: July 31 - August 4


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices settled higher for the fifth session in a row on Friday to log its biggest weekly gain this year as investors cheered signs that rising demand will offset excess supplies in the second half of the year.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract tacked on 67 cents, or around 1.4%, to end at $49.71 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It touched its highest since May 30 at $49.81 earlier in the session.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery rallied $1.03, or 2%, to settle at $52.52 a barrel by close of trade, after touching a two-month peak of $52.70 earlier.
For the week, WTI gained $3.94, or about 8.5%, while Brent rose $4.46, or roughly 9.3%, the largest such jump since early December, as fresh pledges from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria to respectively pull back on exports and output boosted sentiment.
Data showing a fourth consecutive week of declines in U.S. crude inventories and signs of a possible slowdown in U.S. shale production further added to optimism that the oil market was beginning to rebalance.
Weekly figures from energy services company Baker Hughes showed that the number of active rigs drilling for oil edged higher by two to 766 last week, suggesting early signs of moderating domestic production growth.
In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018. So far, the agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.
Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for August climbed 3.1 cents, or about 1.9%, to end at $1.676 on Friday. It closed around 7.2% higher for the week.
August heating oil finished up 3.6 cents, or 2.3%, at $1.639 a gallon, ending roughly 8.2% higher for the week.
Natural gas futures for September delivery sank 2.6 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $2.941 per million British thermal units. It saw a weekly drop of nearly 1%.
In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Tuesday, August 1
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.
Wednesday, August 2
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.
Thursday, August 3
The U.S. government is set to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.
Friday, August 4
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: July 31 - August 4


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices rose to one-and-a-half month highs on Friday as sluggish inflation data tempered expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this year, underpinning demand for the precious metal.
Gold for August delivery closed up 0.74% at $1,269.34 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was up 1.08%, its third consecutive weekly gain.
The dollar weakened broadly after data showing that wage growth and inflation remained tepid in the three months to June offset another report showing that U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.61% at 93.20, the lowest close since June 22, 2016.
The index has fallen around 2.3% so far this month and is down around 9% for the year to date.
A weaker dollar tends to boost prices for gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency.
The subdued inflation outlook has raised doubts over whether the U.S. central bank will be able to stick to plans for a third interest rate hike this year.
The Fed left rates on hold on Wednesday and said it expected to start shrinking its balance sheet "relatively soon."
The precious metal received an additional boost after North Korea fired a ballistic missile, spurring safe-haven buying.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver rose 1.05% to $16.75 a troy ounce late Friday, while copper was up 0.12% to $2.881 a pound
Platinum rose 1.24% to $937.85 a troy ounce, while palladium was up 0.33% to $879.8 a troy ounce.
In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Fridays U.S. jobs report for fresh indications on the possible direction of Federal Reserve policy through the end of the year.
Central bank meetings in the UK and Australia will also be in focus. Meanwhile, the euro zone is to release preliminary data on inflation and second quarter growth.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, July 31
China is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity.
New Zealand is to produce a report on business confidence.
The euro zone is to publish a preliminary estimate of inflation, while Germany is to report on retail sales.
The UK is to publish data on net lending.
The U.S. is to release data on pending homes sales and business activity in the Chicago area.
Tuesday, August 1
China is to publish its Caixin manufacturing PMI.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.
The euro zone is to release preliminary data on second quarter economic growth.
The UK is to release data on manufacturing activity.
The U.S. is to release data on personal spending and the Institute for Supply Management is to publish its manufacturing index.
Wednesday, August 2
New Zealand is to release its quarterly jobs report.
Australia is to report on building approvals.
The UK is to release data on construction activity.
The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payrolls report.
Thursday, August 3
Australia is to report on the trade balance.
The UK is to release data on service sector activity.
The Bank of England is to announce its latest interest rate decision and publish its meeting minutes along with its quarterly inflation report. BoE Governor Mark Carney, along with other officials, is to hold a press conference to discuss the inflation report.
The U.S. is to release data on jobless claims, factory orders and the ISM is to publish its non-manufacturing index.
Friday, August 4
The RBA is to publish its latest monetary policy statement, while Australia is to release data on retail sales.
Both Canada and the U.S. are to round up the week with data on trade and both countries are also set to release their monthly employment reports.

 

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Gold edges higher in Asia ahead of PMI reading for demand trends


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices rose in Asia as investors eyed demand prospects in China in line with figures from official manufacturing ad PMI estimates for July.
Gold for August delivery rose 0.10% to $1,269.61 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For last week, the precious metal was up 1.08%, its third consecutive weekly gain.
Ahead the CFLP manufacturing PMI is expected to show a level of 51.6, a dip from 51.7 in June with a reading of 54.9 for the services PMI in the earlier month. The private Caixinmanufacturing reading is due on Tuesday with a reading of 50.4 seen. Any level above 50 denotes expansion.
Last week, gold prices rose to one-and-a-half month highs on Friday as sluggish inflation data tempered expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this year, underpinning demand for the precious metal.
The dollar weakened broadly after data showing that wage growth and inflation remained tepid in the three months to June offset another report showing that U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter.
The subdued inflation outlook has raised doubts over whether the U.S. central bank will be able to stick to plans for a third interest rate hike this year.
The Fed left rates on hold on Wednesday and said it expected to start shrinking its balance sheet "relatively soon."
The precious metal received an additional boost after North Korea fired a ballistic missile, spurring safe-haven buying.
Central bank meetings in the UK and Australia will also be in focus. Meanwhile, the euro zone is to release preliminary data on inflation and second quarter growth.

 

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Oil hits over two-month high on tighter U.S. market, Venezuela sanctions risk


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices hit over two-month highs on Monday, lifted by a tightening U.S. crude market and the threat of sanctions against OPEC-member Venezuela.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading up 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $52.76 per barrel at 0202 GMT, the highest since May 25.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.86 per barrel.
The gains put both crude benchmarks on track for sixth consecutive session of gains.
Oil prices have risen around 10 percent since the last meeting of leading members by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers, including Russia, when the group discussed potential measures to further tighten oil markets.
"WTI threatened to break through $50 per barrel, while Brent pushed above $52 per barrel as the fundamentals continue to suggest a more balanced crude oil market," ANZ bank said on Monday.
"The front of end of the curve has moved into backwardation, a sign the spot physical market is tightening."
Backwardation is a market condition in which prices for immediate delivery of a product are higher than those later on.
Brent prices for delivery in September are currently around 35 cents above those for October.
Traders said that the recent price rises were largely due to a tightening U.S. oil market.
"Strong increases in the price of oil... (were) fueled in large part by the substantial draw-downs in U.S. inventories over the past several weeks," said William OLoughlin, an investment analyst at Australias Rivkin Securities.
"A continuation of this trend could indicate the oil market is rebalancing thanks to the production cuts by OPEC and Russia," he added.
After rising by more than 10 percent since mid-2016, U.S. oil production dipped by 0.2 percent to 9.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week to July 21.
U.S. crude oil inventories have fallen by almost 10 percent from their March peaks to 483.4 million barrels.
Drilling for new U.S. production is also slowing down, with just 10 rigs added in July, the fewest for any month since May 2016.
Markets were also concerned by reports that the United States is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuelas vital oil sector in response to Sundays election of a constitutional super-body that Washington has denounced as a "sham" vote.

 

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Gold falls in Asia with China PMIs see a tad light on demand side


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday as investors eyed demand prospects in China as a tad weaker than expected after official manufacturing and services PMI estimates for July.
Gold for August delivery eased 0.06% to $1,267.69 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For last week, the precious metal was up 1.08%, its third consecutive weekly gain.
The CFLP manufacturing PMI reached 51.4, a tad below expected, but still in expansion, while a 54.5 for the services PMI also was een as steady. The private Caixin manufacturing reading is due on Tuesday with a reading of 50.4 seen. Any level above 50 denotes expansion.
The services sector accounted for over half of China\s economy last year as rising wages give Chinese consumers the opportunity to shop, travel and eat out more. China\s leaders are counting on growth in services and consumption to rebalance their economic growth
Earlier, Japan reported industrial production data for June rose 1.6%, compared to an expected provisional 1.7% gain.
Later, Australia reported private sector credit rose 0.6%, compared with a gain of 0.4% seen in June.

 

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Crude holds gains in Asia with China PMI figures offering some support


Indian Business Trade


Crude prices inched higher in Asia on Monday after China manufacturing and services PMI figures supported demand prospects.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract rose 0.36% to $49.89 a barrel, while on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery gained 0.36% to $52.41 a barrel.
The CFLP manufacturing PMI reached 51.4, a tad below expected, but still in expansion, while a 54.5 for the services PMI also was seen as steady. The private Caixinmanufacturing reading is due on Tuesday with a reading of 50.4 seen. Any level above 50 denotes expansion.
The services sector accounted for over half of Chinas economy last year as rising wages give Chinese consumers the opportunity to shop, travel and eat out more. Chinas leaders are counting on growth in services and consumption to rebalance their economic growth
Earlier, Japan reported industrial production datafor June rose 1.6%, compared to an expected provisional 1.7% gain.
Later, Australia reported private sector credit gained 0.6%, compared with a gain of 0.4% seen in June.
Last week, oil prices settled higher for the fifth session in a row on Friday to log its biggest weekly gain this year as investors cheered signs that rising demand will offset excess supplies in the second half of the year.
Fresh pledges from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria to respectively pull back on exports and output boosted sentiment. Data showing a fourth consecutive week of declines in U.S. crude inventories and signs of a possible slowdown in U.S. shale production further added to optimism that the oil market was beginning to rebalance.
Weekly figures from energy services company Baker Hughes showed that the number of active rigs drilling for oil edged higher by two to 766 last week, suggesting early signs of moderating domestic production growth.
In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018. So far, the agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.
U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

 

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Gold at highest level since June as markets bet on patient Fed


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices rose to the highest level since mid-June in North American trade on Thursday, as a softening in the Federal Reserves confidence on inflation added to expectations that policy tightening would be glacial at best.
Comex gold futures were at $1,263.99 a troy ounce by 9:00AM ET (1300GMT), up $14.30, or about 1.2%. It touched its highest since June 15 at $1,265.14 earlier in the session.
Gold prices fell for a third-straight session on Wednesday, before turning higher in post-settlement trade as the U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the Feds dovish policy statement.
While the Fed said it expected to start shrinking its massive holdings of bonds "relatively soon", the central bank also noted weakness in U.S. inflation more explicitly than before.
The recognition of soft inflation added to expectations that the Feds plan to raise interest rates a third time this year might be delayed.
According to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool, conviction for another rate hike before the end of the year has faded, with less than 40% of market players expecting another move by December.
The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Data released earlier did little to sway the Feds view on monetary policy.
New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in June, but a fifth straight monthly increase in shipments suggested that business spending on equipment supported economic growth in the second quarter.
A separate report showed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a three-month low last week, but remained below a level consistent with a tightening labor market.
Meanwhile, focus will continue to be on headlines coming out of Washington, where the Senate is expected to continue working to repeal Obamacare.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures rallied 30.9 cents, or roughly 1.9%, to $16.76 a troy ounce. It climbed to $16.79 earlier, a level not seen since June 29.
Meanwhile, copper futures held near their highest level in more than two years amid talk China may ban imports of some scrap metal from the end of 2018.
That could lead to higher refined copper imports into the worlds largest consumer of the metal.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures spike higher after weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures rose to the highest levels of the session in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that domestic supplies in storage rose less than anticipated last week.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.963 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (1435MT), up 5.2 cents, or around 1.8%. Futures were at around $2.937 prior to the release of the supply data.
Prices ended lower for the fifth time in six sessions on Wednesday amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 17 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 21, below forecasts for a build of 24 billion.
That compared with a gain of 28 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 17 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 47 billion cubic feet.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.990 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 3.7% above the five-year average for this time of year.

 

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Gold holds steady despite dollar rebound


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices traded higher on Thursday, shrugging off a rebound in the dollar, as investors continue to pile into the precious metal amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates low for longer than initially anticipated.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $9.70, or 0.77%, to $1,258.98.82 a troy ounce.
Despite an uptick in the dollar, gold futures continued to advance, adding to gains from the prior session, as investors expected the Federal Reserve to keep rates low for a prolonged period in the wake of central banks unchanged rate decision.
As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates Wednesday, keeping its benchmark rate in a target range of 1%-1.25% while expressing concerns about the slowdown in inflation, pushing the dollar to fourteen-month lows.
The dollar recovered, however, after economic reports showed durable goods orders for June topped expectations, offsetting a larger-than-expected rise in initial jobless claims.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims rose by more than expected to 244,000 in the week ended July 23, missing forecasts of a 7,000 decline.
In a separate report, core durable goods orders rose by 6.5% in June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, reflecting a sharp jump in orders for transportation equipment.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A rise in the dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, and thus, reduces demand.
Other precious metals also shrugged off a rise in the dollar, as silver futures added 0.69% to $16.571 while platinum futures rose by 0.66% to $928.95.
Copper traded at $2.868, down 0.14%, while natural gas, advanced 1.99% to $2.971.

 

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Gold edged higher in Asia with Japan CPI shrugged off


Indian Business Trade


Gold held an edge in Asia on Friday with Japan prices data showing little impact and the market seen steady until more clarity arrives on U.S. economic policies.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.07% to $1,260.84 a troy ounce. Copper futures on the Comex traded at $2.868 a pound.
In Japan, household spending jumped 2.3 in June month-on-month, compared to a 0.6% rise seen, seen while it rose 1.5% at an annual pace compared to a gain of 0.6% expected. The unemployment rate dipped to 2.8% from 3.1% in May.
Overnight, gold prices traded higher on Thursday, shrugging off a rebound in the dollar, as investors continue to pile into the precious metal amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates low for longer than initially anticipated.
Despite an uptick in the dollar, gold futures continued to advance, adding to gains from the prior session, as investors expected the Federal Reserve to keep rates low for a prolonged period in the wake of central banks unchanged rate decision.
As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates Wednesday, keeping its benchmark rate in a target range of 1%-1.25% while expressing concerns about the slowdown in inflation, pushing the dollar to fourteen-month lows.
The dollar recovered, however, after economic reports showed durable goods orders for June topped expectations, offsetting a larger-than-expected rise in initial jobless claims.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims rose by more than expected to 244,000 in the week ended July 23, missing forecasts of a 7,000 decline.
In a separate report, core durable goods orders rose by 6.5% in June, the Commerce Department said Thursday, reflecting a sharp jump in orders for transportation equipment.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A rise in the dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, and thus, reduces demand.

 

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Oil prices dip but stay near eight-week highs on U.S. stock declines


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices edged lower on Friday but were still near 8-week highs, buoyed by a decline in U.S. inventories and OPECs ongoing efforts to curb production.
Brent crude futures were down 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $51.43 per barrel at 0251 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.99 per barrel.
Both benchmarks rose to their highest levels since May 31 in the previous session, buoyed by a rally in U.S. gasoline futures after earlier support from OPECs latest efforts to cut exports and a sharp fall in U.S. crude inventories.
"Crude oil prices rose further as the focus remained on fundamentals. This weeks better-than-expected inventory drawdown in the United States continued to support prices," ANZ bank said in a note.
U.S. crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week to July 21 due to strong refining activity and an increase in exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"Following seasonal norms we expect further declines in crude inventories over August and September," BMI Research said.
Brimming U.S. crude supplies have been a challenge to production cuts to prop up prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
U.S. crude oil production has been on the rise since mid-2016, but it dropped to 9.41 barrels per day (bpd) in the week to July 21, from 9.43 million bpd the week before. The decline was mainly due to a fall in Alaskan output, ANZ bank said.
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, said the market would watch U.S. rig count data for further signs of slowing drilling activity, as well as potential U.S. sanctions on Venezuelas oil sector.
"Both developments should be bullish for oil," he said.
Oil prices have been supported by a further agreement between OPEC and some non-OPEC members to limit Nigerian oil output and encourage several members to comply with their pledged production cuts.
Since the worlds major oil producers held a meeting in St Petersburg on Monday, crude prices have risen some 6 percent on expectations of deepening cuts.
Saudi Arabia, OPECs de facto leader, said it planned to cap crude exports to 6.6 million bpd in August, about 1 million bpd below the level last year.

 

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Gold turns negative ahead of Fed rate decision


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices traded slightly below breakeven on Wednesday, as the dollar edged higher ahead of the Federal Reserves rate decision later during the session but weaker-than-expected housing data capped losses.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $2.06, or 0.59%, to $1,249.82 a troy ounce.
Gold futures struggled for direction ahead of the Fed interest rate decision due later during the session, as investors awaited fresh clues on monetary policy.
A tick lower in treasury yields, however, suggested that market participants expect a dovish central bank policy statement concerning future rate hikes, after a string of recent inflation data undershot expectations.
The Fed is expected to stand pat on its balance sheet unwinding plan, as analysts continued to expect the central bank will move to normalize its balance sheet in September.
“The Fed has worked too hard to lay the groundwork for a smooth launch to take a chance by surprising the market about the timing,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP (LON:NXGN).
In a falling interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold rises as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal decreases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.
Ahead of the Feds decision on interest rates, investors mulled over downbeat housing data pointing to continued supply constraints in homes available for sale.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales rose 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units last month. Mays sales pace was revised down to 605,000 units from the previously reported 610,000 units.
In other precious metals, silver futures eased 0.54% to $16.456 a troy ounce while platinum futures dipped 0.79% to $924.45.
Copper traded at $2.871, up 0.86%, while natural gas, fell by 1.19% to $2.896.

 

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Crude futures settle higher after big draw in US inventories


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered data showing supplies of U.S. crude fell by more-than-expected for a fourth-straight week, lifting expectations that supplies will tighten during the second-half of the year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose by 1.8% to settle at $48.75 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 1.27% to trade at $50.54 a barrel.
Crude prices rose for a third-straight day, after a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude and gasoline stockpiles fell by more than expected last week, pointing to an uptick in demand for crude and refinery activity.
Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 7.2m barrels in the week ended July 14, confounding expectations of a draw of about only 2.6m barrels. It was fourth-straight week of falling crude inventories.
Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, fell by roughly 1m barrels against expectations of a draw of 614,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.9m barrels, compared to expectations of a decline of 453,000 barrels.
The bigger-than-expected drop crude and gasoline stockpiles comes after investor sentiment on oil turned positive, following Saudi Arabias pledge to lower crude exports and supply disruptions in Nigeria.
At a gathering of ministers from major crude-producing nations in St. Petersburg, Russia on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
Nigerian output slipped this week as leaks forced Shell to shut a pipeline exporting 180,000 bpd of oil. Nigeria, which has been exempted from OPEC-led production cuts, also agreed to cap or cut output when it stabilized at 1.8 million bpd.

 

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Crude down in Asia after massive EIA draw fails to offer more support


Indian Business Trade


Crude eased in Asia on Thursday with U.S. inventory data failing so far to support a sustained rally on the back of OPEC moves to stick with output cuts through March 2018.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell 0.16% to $48.67 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental
Exchange, Brent was last quoted at $50.88 a barrel.
Crude oil inventories dropped a sharp 7.208 million barrels at the end of last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, blowing past estimates, but still less than the 10 million-plus barrels estimate by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Gasoline inventories however rose by 1.015 million barrels, EIA said, as distillates dropped by 1.825 million barrels.
Crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered data showing supplies of U.S. crude fell by more-than-expected for a fourth-straight week, lifting expectations that supplies will tighten during the second-half of the year.
The bigger-than-expected drop crude and gasoline stockpiles comes after investor sentiment on oil turned positive, following Saudi Arabias pledge to lower crude exports and supply disruptions in Nigeria.
At a gathering of ministers from major crude-producing nations in St. Petersburg, Russia on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.

Nigerian output slipped this week as leaks forced Shell (LON:RDSa) to shut a pipeline exporting 180,000 bpd of oil. Nigeria, which has been exempted from OPEC-led production cuts, also agreed to cap or cut output when it stabilized at 1.8 million bpd.

 

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Gold gains in Asia as Fed holds steady as expected, notes prices data


Indian Business Trade


Gold posted gain in Asia on Friday as the Fed held as expected and signaled that future interest rate hikes depend on key economic data from inflation and wage growth.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 1.08% to $1,262.94 a troy ounce. Copper traded at $2.870 a pound, 0.03%.
Overnight, gold prices traded slightly below break-even on Wednesday, as the dollar edged higher ahead of the Federal Reserves rate decision later during the session but weaker-than-expected housing data capped losses.
The Federal Reserve voted Wednesday not to raise its key interest rate, and said it expected to begin normalising its $4.5 trillion balance sheet "relatively soon."
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales rose 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units last month.
Mays sales pace was revised down to 605,000 units from the previously reported 610,000 units.
Monetary policy, however, remained front and center
In a move largely expected in financial markets, the policymaking Federal
Open Market Committee (FOMC) agreed to keep its benchmark rate target at 1%-1.25%.
The accompanying statement revealed concerns among policymakers about the recent slowdown in inflation, which remained well below the central banks target of 2%.
Inflation data has undershot market expectations for four-straight months, showing little sign of improvement but policymakers remained optimistic that the pace of inflation will stabilise over longer-term.
"Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance," the Federal Reserve July policy statement noted.

 

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Oil prices hover near eight-week highs on lower U.S stocks


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices were sitting just below 8-week highs on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that a steeper-than-expected decline in U.S. crude oil inventories will reduce global oversupply.
Brent crude futures were down 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $50.91 a barrel at 0340 GMT, after rising about 1.5 percent in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.69 a barrel.
U.S. crude stocks fell sharply last week as refineries increased output and imports declined, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
The 7.2 million barrel decline in crude inventories in the week ending July 21 was well above the 2.6 million barrel forecast.
"This marks the fourth consecutive week that total hydrocarbon inventories have fallen during a time of year when they normally increase," said PIRA Energy oil analyst Jenna Delaney.
U.S. shale producers including Hess Corp (NYSE:HES), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) and Whiting Petroleum this week announced plans to cut spending this year as a result of low oil prices.
Optimism that the long-oversupplied market is moving towards balance was also supported by news earlier in the week that Saudi Arabia plans to limit its crude exports to 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, about 1 million bpd below its export levels a year earlier.
Fellow members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Kuwait and UAE have also promised export cuts.
"The narrowing of the global glut is still on track," OCBC said.
But analysts say oil prices may have little room to head higher as recent gains could encourage more output, particularly from U.S. shale producers with low costs.
"The market will likely be paying even more attention to drilling activity in the U.S. in the coming weeks, particularly after suggestions from certain industry players that the rig count in the U.S. is slowing," ING said in a research note on Wednesday.

 

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Gold slips from 1-month high as Fed meets


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices slipped from their highest level in around a month in North American trade on Tuesday, as market players looked ahead to the Federal Reserves policy meeting for any new insight on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and clues on how the central bank plans to pare back its balance sheet.
Comex gold futures were at $1,252.99 a troy ounce by 8:20AM ET (1220GMT), down $1.25, or about 0.1%. It touched its highest since June 26 at $1,259.00 in the prior session.
Gold prices finished a few cents lower on Monday, ending a six-session win streak.
The Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting later in the day, at which it is not expected to take any action on interest rates.
Market players will pay close attention to details of when and how the U.S. central bank will start reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, while looking for clues on the timing of the next rise in borrowing costs.
According to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool, conviction for another rate hike before the end of the year has faded, with just 35% of market players expecting another move by December, as the subdued inflation outlook raised doubts over whether policymakers will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.
The U.S. dollar sank to a fresh 13-month low against a basket of the other major currencies, with traders skeptical the outcome of the Feds meeting would do much to alter the greenbacks recent weak trend.
Focus will also be on headlines coming out of Washington, where the Senate is expected to continue working to repeal Obamacare. The investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump campaigns ties to Russia will continue to get attention.
Gold has been well-supported in recent sessions as ongoing political turmoil in the White House and weakness in the U.S. dollar spurred haven demand for the precious metal.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures dipped 8.2 cents, or 0.5%, to $16.36 a troy ounce, after hitting a three-week high of $16.57 a day earlier.

 

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Oil continues march higher on OPEC pledges; API data ahead


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices continued their march higher in North American trade on Tuesday, extending gains into a second session after OPEC producers pledged additional support measures to help speed the rebalancing of global supply and demand.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract was at $47.17 a barrel by 8:35AM ET (1235GMT), up 85 cents, or around 1.8%.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for September delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London jumped 87 cents to $49.47 a barrel.
Oil prices finished higher on Monday as fresh pledges from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria to respectively pull back on exports and output boosted sentiment.
At an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting on Monday, Saudi Arabia announced it would cut August exports to 6.6 million barrels a day, which would be a million less than a year earlier.
In addition, Nigeria, which has been exempt from this year’s OPEC-led production-cut deal, pledged to cap output once it reaches a level of 1.8 million barrels a day. The cartel’s latest data put the country’s output at around 1.7 million.
In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers, such as Russia, extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018.
So far, it has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale production.
Investors now looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (2030GMT) later on Tuesday. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 3.0 million barrels.
Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for August gained 1.3 cents, or about 0.8%, to $1.570 a gallon, while August heating oil added 2.1 cents to $1.538 a gallon.
Natural gas futures for September delivery ticked up 3.8 cents to $2.920 per million British thermal units.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures rise for first time in five sessions


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures were higher on Tuesday, rising for the first time in five sessions as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.925 per million British thermal units by 10:10AM ET (1410GMT), up 4.3 cents, or around 1.5%. It fell to its lowest since July 10 at $2.866 in the prior session.
Prices ended lower for the fourth day in a row on Monday amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.973 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 4.6% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Early market expectations for this weeks storage data due on Thursday is for a build in a range between 22 and 32 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 21.
That compares with a gain of 28 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 17 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 47 billion cubic feet.

 

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Gold trickles lower; Fed meeting eyed


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices traded slightly below breakeven on Tuesday, after a rise in treasury yields, dented investor appetite for the precious metal ahead of the Federal Reserve policy decision due Wednesday.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $2.29, or 0.18%, to $1,252.14 a troy ounce.
Although analysts widely expect the Federal Reserve to keep rates unchanged on Wednesday, treasury yields ticked higher, lowering demand for non-interest bearing gold, suggesting that market participants expect the central bank to keep to its recent stance monetary policy.
Following its decision to raise rates in June for the second time this year, the Fed said that the slowdown in inflation was transitory and signalled its intention to raise rates at least once more this year.
In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.
Ahead of the Feds decision on interest rates, investors mulled over better-than-expected consumer confidence data, easing fears about a slowdown in the US economy.
The Consumer Confidence Index rose in July to 121.1 to a 16-year high, despite expectations for a drop, The Conference Board announced Tuesday.
Economists had forecast the major indicator of consumer optimism to decline to 116.5 in July.
In other precious metals, silver futures tacked on 0.54% to $16.531 a troy ounce while platinum futures added 0.04% to $932.65.
Copper traded at $2.842, up 3.86%, while natural gas, rose by 1.39% to $2.992.

 

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Oil rallies 3 percent as U.S. shale shows signs of slowdown


Indian Business Trade


Oil rose 3.3 percent on Tuesday, the highest close in more than a month, a day after U.S. oil producer Anadarko said it would cut capital spending plans and Saudi Arabia vowed to reduce crude exports to help curb global oversupply.
Brent crude futures rose $1.60 or 3.3 percent to settle at $50.20 a barrel, the first time the benchmark closed above $50 since June 6. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose $1.55 or 3.3 percent to settle at $47.89 a barrel, the benchmarks highest close since early June.
The lower oil prices in June and July may have been affecting U.S. shale production, said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank.
"Companies are not drilling as fast they had been in the beginning of 2017," he said, "Theyre not producing as much because its much less profitable with prices in the low $40s."
On Monday, Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:APC) posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and said it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million because of depressed oil prices, the first major U.S. oil producer to do so.
Earlier, Halliburtons executive chairman said growth in North Americas rig count was "showing signs of plateauing".
"In the U.S. investors have been waiting to see where that top is in oil production," Watkins said, "Weve hit a tension point."
At a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers on Monday in St Petersburg, Russia, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude exports to 6.6 million bpd in August, down almost 1 million bpd from a year earlier.
Nigeria agreed to join the deal by capping or cutting its output from 1.8 million bpd once it stabilizes at that level.
OPEC said stocks held by industrial nations had fallen by 90 million barrels in the first six months of the year but were still 250 million barrels above the five-year average, which is the target level for OPEC and non-OPEC members.
Market players will watch U.S. crude inventory data due Tuesday afternoon from the American Petroleum Institute and Wednesday morning from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Analysts estimated, on average, that crude stocks fell 3 million barrels in the latest week.
"The general consensus around the campfire is that youre going to get sizeable draws in crude and gasoline," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Americas.
However, higher oil prices could be a "double edged sword" Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) wrote in a note on Tuesday.
"U.S. shale oil companies... would immediately take advantage of the higher price for hedging purposes and would step up their production again in the medium term."

 

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Crude holds gians in Asia on upet views on output cuts, inventories


Indian Business Trade


Crude held gains in to Asia on Wednesday with markets getting a burst of upbeat news on global supply cuts and inventories.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery were quoted at $48.85, up 1.17%, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was cited at $50.77 a barrel.
U.S. oil stocks dropped a sharp 10.23 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute estimated on Tuesday, with the figure far exceeding an expected 3.0 million barrels decline.
Gasoline supplies rose 1.9 million barrels following a large draw of 5.45 million barrels the previous week and compared with expectations of a draw. Distillate registered a draw of 0.11 million barrels after the draw of 2.9 million barrels previously.
Stocks at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, registered a substantial draw of 2.57 million barrels the 15th weekly draw out of the last 16 weeks. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration is due to release official data.
Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Tuesday, as investors continued to cheer Saudi Arabias pledge to lower crude exports and Opecs commitment to boost compliance with output cuts to curb excess supplies.
At a gathering of ministers from major crude-producing nations in St. Petersburg, Russia on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
The Saudi energy minster added that the production-cut agreement could be extended beyond March if necessary but any further extension would rely on non-compliant nations adhering to the agreement.
Opecs compliance rate – with the deal to curb production –fell to 78% June, the IEA said in its report earlier this month.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said an additional 200,000 bpd of oil could be removed from the market if there is 100% compliance with the OPEC-led deal.
Despite the somewhat positive outcome of the meeting, Opec has its work cut out to curb excess supplies and lower crude stockpiles to the five-year average, which is the target level for Opec and non-Opec members.
Opec said that stocks held by industrial nations had fallen by 90 million barrels in the first six months of the year but were still 250 million barrels above the five-year average.

 

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Gold prices down in Asia on cautious trade as Fed views awaited


Indian Business Trade


Gold futures dipped in Asia on Wednesday with sentiment on edge ahead of the latest review of interest rates by the Fed.
Comex gold futures fell 0.36% to $1,247.64 a troy ounce.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.11% to 93.92.
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) got its two-day policy meeting underway on Tuesday amid expectations the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged.
Investors, however, will parse the policy statement on Wednesday for fresh insight into the central banks thinking on monetary tightening.
Following its decision to raise rates in June for the second time this year, the Fed said that the slowdown in inflation was transitory and signaled its intention to raise rates at least once more this year.
Overnight, gold prices slipped from their highest level in around a month in North American trade on Tuesday, as market players looked ahead to the Federal Reserves policy meeting for any new insight on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and clues on how the central bank plans to pare back its balance sheet.
Gold prices finished a few cents lower on Monday, ending a six-session win streak.
The U.S. dollar sank to a fresh 13-month low against a basket of the other major currencies, with traders skeptical the outcome of the Feds meeting would do much to alter the greenbacks recent weak trend.
Focus will also be on headlines coming out of Washington, where the Senate is expected to continue working to repeal Obamacare. The investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump campaigns ties to Russia will continue to get attention.
Gold has been well-supported in recent sessions as ongoing political turmoil in the White House and weakness in the U.S. dollar spurred haven demand for the precious metal.

 

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Oil adds to rally on optimism over declining stocks


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices firmed on Wednesday to hold near eight-week highs hit in the previous session, on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. stocks and as a rise in shale oil production shows signs of slowing.
Brent crude futures rose 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $50.52 a barrel by 0142 GMT, after rallying more than 3 percent on Tuesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 42 cents, or 0.9 percent to $48.31 a barrel.
U.S. crude stocks fell sharply last week as refineries boosted output, while gasoline inventories increased and distillate stocks decreased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
Crude inventories fell by 10.2 million barrels in the week ending July 21 to 487 million, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.6 million barrels.
The market has been buoyed by Saudi Arabias announcement at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers on Monday that it will limit crude exports to 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, down nearly 1 million bpd from a year earlier.
Nigeria also agreed to join the deal by capping or cutting its output from 1.8 million bpd once it stabilizes at that level.
"This has seen expectations of further drawdown in inventories increase," ANZ said in a research note, referring to the Saudi plans.
There was also optimism over U.S. shale gas output amid industry comments that North Americas rig count may be plateauing.
On Monday, Anadarko Petroleum Corp (NYSE:APC) said it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million because of depressed oil prices, the first major U.S. oil producer to do so, after posting a larger-than-expected quarterly loss.
Oil prices have come under pressure from an oversupply of crude around the globe, brought on in part by rising production from U.S. shale regions.
Indonesias energy minister said on Tuesday that Southeast Asias top crude producer would be open to rejoining the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as long as it is not forced to curb its own crude oil production.

 

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Copper steady as U.S. dollar struggles to recover


Indian Business Trade


Copper held overnight gains in early Asian trading on Tuesday, as the U.S. dollar made only a modest recovery from its lowest point in more than a year. The dollar is near 13-month lows, leaving dollar-denominated commodities such as copper cheaper for holders of other currencies. FUNDAMENTALS
* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,030.50 a tonne by 0100 GMT, after a 0.4 percent gain in the previous session.
* COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2 percent to 47,960 yuan ($7,106.45) a tonne.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Copper miner Antofagasta has signed a wage deal with workers at its Zaldivar deposit in Chile, the company and the union said on Monday, averting threatened labor action. * SUPPLY: Disruptions to copper shipments from Canada and Chile have undermined expectations for rising global copper supplies in the second half of the year, cutting the fees that smelters charge miners to process metal. * Prospects for tighter monetary policy in Europe and other countries could pose a fresh problem for the Federal Reserve when it meets next week to ponder its plan to reduce its $4.2 trillion bond portfolio purchased after the 2008 financial crisis. * Glencore PlC has signed an agreement to invest up to 66 million reais ($21 million) into Brazilian copper producer Paranapanema SA, the Brazilian firm said in a securities filing. * CHINA IMPORTS: Data on Monday showed imports of copper fell 11 percent in June year-on-year to 1,444 tonnes. * INDONESIA STRIKE: An estimated 5,000 workers at the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport-McMoRan Incs Indonesian unit will extend their strike for a fourth month in a dispute over layoffs and employment terms. * NICKEL: ShFe nickel was up more than 1.5 percent, while LME nickel retreated by 0.13 percent.

 

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Gold starts busy week on upbeat note


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices rose to their highest level in around a month in North American trade on Monday, ahead of a busy week of economic events, including a Federal Reserve policy decision and U.S. second quarter growth data.
In recent trading, Comex gold was at $1,258.03 a troy ounce by 8:40AM ET (1240GMT), up $3.20, or around 0.3%. It touched its highest since June 26 at $1,258.60 earlier in the session.
Futures notched their sixth gain in a row on Friday, matching the streak of wins logged through May 17.
Prices of the yellow metal logged a gain of more than 2% last week, as ongoing political turmoil in the White House and weakness in the U.S. dollar spurred haven demand for the precious metal.
In the coming week, global financial markets will focus on the outcome of Wednesdays Federal Reserve policy meeting for any new insight on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and clues on how the central bank plans to pare back its massive balance sheet.
There are also several key U.S. economic reports, with the biggest being second quarter GDP due on Friday.
Besides the GDP report, this weeks calendar also features U.S. data on both existing and new home sales, as well as consumer confidence, durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims.
According to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool, conviction for another rate hike before the end of the year has faded, with just 35% of market players expecting another move by December, as the subdued inflation outlook raised doubts over whether policymakers will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.
The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Focus will also be on headlines coming out of Washington, where the Senate is expected to continue working to repeal Obamacare. The investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump campaigns ties to Russia will continue to get attention.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures climbed 10.3 cents, or roughly 0.6%, to a more than three-week high of $16.56 a troy ounce.

 

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Oil firm as major producers meet


Indian Business Trade


Oil Monday was steady ahead of the outcome of a meeting of major producers on the current market situation.
U.S. crude was up 20 cents, or 0.44%, at $45.97 at 08:00 ET. Brent added 29 cents, or 0.60%, to $48.35.
Nigeria and Libya output is expected to be on the agenda at the Saint Petersburg meeting Monday of OPEC and non-OPEC producers.
Nigeria and Libya, which have been exempt from an output curb accord, have been increasing production.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers have agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels a day through to March.
OPEC secretary general Mohammad Barkindo said Sunday the market has been re-balancing at a slower pace than expected but said the process should pick up in the second half of this year.
Increased U.S. production has weighed on the impact of the output curbs.
Baker Hughes reported Friday a fall of one in the U.S. rig count in the latest week to 764.

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U.S. natural gas futures start the week on back foot


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures fell to a two-week low on Monday, amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel.
U.S. natural gas for September delivery was at $2.921 per million British thermal units by 9:15AM ET (1315GMT), down 4.1 cents, or around 1.4%. It fell to its lowest since July 10 at $2.910 earlier in the session.
Prices ended lower for the second day in a row on Friday. It saw a drop of roughly 0.4% last week.
A weather system with powerful thunderstorms and cooling will sweep across the Ohio Valley and Northeast through July 30 to ease national demand, according to updated weather forecasting models.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.973 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 4.6% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Early market expectations for this weeks storage data due on Thursday is for a build in a range between 22 and 32 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 21.
That compares with a gain of 28 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 17 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 47 billion cubic feet.

 

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Oil gains after Saudi vows to cap crude exports next month


Indian Business Trade


Oil rose on Monday, erasing early losses after leading OPEC producer Saudi Arabia pledged to cut its exports to help speed the rebalancing of global supply and demand.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
Brent September crude futures (LCOc1) were up 44 cents on the day at $48.50 a barrel by 1313 GMT, having risen from a session low of $47.68.
NYMEX crude for September delivery (CLc1) rose 39 cents to $46.16.
"This is the Saudis saying they view the current market conditions as too weak and they are actually delivering," said SEB commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop.
"It shows real additional willingness on their part to do something, which is hugely important, rather than sitting back and letting OPEC motions roll forward. Theyre acting unilaterally and adding pressure."
Falih also said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC partners were committed to extending their existing 1.8 million bpd supply reduction deal beyond next March if necessary but would demand that any non-compliant nations stick to the agreement.
OPEC and some of its competitors met in the Russian city of St Petersburg to review market conditions and examine proposals related to their pact to cut output.
There was no discussion of deeper oil output cuts, but Falih said that Nigeria, which is exempt from the deal, had signaled it was ready to cap its output at about 1.8 million bpd.
Nigeria and Libya have been exempt from the cuts as they recover from years of unrest.
"Al-Falih is striking an optimistic tone today by also saying it is only a matter of time before inventories return to five-year average, the question for the market is how long?," BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) head of commodity strategy Harry Tchilinguirian told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
"With patience already being tested, a slow rebalancing of the market is unlikely to invite strong buying interest and could lead to the early unraveling of potential summer price gains."
OPEC and some non-OPEC states, including Russia, agreed to cut production by 1.8 million bpd from January 2017 to the end of March 2018.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the deal had helped to clear 350 million barrels of additional supply from the market so far this year.

 

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Gold flat as dollar off 13-month lows


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices remained roughly unchanged on Monday, as investors mulled over mostly upbeat economic data ahead of the Federal Reserves policy meeting later this week while continued U.S. political uncertainty limited downside momentum.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $0.45, or 0.04%, to $1,254.47 a troy ounce.
Gold prices pulled back from highs on Monday, amid an uptick in the greenback, following upbeat economic reports easing investor concerns about a slowdown in the U.S. economy.
On Monday, Markits manufacturing and services flash surveys both showed the U.S. beating expectations.
In a separate report, the National Association of Realtors said Monday, sales of second-hand homes slid in June to the lowest level since February as tight supply and high prices weighed on housing activity despite strong demand.
Sales of previously-owned homes fell 1.8% in June from the previous month, to an annualized pace of 5.52m units.
U.S. political uncertainty also added a measure of support for the precious metal, as President Donald Trumps son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kusher, in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, said neither that he nor anyone in the Trump campaign team colluded with Russian officials over the US election.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A rise in the dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency and thus, decreases demand.
The trio of economic reports come ahead of the Federal Reserves policy meeting slated for Wednesday, with the majority of analysts expecting the Fed to keep its benchmark rate unchanged.
In other precious metals, silver futures fell 0.18% to $16.428 a troy ounce while platinum futures lost 0.56% to $932.12.
Copper traded at $2.738, up 0.57%, while natural gas, fell by 2.80% to $2.881.

 

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Crude futures settle higher as Saudi oil chief pledges export cuts


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Monday, after Opec producer Saudi Arabia pledged to lower crude exports in August while Nigeria agreed to curb production.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose 1.3% to settle at $46.34 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 1.21% to trade at $48.64 a barrel.
At a gathering of ministers from major crude-producing nations in St. Petersburg, Russia on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
The Saudi energy minster added that the production-cut agreement could be extended beyond March if necessary but any further extension would rely on non-compliant nations adhering to the agreement.
Also adding to positive sentiment on oil, were reports suggesting that Nigeria committed to take part in production if it reaches a production level of 1.8m bpd.
Nigeria output reached 1.7 million bpd in June, according to independent sources cited by OPEC in a monthly report.
Some analysts praised Nigeria decision to agree to cap production but expressed concerns about Opecs compliance rate – with the deal to curb production – which fell to 78% June, the IEA said in its report earlier this month.
“The only significant thing about the meeting is that Nigeria has voluntarily agreed that they will not increase their production above 1.8 [million barrels a day] once they have achieved that level,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets U.K.
But when it comes to the “compliance side of things,” thats getting “really ugly,” he said. “A lot of cheating is already happening and we are only half [way] through this agreement,”
In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m bpd for a period of nine months until March but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the cartels efforts to curb excess supply.

 

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Oil extends gains as Saudi pledges export curbs


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia pledged to curb exports from next month and OPEC called on several members to boost compliance with production cuts to help rein in global oversupply and tackle flagging prices.
Gains were also supported by a warning from Halliburtons executive chairman that the growth in North American rig count was "showing signs of plateauing," clouding a boom in U.S. shale oil production.
London Brent crude for September delivery was up 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $48.90 a barrel by 0206 GMT after settling up 1.1 percent on Monday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $46.65.
In a ministerial meeting in St. Petersburg on Monday, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC partners were committed to extending their existing deal to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) beyond March 2018 if necessary.
The Saudi minister added that his country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago.
OPEC also agreed that Nigeria would join the deal by capping or even cutting its output from 1.8 million bpd, once it stabilizes at that level from 1.7 million bpd recently. Nigeria had been exempt from the output cuts.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that an additional 200,000 barrels per day of oil could be removed from the market if compliance with a global deal to cut output was 100 percent. The compliance was 98 percent in June, the group said.
"In our view ... these meetings were aimed at saving face and diverting the markets attention away from Iraqs poor compliance, shales resilience, and Libyas and Nigerias markedly higher output," Britains Barclays (LON:BARC) bank said.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories likely fell by 3 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of the data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute later in the day. [EIA/S]
Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly oil data at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) later on Tuesday. [API/S]

 

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Copper mine disruptions cut supply, treatment charges


Indian Business Trade

 

Disruptions to copper shipments from Canada and Chile have undermined expectations for rising global copper supplies in the second half of the year, cutting the charges that smelters charge miners to process metal.
Treatment and refining charges copper (TC/RCs), a closely watched indicator of copper supply, have turned lower in recent weeks. A drop in TC/RCs signals that smelters have been forced to drop their rates to attract feed, an indication of a scarcity of mine supply.
Copper treatment charges have fallen to $79-$81, two traders said, from $83 at the end of May and $88.40 at the beginning of the year. This is well below expectations of the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT), which sets a TC/RC floor price for the countrys major smelters. The CSPT had raised its floor price for the third quarter to $86 a tonne and 8 cents a pound, up from $80 a tonne in the second quarter, three sources said.
"(The spot fee) is a number that is lower than I would have anticipated and than the market expected at the start of the year," said Ivan Szpakowski, Chief Investment Officer of Academia Capital, a U.S.-based emerging markets and commodities-focused hedge fund.

 

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Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: July 24 – 28


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices settled lower for the second session in a row on Friday, ending at its weakest level in about a week as sentiment soured amid indications that supply from OPEC was set to rise, despite the cartels agreement to curb production.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract sank $1.15, or around 2.5%, to end at $45.77 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It touched its lowest since July 13 at $45.54 earlier in the session.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery slumped $1.24, or 2.5%, to settle at $48.06 a barrel by close of trade, after touching a one-week trough of $47.81 earlier.
Fridays sharp drop erased earlier gains made during the week. WTI posted a nearly 1.7% decline on the week, after earlier being on pace to post a roughly 1.5% weekly gain, while Brent declined 85 cents, or about 1.8%.
Oil sank on Friday after tanker-tracking firm PetroLogistics said crude output from OPEC members was set to rise by 145,000 barrels a day in July from a month earlier.
The increase in oil supply would push production above 33 million barrels per day, due to increased output from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria.
The news comes ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting of some oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Russia on Monday, who are gathering to discuss compliance with the cartels deal to cut production.
Market experts say the ministers will likely recommend maintaining the policy of holding back output at current levels, but efforts will be made to bring Nigeria and Libya into the framework due to the recent recovery of their production.
In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018. So far, the agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., weekly figures from energy services company Baker Hughes showed that the number of active rigs drilling for oil declined by 1 to 764 last week, suggesting early signs of moderating domestic production growth.
The count is often seen as proxy for the outlook on domestic production.
Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for August slumped 4.2 cents, or about 2.7%, to end at $1.563 on Friday. It still closed about 0.2% higher for the week.
August heating oil finished down 2.8 cents, or 1.8%, at $1.515 a gallon, ending about flat for the week.
Natural gas futures for August delivery sank 7.3 cents, or 2.4%, to settle at $2.970 per million British thermal units. It saw a weekly drop of roughly 0.4%.
In the week ahead, traders will await the outcome of Mondays meeting of major crude producers for further clarity on how they will try to bring down global inventory levels.
Meanwhile, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: July 24 – 28


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices rose for a sixth straight session on Friday, to notch up the largest weekly gain in two months as the U.S. dollar slid to its lowest level in more than a year, underpinning demand for the precious metal.
Gold for August delivery closed up 0.72% at $1,254.48 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was up 1.97%.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.32% at 93.78, the lowest close since June 22, 2016.
The index ended the week down 1.32%, marking its second straight weekly decline.
A weaker dollar tends to boost prices for gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency.
The greenback was pressured lower by the stronger euro, which was boosted by expectations that the European Central Bank is moving closer to tapering its bond-buying program and fresh political turmoil in Washington.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trumps campaign and Russia in last years election is extending into his business.
Earlier in the week, Republican lawmakers pulled the plug on the latest version of a contentious bill to replace Obamacare, delivering a major policy blow to the Trump administration.
The failure to deliver on healthcare reform indicated that Trumps other legislative efforts, such as overhauling the tax code and implementing fiscal stimulus could face difficulties.
Hopes for tax reforms and fiscal stimulus under the Trump administration helped drive the dollar to a 14-year high after the November election. The dollar has now given up all of its post-election gains.
Doubts over the Federal Reserves plans for a third rate hike this year have also fed into dollar weakness. The Fed is to hold its next meeting on Wednesday and is widely expected to hold policy steady.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver rose 0.92% to $16.49 a troy ounce late Friday, while copper was up 0.33% to $2.725 a pound
Platinum rose 0.49% to $937.8 a troy ounce, while palladium was down 0.42% to $844.03 a troy ounce.
In the week ahead, investors will be awaiting the outcome of Wednesdays Fed meeting, ahead of data on Friday which will give the first look at U.S. second quarter growth.
Survey data from the euro zone on Monday will help gauge the strength of the ongoing recovery in the euro area. The UK is to release data on second quarter growth on Wednesday.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

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Oil markets need regulator in face of speculators: Eni CEO


Indian Business Trade


Energy markets might need to be regulated to put a brake on widespread financial speculation that is distorting crude prices, the head of Italian oil major Eni told Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.
Eni (MI:ENI) CEO Claudio Descalzi said OPEC and Saudi Arabia were not in a position to push prices higher by cutting output, adding that geopolitical tensions, growing U.S. shale oil production and heavy speculation in crude futures were hurting the sector.
"The financial speculation is so strong that it has transformed even those with long term strategies into short term investors," Descalzi was quoted as saying.
"Perhaps we should adopt in the oil sector the sort of regulations and market controls that were imposed on banks. Banks have a central watchdog, while in the past, our regulator was OPEC, which is no longer playing the role it once had."
He said hedge fund speculators no longer believed that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was in a position to introduce radical output cuts.
Six OPEC and non-OPEC ministers are due to meet on Monday in St Petersburg to discuss the market outlook and review a global pact on reducing crude supplies that was agreed this year.

 

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Oil steady after fall ahead of OPEC/non-OPEC meeting


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices were little changed on Monday following a steep fall in the previous session amid growing expectations that the joint OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting later in the day would address rising production from Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC members exempted from the cuts.
Six OPEC and non-OPEC ministers will meet on Monday in St Petersburg to discuss the market outlook and compliance with output cuts. They may recommend a conditional cap on Nigerian and Libyan oil production, sources familiar with the talks said.
The joint OPEC/non-OPEC ministerial committee could also discuss a deeper cut in production, but more studies are needed, according to one of the sources.
Kuwaits oil minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said on Saturday that compliance was good with oil production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries and that deeper cuts were possible.
London Brent crude for September delivery was unchanged at $48.06 a barrel by 2228 GMT on Sunday. The contract settled down $1.24 or 2.5 percent on Friday after a consultancy forecast a rise in OPEC production for July despite the groups pledge to curb output.

 

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Crude down in Asia on OPEC glut ahead of review meeting


Indian Business Trade


Crude oil prices eased in Asia on Monday ahead of a July 24 meeting on OPEC and allies to review progress on output cuts and a a weaker dollar as the Fed gets set to give its latest views on rates this week.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September eased 0.17% to $45.69 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted sharply down at $47.88 a barrel.
On Wednesday, the Fed will give its latest views on rates ahead of the first look at U.S. second quarter growth on Friday.
Last week, oil prices settled lower for the second session in a row on Friday, ending at its weakest level in about a week as sentiment soured amid indications that supply from OPEC was set to rise, despite the cartels agreement to curb production.
Oil sank on Friday after tanker-tracking firm PetroLogistics said crude output from OPEC members was set to rise by 145,000 barrels a day in July from a month earlier.
The increase in oil supply would push production above 33 million barrels per day, due to increased output from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria.
The news comes ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting of some oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Russia on Monday, who are gathering to discuss compliance with the cartels deal to cut production.
Market experts say the ministers will likely recommend maintaining the policy of holding back output at current levels, but efforts will be made to bring Nigeria and Libya into the framework due to the recent recovery of their production.
In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018. So far, the agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., weekly figures from energy services company Baker Hughes showed that the number of active rigs drilling for oil declined by 1 to 764 last week, suggesting early signs of moderating domestic production growth.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures rise to 3-week high after weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures rose to a fresh three-week high on Thursday, after data showed that domestic supplies in storage rose less than anticipated last week.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery rose to a session high of $3.110 per million British thermal units, its highest since June 29. It was last at $3.085 by 10:50AM ET (1450GMT), up 1.9 cents, or around 0.6%. Futures were at around $3.110 prior to the release of the supply data.
Prices finished lower for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 28 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14, below forecasts for a build of 32 billion.
That compared with a gain of 57 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 34 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 59 billion cubic feet.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.973 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.1% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 4.6% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the coming weeks.
Hot high pressure over the western, central, and southern U.S. will strengthen and expand as the week progresses, eventually dominating almost the entire country besides the far northern U.S. with highs of upper 80s to 100s for strong national demand.
Longer-term models showed the western, central and southern U.S. will be hot with highs of upper 80s to 100s through August 1, due to strong high pressure.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.

 

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Gold higher but upside limited as ECB signals autumn policy shift


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, on the back of a weaker dollar but gains were capped as expectations grew that the European Central Bank is moving closer to tightening monetary policy.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $2.52, or 0.20%, to $1,244.53 a troy ounce.
Following the European Central Banks decision to keep interest rates unchanged, Draghi said the central bank saw signs of “unquestionable improvement” in Eurozone growth, and indicated that policymakers would discuss changes to the banks ultra-loose monetary policy in September.
"We were unanimous in setting no precise date for when to discuss changes in the future," Draghi told a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany. "We simply said that our discussions should take place in the autumn."
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A dip in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand.
The ECB rate decision and press conference from Draghi came ahead of a mixed bag of economic reports on the labor market and manufacturing sector.
The number of Americans who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended July 16, dropped by 15,000 to 233,000, the Labor Department said.
A separate report from the Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphias manufacturing indexshowed an unexpected dip in manufacturing activity to a seasonally adjusted 19.5 in July, well below expectations of a reading of 24.
The slump in the dollar underpinned moves higher in other precious metals, as silver futures rose 0.18% to $16.326 a troy ounce while platinum futures added 0.62% to $929.90.

 

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Crude futures settled lower on Thursday, as uncertainty ahead of the Opec meeting


Indian Business Trade

 next week offset recent data showing a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles for the third-straight week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell by 33 cents to settle at $46.79 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 0.93% to trade at $49.23 a barrel.

Investors remained uncertain as to whether Opec will introduce additional measures to curb the recent growth in supply, with a production cap for both Libya and Nigeria touted as a possible course of action.

In recent months both Libya and Nigeria, two countries exempt from the current output cuts, ramped up production, adding to the glut in supply, which has pressured prices for more than three years.

Some Opec members, however, appeared reluctant to introduce further measures to curb supply, insisting that its too early to determine whether the current level of production cuts need to be deepened.

"We are in the first two weeks of the extension period. It is too early to say now what I will do in November," Kuwaits oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said on Tuesday.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m bpd for a period of nine months until March but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the cartels efforts to curb excess supply.

Also adding to the supply glut was a drop in the Opecs compliance rate - with the deal curb production - to 78% in June , the lowest rate during the first six months of the agreement," the IEA said in its report earlier during the month.

Meanwhile, market participants are expected to monitor Baker Hughes rig count for any signs of an increase in drilling activity, after rig numbers slowed in recent weeks.

 

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copper buoyed near highest since early March


Indian Business Trade


copper marked time on Thursday near its highest since early March, underpinned by brighter prospects for Chinas economy but awaiting a U.S. jobs report for cues on near-term direction. copper edged up by 0.2 percent to $5,976 a tonne by 0221 GMT, recovering from a 0.7 percent loss in the previous session. It reached $6,020 a tonne, the highest since March 2, in the last session. nickel traded up 0.2 percent at $9,665 a tonne, having reached three-month highs hit earlier this week at $9,785 a tonne. Premiums for nickel have surged by 16 percent this week to reach their highest in two years at $200-$220 a tonne. Demand surged after Chinas import arbitrage turned positive this week.
* Premiums for zinc in China continue to fall reflecting ample availability of metal. * The European Central Bank is expected to lay the groundwork for an autumn policy shift when it meets on Thursday, emphasising improved growth while tempering expectations after previously setting off a mini tantrum in financial markets. * The Asian Development Bank raised its 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts for the region, reflecting rising exports as manufacturers of smartphones to cars to other consumer goods benefited from improving global demand. * The United States and China failed on Wednesday to agree on major new steps to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, casting doubt over President Donald Trumps economic and security relations with Beijing. * U.S. homebuilding surged to a four-month high in June, but construction activity remains constrained by rising lumber prices and labor and land shortages. * Unionized workers at mines in Peru, the worlds second biggest copper producer, started a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest the governments proposed labor reforms, the head of a federation of mining unions said on Wednesday.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS
* Asian shares scaled near-decade peak on Thursday, bolstered by a surge in global stocks to a record high on strong U.S. corporate earnings, while investors awaited the Japanese and European central bank meetings for clues on their policy outlooks.

 

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U.S. natural gas hits 3-week highs on bullish weather forecasts


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures rallied to the highest level in almost three weeks on Wednesday, as sentiment remained upbeat amid bullish weather forecasts.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.095 per million British thermal units by 9:40AM ET (1340GMT), up 0.7 cents, or around 0.2%, after touching its highest since June 29 at $3.103 earlier in the session.
Prices notched their third-straight session of gains on Tuesday as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the coming weeks.
Hot high pressure over the western, central, and southern U.S. will strengthen and expand as the week progresses, eventually dominating almost the entire country besides the far northern U.S. with highs of upper 80s to 100s for strong national demand.
Longer-term models showed the western, central and southern U.S. will be hot with highs of upper 80s to 100s through August 1, due to strong high pressure.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 27 and 38 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14.
That compares with a gain of 57 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 34 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 59 billion cubic feet.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.945 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 5.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.

 

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Oil prices flatten in Asia after overnight gains


Indian Business Trade


Crude prices flattened in trading on Asia on Thursday, hours after hitting six week highs in North American trading after the US Energy Infromation Administration reported drops in inventories that were larger than expected.
U.S. crude oil inventories fell 4.73 million barrels for the week to July 14, the EIA reported. That drop built on a 7.5 million drop recorded the week earlier. Gasoline inventories dropped by 4.4 million barrels. Still, inventories of both crude and gasoline remain high.
The report sent pirces up by as much as 1% during the day, with West Texas Intermediat hitting $47.36 a barrel.
By the morning in Asia, crude had given up some of its gains. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery dropped 0.11% to $47.27, still up about a dollar from Wednesday. On Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent went through similar gyrations, losing 0.1% to $49.65 a barrell, also up about a dollar from a day earlier.
U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said last Friday, with five new rigs added on average for each of the last five weeks. The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.
In Asia, Chinas refinery activity continued to indicate strong demand, with oil refineries increasing throughput in June.

 

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Gold slides in Asia as greenback halts slide


Indian Business Trade


Gold continued to slide in Asia on Thursday after the dollar showed signs of stopping a long plunge that has taken it to multi-month lows.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped 0.28% to USD1,238.48 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange by mid-morning in Asia.
Other commodities fared better. Oil was up from a day ealier after reports that US crude inventories dropped more than expected. Copper futures on the Comex were up 0.22% to $2.713 a pound.
Gold prices have lost some upward traction as the US dollar halted a plunge but stayed aroune 10-month lows. The plunge was slowed down by expectations, fuelled last week by the testimoney of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, that any monetary tightenting in the US would happen slowly and reports from China that suggested growth there is slightly ahead of target for the year.
Earlier this week, China released second quarter GDP growth with a gain of 1.7% that matched expectations and a year-on-year increase of 6.9% that came in slighltly higher than the expected 6.8%. At the same time, China reported industrial production

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U.S. oil service results to top last year as investors eye margin outlook


Indian Business Trade


U.S. oilfield service companies second-quarter earnings should easily top last years depressed results, but a near 15 percent slide in oil prices since January has weakened the outlook for the second half of the year.
Earnings for suppliers of land drilling rigs, tubing and hydraulic fracturing services in North America, where expanding shale production is driving revenue, are expected to improve over a year earlier. However, international and offshore operations continue to be pressured by low oil prices, analysts and consultants interviewed by Reuters said.
Producers who set their 2017 spending plans when oil was above $50 a barrel could put the brakes on second-half expenditures, crimping the oilfield sectors ability to raise prices, they said.
Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB), the largest oilfield service company by revenue, and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) Co are expected to swing to profit in the quarter from year-earlier losses. Schlumberger should post a profit of 30 cents a share when it reports Friday, from a loss on severance and other costs of $1.56. Halliburton is expect to report a 17 cents a share quarterly profit on Monday, from a loss on charges of $3.73 a year earlier, according to forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters.
"Fracking prices have gone up. Drilling rigs have gone up, so the quarter ought to be good for service companies," said Mike Breard, an analyst at Hodges Capital in Dallas.
Baker Hughes, which became the second-largest oilfield service company following its merger this month with General Electric (NYSE:GE) Cos oil and gas equipment and services unit, is forecast to report a per share loss of 13 cents.
Quarterly results for oilfield companies overall should get a lift from cost-cutting and greater activity. Crude in the second quarter averaged $48.15 per barrel, a 5 percent gain over a year earlier and oil producers increased production, adding 506 onshore rigs in the past year, according to Baker Hughes.
Investors could overlook the earnings gains if outlooks for margins in the next two quarters are lower than expected. Producers entered the year expecting to see oil continue to climb into the mid-$50s a barrel, not slip to the mid-$40s.
"The focus now will be more about margins than market share," said Jonathan Garrett, a research director at Wood Mackenzie. Last year, many service companies ran at cost to generate cash flow and keep as many clients as possible. "Were looking to see if they can successfully offer price increases," he added.
Companies offering high-demand services such as pressure pumping to hydraulically fracture wells and supplying sand are best positioned to benefit from expanding rig counts.
Frack sand company Hi-Crush Partners is anticipated to report a per share profit of 12 cents versus a loss of 26 cents last year.

 

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Zinc retreats after Chinese property market data


Indian Business Trade


Zinc prices fell back on Tuesday amidst profit-taking and producer selling, but copper and other base metals gained on worries about supply shortages.
Earlier in the session prices were weighed on by Chinese home price data pointing to a significant cooling in the countrys biggest property markets, construction being a key market for industrial metals. Zinc was also hit by another rise in so-called live inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses, indicating that supplies were still available despite the closure of big mines.
"Were giving back a bit because we had a really strong day yesterday. I suspect there was some producer selling coming in on copper, zinc and possibly aluminium," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.
"But with supply issues dominating many of the metals, momentum is still on the upside and any dips should be well supported."
ZINC: Benchmark LME zinc closed down 0.8 percent at $2,794 a tonne after gaining 1 percent on Monday.
ZINC INVENTORIES: On-warrant stocks of zinc in LME-registered warehouses - those not earmarked for delivery and therefore available to investors - climbed 10,500 tonnes on Tuesday and have nearly doubled since last week. The inflows reminded investors that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of "hidden" inventories were estimated to be in non-LME warehouses, but the current inflows were probably linked to the expiry of the LME July contract on Wednesday, Bhar said.
"Weve seen big arrivals before when there are shorts electing to deliver," he said.
COPPER: Three-month LME copper finished up 0.2 percent at $6,007 a tonne, after climbing 1.2 percent in the previous session, when prices hit 4-1/2-month highs.
PERU QUAKE: An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of major copper producer Peru on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Perus civil defence institute Indeci said there was no risk of a tsunami and no immediate damage. RIO TINTO: The mining company posted weaker second-quarter copper output, but reiterated its full-year production forecast. ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium ended 0.6 percent firmer at $1,931 a tonne as investors worried about an environmental crackdown in China to close polluting smelters.
PRICES: Nickel climbed 1.9 percent to close at a four-month high of $9,780, lead was bid down 1 percent to $2,274 and tin added 0.4 percent to $20,000.

 

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copper hovers near 4-1/2 month peaks, China outlook underpins


Indian Business Trade


copper consolidated near four-and-a-half month highs on Wednesday, weighed down by a slightly firmer dollar but supported by a pick-up in Chinas industrial activity that helped drive second-quarter economic growth.
FUNDAMENTALS
* London Metal Exchange copper slipped by 0.3 percent to $5,990.50 a tonne by 0159 GMT, reversing a small gain in the previous session. Prices hit $6,022.50 a tonne on Monday, the highest since March 2.
* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped by 0.3 percent to 47,710 yuan ($7,064) a tonne.
* Among other metals, SHFE zinc and lead both traded down 1.5 percent. LME nickel pared gains seen in the prior session when it ROSE 1.9 percent. * A pick-up in the industrial sector helped China post better-than-expected second quarter economic growth as finance and real estate expansions slowed to multi-year lows, data showed on Tuesday.
* Japanese manufacturers and service providers business confidence held steady at high levels in July, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday, underlining the central banks upbeat view on the economy. * U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said they will be looking for specific, "concrete" agreements from Beijing to increase U.S. access to Chinas growing consumer markets in bilateral economic talks on Wednesday. * Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS
* The dollar stayed on the defensive on Wednesday as investors wagered any further tightening in the United States would be slow at best, while optimism on Chinas economy underpinned Asian shares and commodities.

 

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U.S. natural gas rallies to 2-week high as July heatwave spreads


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures rallied to the highest level in more than two-weeks on Tuesday, as updated weather forecasting models continued to point to increased summer demand in the coming weeks.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.091 per million British thermal units by 9:15AM ET (1315GMT), up 7.1 cents, or around 2.4%, after touching $3.094 earlier in the session, a level not seen since June 30.
Prices notched their second straight session of gains on Monday amid bullish weather forecasts.
Hot high pressure over the western, central, and southern U.S. will strengthen and expand as the week progresses, eventually dominating almost the entire country besides the far northern U.S. with highs of upper 80s to 100s for strong national demand.
Longer-term models showed the western, central and southern U.S. will be hot with highs of upper 80s to 100s through August 1, due to strong high pressure.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.945 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 5.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 27 and 38 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14.

 

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Gold remains close to 3-week highs amid dollar slump


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday, benefiting from a slump in the dollar to eleven-month lows, as investors fears grew that tax reform could be delayed, following the collapse of a health care bill aimed at replacing Obamacare.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $7.37, or 0.61%, to $1,241.18 a troy ounce.
Gold futures capitalized on a slump in the dollar, hitting three-week highs as investors questioned President Trumps ability to deliver on tax reform, after a health care bill aimed at replacing Obamacare failed to garner enough votes.
President Trump has reiterated several times that health care reform needed to pass before his administration would proceed on to tax reform.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A dip in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand.
Investor sentiment on gold has turned positive in recent weeks amid narrowing expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to hike rates at least once more this year, after recent economic data failed to show any improvement in inflation.
Some analysts believe golds gains could be capped as other central banks appeared to be edging closer towards tightening monetary policy. The Bank of Canada raised interest for the first time in seven years last week.

 

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Crude futures settle higher ahead of inventory data


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Tuesday, as investors continued to cheer data suggesting that rising global demand for crude could offset some of the current excess supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose 38 cents to settle at $46.40 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 74 cents to trade at $48.88 a barrel.
Chinas refinery activity continued to indicate strong fuel demand, as data on Monday showed oil refineries increased throughput in June to the second highest on record, adding to expectations that rising global demand for crude could offset excess supply.
Also adding to the positive sentiment on oil futures, was a report suggesting that Saudi Arabia is considering cutting crude exports by up 1 million barrels a day, the Financial Times reported, citing Bill Farren-Price, an oil consultant at Petroleum Policy Intelligence.
Some analysts have suggested, however, that the reported export cuts from Opec-member Saudi Arabia, shows that Opec members are concerned about the recent dip in oil prices.
“This is what OPEC has resorted to, export cuts in order to jawbone the market higher,” said Bill Baruch, chief market strategist at iiTRADER. “We believe that OPEC members are getting restless and instead of this news showing how stable a deal they have, its shows the holes.”
The positive day for oil futures comes ahead of a fresh batch of inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected to show that U.S. crude stockpiles fell for a third-straight week.

 

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Oil dips on rising U.S. crude inventories, high OPEC supplies


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a rise in U.S. crude inventories and ongoing high supplies from producer club OPEC revived concerns of a fuel supply overhang.
Brent crude futures (LCOc1), the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $48.73 per barrel at 0128 GMT, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were at $46.28 per barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.3 percent.
U.S. crude stocks rose last week, adding 1.6 million barrels in the week to July 14 to 497.2 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday.
Outside the United States, supplies from within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remained high, largely because of rising output from member-states Nigeria and Libya, despite the clubs pledge to cut production.
"Nigeria and Libya have made significant progress in reinstating their oil supply. Production in Libya is currently reported at or above 1 million barrels per day while August loading schedules for Nigeria have risen to just over 2 million barrels per day," French bank BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) said.
"The increment of crude oil supply from Nigeria and Libya in June vs. October 2016 reference production levels comes to 450,000 barrels per day on average. This is almost 40 percent of the 1.25 million barrels per day cut by the OPEC 10 members engaged in supply restraint," it added.
Nigeria and Libya are exempt from the deal between OPEC and other producers, including Russia, to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.

 

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Weaker dollar keeps gold up in Asia


Indian Business Trade


Gold slid ever so slighlty in Asia Wednesday morning after several days of gains and amid ongoing doubts about the prospects for the US dollar.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped 0.08% to USD1,240.76 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, still higher than a day earlier.
Copper futures on the Comex were virtually flat at $2.725 a pound, down just 0.07%
Earlier this week, China released second quarter GDP growth with a gain of 1.7% that matched expectations and a year-on-year increase of 6.9% that came in slighltly higher than the expected 6.8%. At the same time, China reported industrial production gained 7.6% from a year earlier in June and retail sales rose 11% in June.
A weaker dollar has helped shore up sentiment and gold prices. The market will now look towards Thursday and a meeting of the European Central Bank for new clues on whether the ECB will shift away from ultra-easy policy.
Last week, gold prices rose to two-week highs on Friday as weak U.S. inflation data added to doubts over whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates for a third time this year.

 

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METALS-Copper prices inch up, extend gains on strong China GDP


Indian Business Trade

 

Copper prices edged up in early Asian trading on Tuesday, extending gains in the wake of strong Chinese economic data that boosted the outlook for metals demand.

Chinas economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent clip in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target, data released on Monday showed. "Sentiment continues to improve in the industrial metals complex after strong economic data from China yesterday," ANZ said in a note.

"This data appeared to boost confidence in the countrys ability to weather the regulatory reforms that are appearing to tighten monetary conditions in China."

 

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Gold At 2-Week High Signals A Near-Term Bottoms In Place


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices are moderately higher and hit a two-week high in early U.S. trading Monday, on decent follow-through buying from Fridays good gains. Fridays price action did produce a technically bullish weekly high close, which is an early clue a near-term market bottom is in place. August Comex gold was last up $6.20 an ounce at $1,233.70. September Comex silver was last up $0.182 at $16.115 an ounce.
Gold and silver markets on Monday morning are seeing the futures traders who were short the market now getting very nervous and exiting those short positions (short covering).
There was significant market news coming out of China overnight. Chinese finance officials said at a big financial meeting over the weekend they will crack down hard on excessive debt and speculation by Chinese citizens. That rattled small-cap stocks in China. The worlds second-largest economy also showed second-quarter gross domestic product growth of 6.9% from the same time last year, which is slightly above market expectations and above the official China government projections for 2017 growth.
The “outside markets” on Monday morning see Nymex crude oil futures slightly lower and trading above $46.50 a barrel. The oil market bulls had a good week last week, including a technically bullish weekly high close in Nymex crude oil last Friday that also suggests a market bottom is in place.

 

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Gold Holding Overnight Gains Following Drop In Empire State Manufacturing


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices are relatively unchanged, holding on to their overnight gains following a surprising drop in sentiment in the New York manufacturing sector.
Monday, the New York Federal Reserve said the general business conditions index in its Empire State manufacturing survey fell to a reading of 9.8 in July, following Junes reading of 19.8. Economists were expecting to see a reading of 15.2.
The decline in the New York manufacturing data comes a month after the survey hit its highest point in two years.
Gold prices were solidly higher ahead of the report as markets continued to digest Fridays weak retail sales numbers and inflation data. The regional manufacturing data has had little impact on the markets renewed momentum; August gold prices last traded at $1,233.50 an ounce, up 0.49% on the day.
Despite continued growth in the sector, the report noted weaker sentiment across the board. Looking at the components of the report, the New Orders Index dropped to a reading of 13.3, down from the previous level of 18.1; at the same time the Shipments Index dropped to 10.5 from Junes reading of 22.3.
The sectors labor market is also showing signs of falling momentum. The Number of Employees Index dropped to a reading of 3.9, down from Junes reading of 7.7.
The positive news for gold, which is seen as an inflation hedge, is that price pressures remain steady. The Prices Paid Index rose to 21.3, up from the previous reading of 20.0.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures kick off the week with strong gains


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures started the week with strong gains on Monday, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.010 per million British thermal units by 8:50AM ET (1250GMT), up 3.0 cents, or around 1%.
Prices saw a gain of roughly 4% last week amid bullish weather forecasts.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer cooling demand.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for cooling.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.945 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 8.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 5.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 27 and 38 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 14.

 

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Gold edges higher as rate hike expectations cool


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices edged higher on Monday as investors questioned whether the Federal Reserve would keep to its plan of raising interest rates at least once more this year, after recent economic data failed to show an improvement in the pace of inflation.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $6.17, or 0.50%, to $1,233.68 a troy ounce.
Fresh on heels of weaker-than-expected inflation and retail sales data released last week, U.S. manufacturing data undershot economists forecasts, raising doubts about the strength of the U.S. economy, and the Federal Reserves resolve to raise rates at least once more the year.
The New York Feds Empire State manufacturing index fell to a seasonally adjusted reading of 9.8 from 19.8 in June.
Economists expected a reading of 15.
After dipping below $1,200 last week, gold prices have recovered, as dwindling U.S. rate hike expectations has weighed on both the dollar and the 10-year, boosting investor appetite for the precious metal.
The U.S. dollar hovered above a 10-month low against its rivals while the U.S. 10-Yearremained sluggish falling 0.13% to 2.316,
Gold is sensitive to moves lower in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency while a drop in U.S. rates, reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Meanwhile, China, the worlds largest commodity user, released second-quarter gross domestic product (gdp) that topped expectations, spurring demand for commodities.
Silver futures rose 1.09% to $16.107 a troy ounce while platinum futures added 0.63% to $929.35.
Copper traded at $2.728, up 1.37%, while natural gas, tacked on 0.94% to trade at $3.008.

 

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Crude weaker in early Asia as API ahead with Libya output note


Indian Business Trade


Crude traded weaker in Asia on Tuesday with industry figures on U.S.supplies expected to hold sentiment on further declines as Libyan output nears 1 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil inventories estimates from the American Petroleum Institute API) are due late Tuesday with a drop of 3.740 million barrels expected.
Gasoline stocks are seen down by 1.037 million barrels seen and distillates likely rose 1.300 million barrels build. Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due on Wednesday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery dropped 1.20% to$45.98 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 1.02% at $48.1 a barrel.
Crude futures settled lower on Monday, as investors continued to fret about oversupply in the industry despite recent data showing strong refinery demand from China and a slowdown in U.S. output.
U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. Rig additions over the past four weeks averaged five, the lowest since November, easing concerns that surging shale supplies will undermine Opec-led cuts.
The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.
The slowdown in rig additions came a few days after U.S. oil inventories fell 6.1m barrels for the week ended July 7. It was biggest weekly decline in ten months, and lifted sentiment as crude futures settled 5.2% last week.

 

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Oil prices stable as strong demand meets ongoing supply glut


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices were stable on Tuesday, supported by strong consumption but weighed by ongoing high supplies from producer club OPEC and also the United States.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $48.55 per barrel at 0130 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.12 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.
In a sign of strong demand, data on Monday showed refineries in China increased crude throughput in June to the second highest on record.
Despite this, oil markets have struggled with oversupply since 2014, resulting in a more than 50 percent fall in prices since then.
A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to cut supplies by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018 has so far not led to the tighter market and higher prices that producers have hoped for.
Thats because supplies from within OPEC remain high largely due to rising output from Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC states exempt from the pact, and increasing U.S. production.
Ecuador, a small producer within OPEC, also said on Tuesday that it is not complying with its production cut of 26,000 bpd due to the countrys fiscal deficit which is expected to hit 7.5 percent of GDP this year.

 

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Gold Near Steady; U.S. Data Provides Little Direction


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices are holding near unchanged levels in early U.S. trading. Two significant U.S. economic reports were just released and provided no new impetus for the markets. August Comex gold was last up $0.10 an ounce at $1,219.10. September Comex silver was last down $0.032 at $15.855 an ounce.
The key U.S. economic report today is the producer price index for June, which just came in at up 0.1% from May. An unchanged reading from May was expected. The latest weekly U.S. jobless claims report showed a decline of 3,000 claims, which was a non-event for the marketplace.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks again today in front of the U.S. Senate. The question-and-answer session will be monitored closely, but her remarks to the Senate are likely to be the same as those to the House members on Wednesday. On Wednesday Yellen sounded a surprisingly dovish tone on U.S. monetary policy, which rallied many markets and gave gold and silver a slight lift.
In overnight news, it was reported that Chinas exports rose by 11.3% in June, from the same period last year, while its imports rose by 17.2% in that timeframe. Those numbers were slightly above market expectations and also friendly for the raw commodity market sector. China is the worlds leading raw commodity importer.
The “outside markets” on Thursday morning see Nymex crude oil futures near steady and trading above $45.00 a barrel. An IEA report out today said world oil demand is on the rise. The crude oil market bears remain in firm near-term technical control.
Meantime, the U.S. dollar index is slightly lower early today. The more dovish tone on U.S. monetary policy delivered by Yellen in her remarks on Wednesday are bearish for the dollar. The greenback bears have the firm near-term technical advantage amid a price downtrend.

 

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Aluminium jumps on more talk of Chinese output cuts


Indian Business Trade


* Aluminium surges nearly 3 pct to session peak of $1,943/T
* Expectations for shrinking Chinese supply drive up prices

Aluminium prices rose nearly 2 percent on Thursday, the biggest one-day increase in nearly three months, as concerns over potential supply curbs by top producer China sparked a rally.
Talk that more capacity cuts were on the way in China fed into broader-based concerns over slowing output to push prices higher, analysts said. An industry association said last month that China will launch a crackdown to curb the illegal expansion of production capacity. "Theres some talk circulating of some more smelter closures as this regulatory monitoring is ongoing," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. "The supply-side reforms in China seem to be catching the headlines again, and that is spurring some fund buying that is coming through."
London Metal Exchange warehouse inventories hit their lowest since 2008 this week.
* ALUMINIUM PRICES: Three-month LME aluminium was untraded at the close, but was last bid at $1,922.50 a tonne, up 1.7 percent. Earlier it hit a peak of $1,943 a tonne.
* INVENTORIES: Aluminium stocks in LME warehouses fell another 6,525 tonnes, data on Thursday showed, taking them back towards this weeks near nine-year low.
* RUSAL: Russian producer Rusal expects the global aluminium deficit to widen to between 1.7 million tonnes and 1.8 million tonnes in 2018 from 1.3 million tonnes in 2017, Deputy Chief Executive Oleg Mukhamedshin said. * FINANCIAL MARKETS: The dollar steadied and world shares hit their fourth all-time high in less than a month, while a rally in bonds stalled on fresh talk that the European Central Bank will start winding down its money-printing programme. * COPPER PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended the day 0.5 percent lower at $5,875 a tonne.
* IMPORTS: Chinas imports of copper and copper products for June were unchanged with May at 390,000 tonnes, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, reflecting a decline in refined imports this year. * COLLAHUASI: Chilean copper mine Collahuasi, a joint venture of Anglo American and Glencore , will cut 115 jobs, including executives, as part of a plan to boost efficiencies amid low prices for the metal. * ZINC: LME zinc finished down 1 percent at $2,803.50 a tonne, having climbed to its highest level in more than three months on Wednesday on falling stocks in exchange warehouses, shortages and stronger demand from China.

 

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copper supported by China imports


Indian Business Trade

 

copper was marking time on Friday at the top of its recent range, with encouraging import data from China and improved prospects for the global economy supporting prices.
FUNDAMENTALS
* London Metal Exchange copper had eased 0.1 percent to $5,869 a tonne by 0211 GMT, extending small losses from the previous session. Prices have failed at the $5,930-$5,970 band five times in the past fortnight, reflecting formidable chart-based resistance at this level. Support is seen at the 100-day moving average at $5,761 a tonne.
* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped 0.6 percent to 47,030 yuan ($6,933) a tonne.
* Zinc and lead fell by around half a percent in London and by around 2 percent in Shanghai, weighed down by falls in steel prices.
* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on course for a third interest rate increase this year. * China posted stronger-than-expected June trade figures on Thursday, bolstered by firm global demand for Chinese goods and robust appetite for construction materials at home, but local curbs on lending could weigh on imports later this year.
* Workers at the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile, owned by Antofagasta Plc and Barrick Gold Corp , will resume talks with Antofagasta after voting to strike earlier this week, the union said on Thursday.
* The LME is trying revamp its digital metal storage system LMEshield, which registers material stored in non-exchange warehouses to guard against fraud, after scant uptake since it was launched over a year ago. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS
* Global stocks scaled record highs on Friday, with Asian equities rising for the fifth straight session, as signs the Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate tightening path and hopes of a strong earnings season lifted appetite for risk assets. DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0600 Germany Final consumer prices Jun
0645 France Consumer prices (INSEE) Jun
1230 U.S. Producer prices Jun
1230 U.S. Jobless claims weekly
1000/1400 U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen delivers her 2nd day of semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee

 

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Gold flat despite dip in the dollar


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices were unchanged on Thursday, as investors continued to cheer comments from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen suggesting that the pace of future rate hikes would be gradual while weak inflation data lifted sentiment.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $1.06, or 0.09%, to $1,218.06 a troy ounce.
A day after Janet Yellen signaled future rate hikes would be gradual, investors mulled over data showing a dip in inflation and a slowdown in the labor market.
The producer price index climbed at a year-on-year rate of 2% in June, from a 2% rate the month prior.
In separate report The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that initial jobless claimsfell by 3000 to 247,000 in the week ended July 7, missing forecasts of a 5,000 decline.
Gold has fallen on the back expectations that the Federal Reserve would continue raising its key benchmark rate, decreasing investor demand for gold, as a rising interest environment increases the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

 

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Oil prices dip on high supplies, improving industry efficiency


Indian Business Trade


Oil markets dipped on Friday, pulled down by high fuel inventories and improving industry efficiency, but were still on track for a solid weekly gain.
Brent crude futures (LCOc1), the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $48.34 per barrel at 0151 GMT (9:51 p.m. ET), but up 3.5 percent for the week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were at $45.98 per barrel, down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, but up around 4 percent for the week.
Crude prices are around levels in late November last year, when a group of oil producers including Russia and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pledged to withhold around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of production between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten the market.
Oil analysts at research and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein said that global oil stocks remain high.

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Gold advances as dollar eases from high


Indian Business Trade


Gold rose on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellens testimony to congress revealed that the central bank believes it would not have to lift rates “all that much” to reach the neutral fed funds rate, pointing to a slower pace of future rate hikes.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $1.49, or 0.12%, to $1,211.99 a troy ounce.
The Fed "continues to expect that the evolution of the economy will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time," Yellen said in her prepared testimony.
Yellen noted that the federal funds rate "would not have to rise all that much further" to reach a neutral level, suggesting a slowdown in the pace of future rate hikes.
The somewhat dovish statement from Yellen weighed on the dollar and yields, boosting demand for the precious metal.

 

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Crude settles higher on bullish inventory data


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, buoyed by data showing that supplies of U.S. crude fell by more than expected, easing concerns that U.S. output would continue to derail Opec efforts to reduce excess supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose by 1% to settle at $45.49 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 0.44% to trade at $47.73 a barrel.
Crude prices settled higher for a third-straight day, after crude and gasoline stockpiles fell more than expected last week, pointing to an uptick in refinery activity.
Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 7.6m barrels in the week ended July 7, confounding expectations of draw of about only 2.9m barrels.
Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, unexpectedly fell by roughly 1.65m barrels against expectations of a rise of 1.15m barrels while distillate stockpiles rose by 3.13m barrels, compared to expectations of a rise of 1.13m barrels.
The bullish inventory report came after Opec released its monthly report, revealing that output rose by 393,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June amid a ramp in production from Nigeria and Libya – two countries exempt from the current production cuts.

 

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Oil prices up in Asia as inventories drop in U.S.


Indian Business Trade


Crude continued rebounding in Asia on Wednesday
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract rose 0.73% to $45.77 a barrel on Wednesday. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted up 0.68% to $48.20 a barrel.
Oil rose on Tuesday after reports that stockpiles in Oklahoma, U.S., the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate crude, reportedly dropped 2.1 million barrels in the week to July 7 and news that OPEC may be considering capping production in members Nigeria and Lybia. The two countries have been exempt from a deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.
The rises on Wednesday marked the continuation of a rebound after a sharp sell off last week, the sixth weekly loss in seven weeks driven by concerns over a market glut. U.S. government data showed total domestic crude production rose by 88,000 barrels a day to around 9.34 million barrels at the end of last week.
The market shrugged off news that Saudi Arabia has no plans to cut supplies to East Asia and that the country actually pumped more oil in June, exceeding the agreed-on cap.

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US crude draws much higher than expected, reports API


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices got a life Wednesday morning in Asia as the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported ongoing draws from U.S. stocks.
In its report of the week ended July 7, the API said inventories of crude in the U.S. dropped 8.13 million barrels, adding to a draw of 5.76 million barrels the week prior. The actual drop was more than three times higher the expected 2.5-million-barrel draw the market was expecting.
Stockpiles of gasoline dropped by 800,000 barrels, which added to a much larger draw of 5.7 million the week earliers.
Destillates stocks rose by 2.1 million barrels, builiding on a 380,000 increase the week earlier.

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Gold continues slow climb


Indian Business Trade


Gold climbed in Asia on Wedneday, continuing a recovery from multi-month lows last week.
Gold futures for August delivery edged up 0.37% to $1,219.23 as of mid-morning.
Gold has been rebounding this week after stronger than expected economic data out of the U.S., a subdued inflation picture in China and a narrower than expected current account surplus in Japan. A strengthening in other commodity prices like oil and iron have also helped while political uncertainty in the U.S. has taken some of the shine off the US dollar.
Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbackís strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% to 95.38 as of mid-morning. The gold U.S. dollar index was up 0.19% to 1,219.70.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures kick off the week with strong gains


Indian Business Trade


U.S. natural gas futures started the week with strong gains on Monday, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $2.916 per million British thermal units by 9:11AM ET (1311GMT), up 5.0 cents, or around 1.8%.
Natural gas saw a loss of roughly 5.6% last week amid bearish weather forecasts.
Updated weather forecasting models released over the weekend showed temperatures over most of the country will warm back into the upper 90s to 100s Fahrenheit this week.
Longer-term models showed the western, central, and southern U.S. will be very warm to hot through July 23, as high pressure dominates.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.
Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

 

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Silver is sliding for an 8th straight day


Indian Business Trade


Silver was under pressure last week before experiencing a flash crash on Friday that sent the price down 7% before recovering most of those losses. It resumed its downward trend after the flash crash.
Silvers eight-day slide has led to a drop of 5.3%. The white metal is down about 5.1% so far in 2017.

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Gold flat amid uptick in expectations of rate hike later this year


Indian Business Trade


Gold edged lower on Monday, as investors looked ahead to testimony from Fed chair Janet Yellen later this week on the health of the economy and the Feds monetary policy outlook.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $1.49, or 0.12%, to $1,211.99 a troy ounce.
Gold eased from highs, as investors awaited testimony from Fed chair Janet Yellen on the state of the U.S. economy and the Feds monetary policy outlook amid growing expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates at least once more this year.
Yellen is scheduled to testify on the economy before the Senate Banking Committee at 10:00AM ET (14:00GMT) Wednesday. On Thursday, she will appear in front the House Financial Services Committee also at 10:00AM ET.
The move lower in gold prices comes amid a rise in global bond yields, after the Bank of England and the European signalled that ultra-loose monetary measures may be nearing the end, leading many analysts to believe that upside for the yellow-metal remained limited.

 

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Crude futures settle higher but remain under pressure


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Monday, but sentiment on oil remained negative as fears grew that rising output from the United States, Nigeria and Libya would continue to weigh on Opec and its allies efforts to rein in supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery added 17 cents to settle at $44.40 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose by 37 cents to trade at $46.93 a barrel.
Oil prices shrugged off negative sentiment to settle higher, despite a recent string of comments from analysts warning that growing non-Opec supply would continue to limit Opec and its allies pact to curb production.

 

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Crude oil supplies weight on market ahead of API estimates


Indian Business Trade


Cruse supplies weighed on the market on Tuesday in mixed prices ahead of industry data on U.S. inventories expected to set the tone.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery added 0.72% at $44.55 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 0.11% to $46.97 a barrel.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is expected to report industry estimates off crude stocks later on Tuesday, followed Wednesday by more closely-watched figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Monday, but sentiment on oil remained negative as fears grew that rising output from the United States, Nigeria and Libya would continue to weigh on Opec and its allies efforts to rein in supply.
Oil prices shrugged off negative sentiment to settle higher, despite a recent string of comments from analysts warning that growing non-Opec supply would continue to limit Opec and its allies pact to curb production.

 

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Oil rises on firm short-term demand outlook; overall market still weak


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices edged up early on Tuesday, lifted in part by a strong demand outlook for the coming weeks, but overall market conditions remain weak on the back of ample supplies and a more subdued outlook for long-term demand.
Brent crude futures were at $47.13 per barrel at 0147 GMT, up 25 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $44.64 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.5 percent.
Traders said the uptick in prices was in part due to healthy demand expected in the coming weeks.
Weekly U.S. gasoline demand data "compares favorably to the five-year average and miles driven also continue to grow year-on-year," Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) said.

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: July 10 – 14


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices fell sharply on Friday to log their sixth weekly loss in the past seven weeks, as concerns over a glut in the market continued to weigh on sentiment.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract tumbled $1.29, or around 2.9%, to end at $44.23 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It touched its lowest since June 28 at $43.78 earlier.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery sank $1.40, or 2.9%, to settle at $46.71 a barrel by close of trade, after touching a two-week low of $46.28 earlier in the session.
For the week, WTI lost $1.81, or about 3.9%, while Brent fell $2.06, or roughly 4.2%, their sixth such loss in seven weeks.
U.S. drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to July 7, energy services company Baker Hughes announced on Friday. This brings the total count up to 763, the most since April 2015.
The report came after U.S. government data revealed that total domestic crude production rose by 88,000 barrels a day to around 9.34 million barrels at the end of last week, underlining concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: July 10 – 14


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices dropped to almost four-month lows on Friday after a stronger-than-forecast U.S. jobs report boosted the dollar against a basket of the other major currencies.
Gold futures for August delivery ended down 0.93% at $1,211.98 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest close since March 15.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.21% to 95.78 late Friday.
Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise.
The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs last month the Labor Department reported, more than the 179,000 new jobs expected by economists.
Figures for April and May were also revised to show that 47,000 more jobs were created than previously reported.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from a 16-year low of 4.3% in May, as more people looked for work, a sign of confidence in the labor market.
The rapid pace of jobs growth reassured investors that the economy is on a strong enough footing to justify the Federal Reserves plans to raise interest rates once more this year.
The Fed hiked rates at its June meeting and stuck to its forecast for one more rate hike this year, but the subdued inflation outlook has raised doubts over whether officials will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar.

 

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Crude gains in Asia as OPEC and allies set to meet this month on curbs


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude rebounded mildly in Asia on Monday with an OPEC and allies meeting later this month on the state-of-play for production cuts coming into sharper focus.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract rose 0.86% to $44.61 a barrel. Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted up 0.51% to $47.07 a barrel.

Fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, investors will keep an eye out for monthly reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and the International Energy Agency to assess global supply and demand levels. In the week ahead, investors will focus on Fed Chair Janet Yellens testimony on monetary policy as well as U.S. data on inflation and retail sales, due out on Friday, and trade data from China on Thursday.

Last week, oil prices fell sharply on Friday to log their sixth weekly loss in the past seven weeks, as concerns over a glut in the market continued to weigh on sentiment.

For the week, WTI lost $1.81, or about 3.9%, while Brent fell $2.06, or roughly 4.2%, their sixth such loss in seven weeks.

U.S. drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to July 7, energy services company Baker Hughes announced on Friday. This brings the total count up to 763, the most since April 2015.

The report came after U.S. government data revealed that total domestic crude production rose by 88,000 barrels a day to around 9.34 million barrels at the end of last week, underlining concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.

 

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Gold prices gain Asia with China CPI ahead, Yellen later this week


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices gained in Asia on Monday with China prices and remarks from the Fed chief later this week to set the tone on the dollar.
Gold futures for August delivery edged up 0.11% to $1,211.03%.
On Monday, China releases producer prices and consumer inflation for June with 0.1% fall on-month expected and a 1.5% gain seen annually. Producer prices are seen up 5.5% on year.
Earlier, Japan reported its unadjusted current account surplus at ¥1.654 trillion, narrower than the ¥1.796 trillion seen, while core machinery orders fell 3.6% on year in May, compared to a gain of 7.7% seen. USD/JPY changed hands at 113.98, up 0.06%.
In the week ahead, investors will focus on Fed Chair Janet Yellens testimony on monetary policy as well as U.S. data on inflation and retail sales, due out on Friday, and trade data from China on Thursday.
Last week, gold prices dropped to almost four-month lows on Friday after a stronger-than-forecast U.S. jobs report boosted the dollar against a basket of the other major currencies.

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Oil recovers some losses but market still under pressure


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices recovered some losses on Monday after a 3 percent fall in the previous session, but markets remain under pressure from high drilling activity in the United States and ample supplies from producer club OPEC.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $47.08 per barrel at 0136 GMT, up 37 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $44.60 per barrel, up 37 cents, or 0.8 percent.

Traders said the higher prices were reflected opportunistic buying following Fridays steep fall, but added that overall market conditions remain weak.

Brent prices are 17 percent below their 2017 opening despite a deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production from January.

ANZ bank said on Monday that the market "continued to focus on the increasing (U.S.) drilling activity and higher production."

U.S. energy firms added seven oil drilling rigs last week, marking a 24th week of increases out of the last 25 and bringing the total count up to 763, the most since April 2015, Baker Hughes energy services company said on Friday.

 

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Crude futures settle higher on upbeat inventory report


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled higher on Thursday, buoyed by data showing that supplies of U.S. crude fell by more than expected, easing concerns that U.S. output would continue to add to the glut in supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose 39 cents to settle at $45.52 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 16 cents to trade at $47.95 a barrel.
Crude prices eased from highs but ultimately settled higher, after an upbeat report from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday, spurred a recovery in oil prices from a 4% drop sustained in the previous session, as both gasoline and crude stocks piles fell more than expected.
Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 6.3m barrels in the week ended June 30, confounding expectations of draw of about only 2.3m barrels.
Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, unexpectedly fell by roughly 3.7m barrels against expectations of a rise of 1.067m barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.85m barrels, compared to expectations of a rise of 217,000 barrels.
Despite the larger-than-expected draw in gasoline inventories, investor sentiment on gasoline inventories remain bearish as weak gasoline demand has pushed stockpiles above seasonal averages.
Oil prices have dipped below $50 a barrel from recent highs amid growing investor doubts about Opec and its allies commitment to drain the glut in supply, as members of the oil-cartel have increased exports and production, despite the current deal to curb output.
Some analysts, however, expect oil prices to rally in the second half of the year, as demand is likely to outpace supply, causing a dent in global inventories.

 

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Crude oil down in Asia as focus swings back to oversupply


Indian Business Trade


Crude oil prices fell sharply in Asia on Friday as investors shrugged off U.S. inventory data and concentrated on a continued global supply glut.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell 1.41% 39 cents to $44.88 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent dropped 0.96% to $47.43 a barrel.
Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Thursday, buoyed by data showing that supplies of U.S. crude fell by more than expected, easing concerns that U.S. output would continue to add to the glut in supply.
Crude prices eased from highs but ultimately settled higher, after an upbeat report from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday, spurred a recovery in oil prices from a 4% drop sustained in the previous session, as both gasoline and crude stocks piles fell more than expected

 

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Gold down in Asia as dollar rebounds from overnight


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices fell on Friday as the dollar rebounded and investors looked ahead to more data on U.S. inflation.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.33% to 1,219.28 a troy ounce.
Overnight, gold prices pared losses on Thursday, as downbeat initial jobless claims and private sector payrolls data curbed investor expectations about the pace of rate hikes this year.
Gold bounced off session lows, after both the dollar and U.S. 10-Year eased, following the release of weaker-than-expected initial jobless claims and private sector payrolls data, suggesting a possible slowdown in labor market activity.
The ADP National Employment Report showed private sector payrolls increased by 158,000 jobs last month, lower than the 230,000 positions created in May and below economists expectations for a gain of 185,000.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 248,000 for the week ended July 1. It was the third straight weekly increase in claims.
Meanwhile, data showing an improvement in non-manufacturing economic activity for June, which rose to 57.4, failed to dent investor sentiment on gold.
The release of mixed economic data came a day after the minutes from the Federal Reserves June 13-14 revealed that fed policymakers were split on the outlook for inflation and how it might affect the future pace of interest rate rises.

 

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U.S. gas futures slide toward 4-month lows on bearish outlook


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures were under pressure on Wednesday, extending losses into a fourth session amid bearish weather forecasts that should limit demand for the fuel.

U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $2.898 per million British thermal units by 9:25AM ET (1325GMT), down 5.1 cents, or around 1.7%, not far from a four-month low of $2.855.

Trade volumes were thin on Tuesday, as U.S. markets remained closed for the Independence Day holiday.

Natural gas fell sharply on Monday to notch its third losing session in a row, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to decreased summer demand in the weeks ahead.

Prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.816 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 6.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Friday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 57 and 69 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 30.

That compares with a gain of 46 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 39 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 66 billion cubic feet.

 

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Gold positive as investors await fed minutes


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices moved into positive territory on Wednesday, benefiting from a tick lower in both U.S. bond yields and the dollar, as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of Federal Reserves minutes from its June meeting.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $2.77, or 0.23%, to $1221.95 a troy ounce.

Gold bounced off session lows, after both the dollar and U.S. 10-Year eased, following the release of downbeat economic data, fuelling concerns about the pace of U.S economic growth.

U.S. factory orders sank 0.8% in May following a smaller decline in April, below analysts expectations of a 0.5% decline.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The report comes ahead of the release of the Federal Reserves minutes from its June 13-14 meeting, which many investors are expected to parse for clues about future monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve has previously signalled its intention to raise rates at least once more this year, after hiking rates for the second time this year in June.

Analysts, however, are expecting the minutes to show that Fed members are less hawkish about monetary policy tightening in the wake of a slowdown in inflation.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said they “expect the minutes from the June FOMC meeting to sound more cautious than the statement or press conference as it will likely show differing views on inflation.”

 

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Crude prices tumble 4% ahead of inventory data


Indian Business Trade


Crude futures settled lower on Wednesday, as investors questioned Opec and its allies efforts to reduce the glut in supply, after Russia said that it would not support deepening oil production cuts.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell 4.1% to settle at $45.13 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent dipped by 3.57% to trade at $47.84 a barrel.
Investors hopes of deeper production cuts were dashed, after a Bloomberg report said that Russia doesnt want to change the current deal because any further supply curbs would send the wrong message to the market, according to government officials.
In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.
Adding to bearish sentiment was data released from Reuters, showing an uptick in Opec exports for June to 25.92m barrels per day (bpd), up 450,000 bpd from May, and 1.9 million bpd more than a year ago.
The slump in oil prices on Wednesday, ended their longest winning streak in five years and comes ahead of American Petroleum Institutes oil inventory report due later on Wednesday and the Energy Information Administrations weekly inventory report due Thursday.
The Energy Information Administrations weekly report is expected to show that crude stockpiles fell by 2.2m barrels last week.

 

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Oil falls, ending bull run, on rising OPEC exports and dollar


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices retreated about 4 percent on Wednesday, ending their longest bull-run in more than five years, as climbing OPEC exports and a stronger dollar turned sentiment more bearish.
Brent crude futures ended the session down $1.82, or 3.7 percent, at $47.79 a barrel. Prices had climbed for eight straight sessions to Monday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.94, or 4.12 percent, to settle at $45.13 a barrel.
"Its a transition from being overbought for a while," said Tyche Capital Advisors senior research analyst John Macaluso.
"I really dont think its too much fundamentals driving the move today - seems more like a reversal of the trend. Eventually someone comes out of the market and everyone follows and you have to take profits."
Oil exports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries climbed for a second month in June, Thomson Reuters Oil Research data showed.

 

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Gold rebounds after North Korea conducts missile test


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices bounced back after a sharp fall on Tuesday amid heightened geopolitical risk after North Korea said it had successfully test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Gold futures were at $1,224.94 a troy ounce by 05.58 AM ET (09.58 GMT), up $5.74, or around 0.47%.

South Koreas military and Japans government confirmed that North Korea had fired an “unidentified ballistic missile” which landed in the Sea of Japan. Tokyo strongly protested what it called a clear violation of UN resolutions.

The timing of the launch is significant, come just days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations are due to discuss steps to curtail North Koreas weapons programs.

Gold ended the previous session down 1.47% at $1,224.34 an ounce, the largest one day percentage decline since June 15 as a stronger dollar and gains in U.S. equities weighed.

Upbeat U.S. manufacturing data on Monday reinforced expectations for another rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year and helped the dollar index to rebound from Fridays nine-month trough.

Trade volumes were likely to remain thin with U.S. markets closed on Tuesday for the Independence Day holiday.

 

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Oil reverses earlier losses in subdued U.S. holiday trade


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil reversed earlier losses in subdued trade due to the U.S. fourth of July holiday.

U.S. crude was up 10 cents, or 0.21%, at $47.17 at 10:15 ET. Brent gained 8 cents, or 0.16%, to $49.76.

Many traders closed positions due to the holiday.

Oil has settled higher for eight sessions in a row as part of an extended recovery from multi-month lows.

Support has come from reports of a recent dip in U.S. output and a slowdown in U.S. drilling activity.

The latest weekly Baker Hughes data showed a fall in the U.S. oil rig count for the first time since the start of the year.

A supply glut has been eroding the impact of output cuts by major producers.

OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed in May to extend output cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day through to March of next year

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Oil prices firm on rising political risk, but ample supply caps gains


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil markets were firm on Wednesday on worries over geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, although prices were capped as supply remains ample despite an OPEC-led drive to rein in production.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $49.63 per barrel at 0155 GMT, virtually unchanged from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were also steady, at $47.06 per barrel.

Both markets have recovered around 12 percent from recent lows on June 21.

Traders said that firm prices came on the back of a sense of rising global security risk following North Koreas repeated missile tests and the political crisis between Qatar and an alliance of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

 

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Gold gains in Asia ahead of release of Fed minutes for June meeting


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices rose ahead of the Wednesday release of Fed minutes from the June meeting expected to provide greater insight into the chances for another hike this year.

Gold futures rose 0.73% to $1,228.09 troy ounce.

Gold prices bounced back after a sharp fall on Tuesday amid heightened geopolitical risk after North Korea said it had successfully test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Koreas military and Japans government confirmed that North Korea had fired an “unidentified ballistic missile” which landed in the Sea of Japan. Tokyo strongly protested what it called a clear violation of UN resolutions.

The timing of the launch is significant, come just days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations are due to discuss steps to curtail North Koreas weapons programs.

Gold ended the previous session down 1.47% at $1,224.34 an ounce, the largest one day percentage decline since June 15 as a stronger dollar and gains in U.S. equities weighed. Upbeat U.S. manufacturing data on Monday reinforced expectations for another rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year and helped the dollar index to rebound from Fridays nine-month trough.

 

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Gold falls to 1-1/2 month lows as stronger dollar weighs


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices fell to one-and-a-half month lows on Monday and were on track to post a third straight session of losses as a recovery in the dollar hit investor demand for the precious metal.

The dollar pulled away from nine-month lows against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday after slumping amid expectations that several global central banks are getting ready to join the Federal Reserve in tightening monetary policy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.43% to 95.8. On Friday, the index fell to a nine-month trough of 95.22.

In comments last week the heads of the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada adopted a more hawkish view on monetary policy.

Hawkish signals from foreign central banks contrasted with doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will be able to hike rates again this year given a recent batch of weak U.S. economic data and growing skepticism that the Trump administration will be able to deliver on its pro-growth agenda.

 

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Crude dips in Asia with U.S. markets shut for Fourth of July holiday


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude prices fell in Asia on Tuesday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. with markets shut and trade thin.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery fell 0.49% to $46.85 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent traded down 0.28% to $49.41 a barrel.

Overnight, crude futures settled higher for the eighth session in a row on Monday, as market participants continued to cheer data suggesting that U.S. output could be tightening.

On Friday, Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly U.S. rig count fell by 2 to a total of 756, ending a six-month trend of rising U.S. rigs.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

 

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Oil prices dip ahead of U.S. holiday after 8 days of gains


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices retreated in early Asian trade on Tuesday, halting a run of eight straight days of gains on signs that a relentless rise in U.S. crude production was running out of steam.
Brent crude futures were at $49.43 per barrel at 0147 GMT, down 25 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were trading down 22 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $46.85 a barrel.
The falls came after both benchmarks recovered around 12 percent from their recent lows on June 21.
Many traders closed positions ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on July 4, while Brent also faced technical resistance as it approached $50 per barrel, traders said.
Despite this, market sentiment has shifted somewhat.
Late May and most of June were overwhelmingly bearish as U.S. output rose and doubts grew over the ability of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to hold back enough production to tighten the market.

 

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: July 3 – 7


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices extended gains into a seventh session on Friday to log their biggest weekly gain since mid-May, as investors were encouraged by fresh signals of a decline in U.S. crude production.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract rallied $1.11, or around 2.5%, to end at $46.04 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It touched its highest since June 14 at $46.35 earlier.
For the week, WTI gained $3.03, or about 7%. However, prices still ended the first quarter with a loss of around 9% and tallied a decline of about 14.3% for the first half of the year.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery advanced $1.14, or 2.4%, to settle at $48.77 a barrel by close of trade, after touching a high of $49.00 earlier in the session, a level not seen since June 14.
London-traded Brent rose $3.23, or roughly 6.8%, on the week. Year to date, Brent is still down roughly 14.2%.
Energy services company Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by two to 756 rigs at the end of last week.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: July 3 – 7


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices were lower at the close on Friday and posted their first weekly decline since March as a rise in global bond yields curbed investor demand for the precious metal.

Gold for August delivery closed down 0.27% at $1,242.48 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing the weeks losses to 1.27%.

The precious metal still ended the first half of the year with a gain of 8%, boosted by a decline in the dollar to its lows of the year.

Gold prices came under pressure amid indications that several major central banks around the world are getting ready to join the Federal Reserve in tightening monetary policy.

 

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Crude up in Asia as Qatar faces deadline on Gulf demands


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude gained in Asia on Monday as Qatar faced a deadline on 13 demands by Gulf countries to end alleged support for terrorism and shut Doha-based Al Jazzera, with the emirate expected to reject the calls this week.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract rose 0.41% to $46.23 a barrel On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted at $48.87 a barrel.

Last week, oil prices extended gains into a seventh session on Friday to log their biggest weekly gain since mid-May, as investors were encouraged by fresh signals of a decline in U.S. crude production.

Energy services company Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by two to 756 rigs at the end of last week.

That marked only the second time the weekly oil-rig count fell this year. Oil-rig numbers had climbed for 23 weeks in a row.

 

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Oil prices rise on first drop in U.S. drilling in months


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices rose on Monday, lifted by the first fall in U.S. drilling activity in months, although gains were capped by reports of rising OPEC output last month even as the group has pledged to cut supply.

Brent crude futures climbed 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $48.93 per barrel by 0248 GMT, after jumping 5.2 percent last week, its first weekly gain in six weeks.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $46.28 per barrel, adding to last weeks 7 percent gain.

Prices were lifted as drilling activity in the United States for new oil production fell for the first time since January, dropping by two rigs.

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Gold down in Asia after surprise upbeat Caixin June PMI


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold dipped in Asia on Monday after a surprise upbeat reading in the China Caixin PMI in June.

Gold for August delivery fell 0.33% to $1,238.17 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Caixins China manufacturing PMI for June beat expectations, offering hope the worlds second-largest economy continues to defy expectations for a slowdown.

The private survey came in at 50.4, marking a three-month high. It was up from Mays 49.6, which was an 11-month low, and beat a Reuters poll forecast for 49.5.

Last week, gold prices were lower at the close on Friday and posted their first weekly decline since March as a rise in global bond yields curbed investor demand for the precious metal.

The precious metal still ended the first half of the year with a gain of 8%, boosted by a decline in the dollar to its lows of the year.

Gold prices came under pressure amid indications that several major central banks around the world are getting ready to join the Federal Reserve in tightening monetary policy.

Investor expectations mounted for tighter monetary policy across the globe after the heads of the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada adopted a more hawkish view on monetary policy.

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Crude settles higher but remained on track to post monthly decline


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude futures eased from highs on Thursday but settled higher for the session, as investors continued to cheer mostly upbeat U.S. inventory data showing a dip in gasoline inventories.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery added 19 cents to settle at $44.93 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent trade flat at $47.47 a barrel.

An upbeat report from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, showing a rebound in refining activity, as gasoline stockpiles fell more than expected boosting sentiment on oil.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, unexpectedly fell by roughly 578,000 barrels against expectations of a rise of 443,000 barrels.

Some analysts have been quick to downplay the notion of a rebound in oil prices suggesting that selling pressure may resume in the near future, as crude futures trickled into bear-market territory last week.

 

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Gold slides to session lows after upbeat U.S. GDP revision


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices edged lower in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that the U.S. economy grew twice as fast as the government originally reported, giving investors reason to hope the Federal Reserve will stick with its plan to hike rates.
Comex gold futures were at $1,242.98 a troy ounce by 8:45AM ET (1245GMT), down $5.95, or around 0.5%. Gold ended higher on Wednesday to notch its fifth gain in six sessions.
Also on the Comex, silver futures ticked down 8.5 cents, or roughly 0.5%, to $16.64 a troy ounce.
The third estimate of first quarter growth domestic product showed growth of 1.4%, revised up from the previous reading of a 1.2% expansion and double the initial 0.7% estimate.
Real consumer spending for the first three months of 2017 was also revised up more than estimated to 1.1%, from the prior reading of 0.6%.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures rise to 4-week high after weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures rose to a fresh four-week high on Thursday, extending gains into a fifth session after data showed that domestic supplies in storage rose less than anticipated last week.

U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.117 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (1433GMT), up 2.4 cents, or around 0.8%. Futures were at around $3.075 prior to the release of the supply data.

Natural gas edged higher on Tuesday to notch its fourth wining session in a row on Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 46 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 23, below forecasts for a build of 52 billion.

That compared with a gain of 61 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 37 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 72 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.816 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 6.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

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U.S. gas futures break out to 4-week high on bullish demand outlook


Indian Business Trade

 

 U.S. natural gas futures rose to a four-week high on Wednesday, extending gains into a fourth session amid bullish weather forecasts that should provide a boost in demand for the fuel.

U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.099 per million British thermal units by 9:05AM ET (1305GMT), up 3.4 cents, or around 1.1%. It rose to its highest since June 1 at $3.117 earlier.

Natural gas edged higher on Tuesday to notch its third wining session in a row, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

 

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Oil prices climb to 2-week highs as U.S. crude output falls


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices rose to a two-week high in European trade on Thursday, extending gains into a sixth session after U.S. government data revealed the biggest weekly decline in domestic crude production in almost a year.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract was at $45.12 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), up 38 cents, or around 0.9%. It touched its highest since June 14 at $45.23 earlier.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for September delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 37 cents, or about 0.8%, to $47.91 a barrel, after hitting a two-week high of $48.03.
Crude prices posted sharp gains on Wednesday, with the commodity logging its fifth wining session in a row.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that total domestic crude production fell by 100,000 barrels a day to 9.25 million barrels a day for the week ended June 23. That was the biggest decline in weekly output since July 2016.

 

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Gold pushes higher as dollar sinks to 8-month lows


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices bounced off session lows, buoyed a slump in the dollar as U.S. political uncertainty resurfaced, after the Senate’s decision to delay a vote on a healthcare bill raised fresh doubts about President Trump’s ability to deliver on his pro-growth economic agenda.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $3.67, or 0.29%, to $1,250.57 a troy ounce.
A slump in the dollar to eight-month lows against its rivals boosted demand for dollar-denominated gold, as traders sought safe haven protection from U.S. political uncertainty, after the Senate delayed a vote on a healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
President Donald Trump has reiterated several times that healthcare reform would need to be passed before his administration moves ahead with tax reform, which is widely viewed as a pro-economic growth measure.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A dip in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand.
Gains in gold, however, remained stifled by expectations that the Federal Reserve will deliver a third rate hike later this year, after hiking rates for the second time earlier in June, despite a slowdown in inflation.

 

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Gold pushes higher as dollar sinks to 8-month lows


Indian Business Trade


Gold prices edged higher in European trade on Thursday, as the dollar extended its recent decline to the lowest level since October, boosting the appeal of the yellow metal.
Comex gold futures were at $1,252.69 a troy ounce by 3:05AM ET (0705GMT), up $3.60, or around 0.3%. Gold ended higher on Wednesday to notch its fifth gain in six sessions.
Also on the Comex, silver futures ticked up 12.0 cents, or roughly 0.7%, to $16.84 a troy ounce.
The dollar wallowed at one-year lows against the euro and slipped against sterling as investors priced in tighter monetary policy in Europe, following hawkish comments made by key central bank officials.
Sterling added to gains made after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday that the central bank is likely to need to raise interest rates as the British economy comes closer to operating at full capacity.

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Oil prices climb to 2-week highs as U.S. crude output falls


Indian Business Trade


Oil prices rose to a two-week high in European trade on Thursday, extending gains into a sixth session after U.S. government data revealed the biggest weekly decline in domestic crude production in almost a year.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude August contract was at $45.12 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), up 38 cents, or around 0.9%. It touched its highest since June 14 at $45.23 earlier.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for September delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 37 cents, or about 0.8%, to $47.91 a barrel, after hitting a two-week high of $48.03.
Crude prices posted sharp gains on Wednesday, with the commodity logging its fifth wining session in a row.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that total domestic crude production fell by 100,000 barrels a day to 9.25 million barrels a day for the week ended June 23. That was the biggest decline in weekly output since July 2016.

 

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Is silver about to head higher?


Indian Business Trade

 

Silver Futures has been relatively volatile over the past few weeks, but despite the recent pullback from the high at $17.714, it could be getting set to rally again.
The precious metal is currently trading at $16.533, relatively close to key support. Any further downside moves would need to surpass this level but downside risks are easing, Blackwell Global analyst Steven Knight says in an article published by Investing.com.
The daily chart shows a relatively clear short term, rising trend line, implying support in the coming days. The RSI Oscillator is also near oversold levels. The Stochastic Oscillator also points to a potential reversal with a crossover, within oversold territory, seen in the past few days.
However, it is relatively difficult to predict the timing of potential breakouts given some of the opaque actors behind the scenes, although building pressure for an upside correction in the coming days is relatively clear. 
Price action is currently being squeezed between a rising trend line and declining moving averages. Clearly, something must break and both of the oscillators seem to suggest that the upside is the probable direction.
Silver is likely to see some bullishness in the coming days provided it can break through the declining moving average lines. If it can surmount this, we are likely to see a significant technical rally that could take it back towards the $17.582 mark.
Fundamentals are also positive, with worsening U.S. economic data clouding the risk of further Federal Reserve action in the months ahead.

 

  

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U.S. gas futures rise to more than 1-week high on demand outlook


Indian Business Trade

 

 U.S. natural gas futures rose to a more than one-week high on Tuesday, extending gains from the prior session amid bullish weather forecasts that should provide a boost in demand for the fuel.

U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $3.058 per million British thermal units by 9:25AM ET (1325GMT), up 0.9 cents, or around 0.3%. It rose to its highest since June 16 at $3.080 in overnight trade.

Natural gas rallied almost 10.0 cents, or roughly 3.3%, on Monday, the biggest one-day gain since late February, as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

 

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Gold struggles to add to gains despite dollar slump


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices moved off six-week lows, after the dollar fell to a seven-month low against rivals but gains were capped as Fed chair Janet Yellen reiterated the need to raised rate “very gradually”.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $4.18, or 0.34%, to $1,250.68 a troy ounce.

The dollar fell sharply, boosting demand for the precious metal, as traders digested comments from Fed chair Janet.

Fed chair Janet Yellen offered relatively little on monetary policy but reiterated that it was appropriate to raise interest rates “very gradually to a level that [is] likely to remain quite low by historical standards for a long time”.

Yellen noted that inflation expectations “has continued to run below our [the feds] objective”, asserting that the central bank wanted to avoid a scenario in which inflation expectations continued to slip.

Yellen speech came ahead of comments from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, who downplayed the recent dip in inflation as transitory and remained adamant that the Federal Reserve is on the right path concerning monetary policy.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

 

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Oil prices weighed down as U.S. inventory gains revive glut worries


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil markets were steady to lower on Wednesday after a report of rising U.S. fuel and crude inventories underscored concerns that a three-year supply glut is far from over.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $46.67 per barrel at 0329 GMT, close to their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $44.16 per barrel.

Oil had recovered some ground over the past week after falling nearly 20 percent since mid-May, but a report by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed that U.S. crude inventories rose by 851,000 barrels in the week to June 23 to 509.5 million, compared with analysts expectations for a decrease of 2.6 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels even though the U.S. summer driving season began a few weeks ago. [API/S]

The U.S. inventory gains show global supplies are still ample despite the effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January 2017 and March 2018.

Ian Taylor, head of the worlds largest independent oil trader Vitol, says Brent crude prices will stay in a range of $40-$55 a barrel for the next few quarters as higher U.S. production slows a rebalancing of the market.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures kick off the week with strong gains


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures started the week with strong gains on Monday, extending their recovery from three-month lows as updated weather forecasting models pointed to increased summer demand in the weeks ahead.

Natural gas saw a loss of roughly 3.6% last week.

Temperatures will warm back into the upper 80s to 90s Fahrenheit late in the week over the southern and eastern U.S. as high pressure returns.

Longer-term models showed the western, central, and southern U.S. will be very warm to hot through July 9, as high pressure dominates.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.770 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.4% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 7.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

 

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Gold hovers above six-week lows as monetary policy comes into focus


Indian Business Trade

 

 Gold prices traded close to six-week lows, despite downbeat economic data signalling a slowdown in manufacturing activity, as investors turned attention to monetary policy, with speeches from several Federal Reserve officials slated for later in the week.

Gold failed to capitalize on the release of weaker than expected data as new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in May suggesting a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, increasing investor fears that second-quarter economic growth may not be as robust as previously expected.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that overall orders for durable goods, fell 1.1% in May, the biggest decline since November.

 

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Crude settles higher but remains under pressure


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude futures settled higher on Monday, but investor sentiment remained largely negative amid fears that rising U.S. production would derail Opec and its allies efforts to rein in the glut in supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery added 37 cents to settle at $43.38 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 34 cents to trade at $46.09 a barrel.

Crude prices rebounded from lows shrugging off data from the U.S. Energy Departing showing that shale firms are now on pace to take domestic crude oil output to a record in 2018, surpassing 10 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc. said in a report on Friday that U.S. drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to June 23, bringing the total count up to 758, the most since April 2015

 

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Oil little changed after three-day gain, supply glut weighs


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude oil futures were largely unchanged on Tuesday as the market took a breather following three days of gains with a supply glut keeping a lid on prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were up 3 cents at $43.41 per barrel by 0148 GMT and Brent crude futures(LCOc1) added 6 cents at $45.89 per barrel.

The market is up slightly so far this week, but Brent and U.S. crude oil have dropped for the past five weeks.

"Three days of price action has been interesting, it has been short covering," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

"The market has fallen a lot as the news has been bad pretty consistently for the oil market. It has moved a long way in response to that news, maybe we are getting to a point that there is upside risk to any good news."

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: June 26 – 30


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices rose to one-week highs on Friday, boosted by the weaker dollar which fell amid persistent fears over prospects for further U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Gold for August delivery closed up 0.71% at $1,258.31 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, after rising as high as $1,260.00 earlier.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.37% at 96.98 late Friday, posting its largest one day decline in three weeks.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Friday that the Fed should hold off on any further rate increases to see how the economy is progressing.

"Recent inflation data have surprised to the downside and call into question the idea that U.S. inflation is reliably returning toward target," he said. "The Fed can wait and see how the economy develops before making any further adjustments."

At its meeting the previous week the Fed stuck to its projection for one more rate hike this year despite recent weak inflation data.

The dollar had risen earlier in the week boosted by comments by New York Fed President William Dudley, who said a tightening labor market would push up wages and cause inflation to reverse from its current pullback.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise.

Gold is also highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar.

 

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Oil edges above November lows but under threat from U.S. supply surge


Indian Business Trade

 

 U.S. crude futures and options have increased their bets against a further rise in prices, just as the number of U.S. oil rigs in operation hit its highest in over three years. [CFTC/] [RIG/U]

U.S. shale oil output is up around 10 percent since last year, and, together with increases from the likes of Brazil, threatens to scupper the efforts of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to force a drawdown in global oil inventories via production cuts.

Brent crude futures were up 48 cents at $46.02 per barrel by 0836 GMT. The price is still on track for a near 20 percent drop in the first half of the year, having hit a trough of $44.35 on June 21, its lowest since November.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 47 cents at $43.48 per barrel.

"We saw this continued big rise in oil rigs last week and in our view we dont need a single additional rig for the next 12 months in the U.S. space if we look at balance for 2018," SEB strategist Bjarne Schieldrop said.

"I dont think OPEC is going to cut deeper, at least not for now. I think its keeping its fingers crossed and looking forward to Q3 and Q4 and hoping their medicine will do the trick."

 

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Gold plunges 1% as markets look to this weeks Fed speakers, U.S. data


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices were sharply lower in North American trade on Monday, as investors looked ahead to comments from key Fed officials and a raft of U.S. economic data in the week ahead for further signs of the central banks likely rate hike trajectory through the end of the year.

Comex gold futures were at $1,241.63 a troy ounce by 5:10AM ET (0910GMT), down around 1.2%. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,240.86.

It plunged by as much as 1.7% in thin overnight trade to as low as $1,236.53, a level not seen since May 16.

Also on the Comex, silver futures slumped 19.7 cents, or roughly 1.2%, to $16.45 a troy ounce, after hitting its lowest since May 11 at $16.26.

Market players are expected to pay close attention to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday, as they look for more hints on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and clues on how the central bank plans to pare back its balance sheet.

Traders will also keep an eye out on a final reading of U.S. first-quarter economic growthdue on Thursday for further evidence on the health of the worlds biggest economy.

Besides the GDP report, this weeks calendar also features U.S. data on durable goods orders, consumer confidence, pending home sales, weekly jobless claims as well as personal income and spending, which includes the personal consumption expenditures inflation data, the Feds preferred metric for inflation.

The Fed raised interest rates for the second time this year earlier in June and maintained plans to go ahead with another rate hike by year-end. Despite the Feds message, market players remained doubtful over the central banks ability to raise rates as much as it would like in the coming months due to subdued inflation.

 

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U.S. natural gas trims gains after weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures were higher on Thursday, but came off the strongest levels of the session after data showed that domestic supplies in storage rose more than anticipated last week.

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $2.898 per million British thermal units by 10:40AM ET (1440GMT), up 0.5 cents, or around 0.2%. Futures were at around $2.918 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 61 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 16, above forecasts for a build of 58 billion.

That compared with a gain of 78 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 62 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 82 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.770 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.4% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 7.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, warm to hot conditions will return over the Great Lakes and East with highs back into the 80s to lower 90s in the next three-to-five days.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

 

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Crude gains in Asia with weekly U.S. rig count the next data point


Indian Business Trade

 

 Crude prices gained in Asia on Friday with the market looking ahead to U.S. rig count figures.On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose 0.23% to $42.84 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.18% to $45.30 a barrel.

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. has increased for 22 straight weeks with the latest figures due on Friday from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes with investors waiting to see if recent price drops in crude are causing a re-think on drilling plans.

Tropical storm Cindy made landfall on Thursday near Lake Charles, Louisiana, after it disrupted some operations in the Gulf of Mexico, home to about 17% of U.S. crude and 5% of dry natural gas output. The storm is now on the wane.

Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Thursday, paring some of the losses sustained in recent sessions but sentiment remained bearish as investors continue to fret about rising global stockpiles.

Crude futures snapped a three-day losing streak, despite a growing number of analysts scaling back their forecast for crude prices over the near-term amid fears that the glut in crude stockpiles would persist.

The move higher in crude futures comes a day after the Energy Information Administration said that crude stockpiles fell by roughly 2.45m barrels in the week ended June 16, above expectations of draw of about 2.1m barrels.

Despite the draw in U.S. crude stockpiles, rising shale output remains a principal concern among investors – The U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that supply will grow by 122,000 barrels a day.

Since the turn of the year oil prices have slumped more than 20%, reflecting negative investor sentiment on oil, as doubts continued to mount as to whether OPEC and its allies can tackle the glut in supply.

 

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Oil edges up, but set for worst first-half performance in 20 years


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil edged up on Friday, recovering slightly from steep falls earlier in the week, but is set for the worst performing first-half in two decades despite ongoing production cuts.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $45.31 per barrel at 0222 GMT, up 9 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $42.84 per barrel.

Oil prices have fallen about 20 percent this year despite an effort led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) that has been in place since January.

Thats the worst first-half performance for crude oil since 1997, when rising output and the Asian financial crisis led to sharp price falls.

The weak markets are a result of doubts over OPECs ability to rein in a fuel supply overhang that has dogged markets since 2014 as production has largely outpaced consumption.

 

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Gold gains in Asia on safe-have demand from China


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold held gains in Asia on Friday on safe-have demand from China as borrowing by some major private firms to buy assets overseas comes under the scanner of the countrys bank regulator.

Reports overnight said  Chinas banking regulator had asked large lender to check credit risk profiles of several companies that had borrowed heavily in greenbacks to buy assets abroad. But details were sparse and there was no immediate indications on the extent of exposure. China regularly vies with India as the top importer of gold.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.25% at $1,252.55 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices remained on track to end higher for a second-straight session, as subdued weekly initial jobless claims data undershot expectations, helping the precious metal shrug off expectations that the Federal Reserve may hike rates later this year.

The latest weekly update on initial jobless claims failed to impress market participants, showing that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased slightly last week.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures move away from 3-month lows


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures were higher on Wednesday, moving away from three-month lows touched earlier this week as weather forecasting models turned warmer, which should boost demand in the weeks ahead.

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $2.931 per million British thermal units by 8:55AM ET (1255GMT), up 2.4 cents, or around 0.8%.

Prices of the fuel ended higher on Tuesday,  snapping a two-session losing streak after sliding to the lowest since March 17 at $2.877 at the start of the week.

Wednesday marks the official start of summer and with it brings impressive heat over the Southwest, while far from impressive conditions over the Midwest and East.

Late in the week, warm to hot conditions will return over the Great Lakes and East with highs back into the 80s to lower 90s. Although, yet another cool shot will push into the north-central U.S. this weekend and then across the East next week.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Meanwhile, a tropical system continues to gradually strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico, but still far from ominous.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 49 and 60 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 16.

 

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Oil prices climb off 10-month lows as U.S. stockpiles drop


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices rose on Thursday after U.S. crude  and gasoline stockpiles fell, but worries over whether OPEC-led output cuts would be able to rein in a three-year glut continued to drag.

The market largely shrugged off comments overnight from Irans oil minister that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are considering deeper cuts in production.

Brent crude futures were 4 cents higher at $44.86 a barrel at 0219 GMT, after falling 2.6 percent in the previous session to their lowest since August last year.

U.S. crude futures were up 6 cents at $42.59 a barrel. On Wednesday, they settled down at $42.53, after touching their lowest intraday level since August 2016.

Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped around 20 percent, with only brief rallies, completely erasing gains at the end of the year in the wake of the initial OPEC-led production cut.

OPEC and other producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day from January for six months, subsequently extended for a further nine months.

With production rising in Nigeria and Libya, countries exempt from the deal, and output surging in the United States, which was not part of the agreement, many bulls appear to have thrown in the towel.

Oil has "now fallen into bear territory," ANZ said in a research note. "OPEC (and allies) may have pared back production, but thats being offset by relentless drilling in the U.S. and more output in Libya."

A bigger-than-expected cut in U.S. crude stockpiles reported overnight is barely shifting the dial.

Crude inventories fell 2.5 million barrels in the week to June 16, surpassing analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.1 million barrels, as imports rose marginally by 56,000 barrels per day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

 

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Gold gains in Asia as Fed views change, weak dollar supports


Indian Business Trade

 

 Gold prices rose in Asia on Thursday with a weaker dollar and revised views on the Fed hiking rates for a third time this year offered support.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.67% to $1,254.18 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices traded above breakeven on Wednesday, as the dollar faded despite data showing that U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly rose in May while growing expectations for a rate hike later this year limited upside in the precious metal.

The dollar failed to capitalize on upbeat housing data, as the National Association of Realtors said strong demand and inexpensive mortgages were driving up prices at an unsustainable rate, as sales of existing homes rose 1.1% in May to an annual rate of 5.62 million.

Analysts had forecast U.S. existing home sales to decline by 0.5%.

On Tuesday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said low interest rates do pose financial stability concerns that central bankers and the private sector must take seriously while Bill Dudley, head of the New York Federal Reserve, a day earlier, downplayed the recent slowdown in inflation, warning that halting rate increases at this point would be dangerous.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

 

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Crude holds slight gain in Asia after sharp losses overnight


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude prices gave up early gains in Asia on Thursday, but stayed in the black with sentiment focused on the pain point for U.S. shale driller is oil benchmarks continue to decline near to $40 a barrel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery rose 0.07% to settle at $42.56 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent  gained 0.04% to trade at $44.84 a barrel.

At the end of the week, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes will detail the state-of-play for U.S. oil drilling at the end of last week with 22 straight weekly gains already in place.

Overnight, crude futures bounced off their lowest level since August, but remained at seven-month lows as data showing that supplies of U.S. crude fell by more than expected failed to offset fears about the glut in supply.

An upbeat report from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, showing a dip in crude and gasoline stockpiles failed to lift sentiment on oil.

Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 2.45m barrels in the week ended June 16, below expectations of draw of about 2.1m barrels.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, unexpectedly fell by roughly 578,000 barrels against expectations of a rise of 443,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles rose by 1.1m barrels, compared to expectations of a rise of 465,000 barrels.

Crude prices have remained under pressure since the start of the week, reflecting the growing disbelief among traders in Opec and its allies ability to tackle the demand and supply balance in the market.

 

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Gold holds near 5-week low amid hawkish Fed outlook


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices stayed near the lowest level in around five weeks in European trade on Tuesday, as hawkish remarks made by an influential Federal Reserve official reinforced expectations for the Fed to keep raising interest rates.

Comex gold futures were at $1,248.89 a troy ounce by 4:35AM ET (0835GMT), up $2.20, or around 0.2%. Prices fell to $1,244.10 in overnight trade, a level not seen since May 17. Gold prices lost about $10.00, or 0.8%, on Monday.

Also on the Comex, silver futures were up 7.8 cents, or roughly 0.5%, to $16.58 a troy ounce, after hitting its lowest since May 18 at $16.44.

New York Fed Chief William Dudley gave an upbeat assessment of the economy on Monday and warned against the central bank taking a pause in the tightening cycle.

In a business roundtable held in Plattsburg, New York, Dudley said U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rise alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, allowing the Fed to continue gradually tightening U.S. monetary policy.

 

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Gold stays near lowest in 5 weeks on Fed rate hike bets


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices held near their lowest level in around five weeks in North American trade on Tuesday, amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.

Comex gold futures were at $1,247.25 a troy ounce by 8:55AM ET (1255GMT), little changed on the day. Prices fell to $1,244.10 in overnight trade, a level not seen since May 17. Gold prices lost about $10.00, or 0.8%,  on Monday.

Also on the Comex, silver futures were down 4.2 cents, or roughly 0.3%, to $16.46 a troy ounce, its lowest since May 18.

Market expectations for another Fed rate hike later this year have improved in wake of hawkish comments made by influential New York Fed Chief William Dudley on Monday.

Dudley gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and warned against the central bank taking a pause in the tightening cycle. He added that U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rise alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, allowing the Fed to continue gradually tightening U.S. monetary policy.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures little changed after worst day in 6 months


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures were little changed on Tuesday, one day after suffering its biggest daily loss since January as updated weather forecasting models pointed to weak demand in the weeks ahead.

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $2.889 per million British thermal units by 9:25AM ET (1325GMT), down half a cent. It fell to its lowest since March 17 at $2.877 in the prior session.

Natural gas prices lost 14.3 cents, or around 4.7%, on Monday,  their worst one-day drop since January.

A cool front will sweep across the eastern U.S. the next few days with heavy showers and powerful thunderstorms, thereby dropping highs into the upper 60s and 70s with little demand for heating or cooling.

Longer-term models showed considerably cooler temperatures for late next weekend into the following week as weather systems over southern Canada advance more aggressively into the northern and eastern U.S.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.709 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 8.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 49 and 60 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 16.

That compares with a gain of 78 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 62 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 82 billion cubic feet.

 

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Gold gains in Asia on views for 3rd Fed hike this year


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold rose in Asia on Wednesday with Fed views on rate hikes for the rest of the year in focus with some expectations that inflation is not strong enough for a third hike this year as forecast.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.29% to $1,247.13 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices remained subdued on Tuesday, as the dollar continued to advance amid rising expectations that the Federal Reserve would hike interest rate by the year-end.

Gold futures continued to trickle lower, as a growing number of market participants expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates by the end of the year in the wake of upbeat comments from Federal Reserve officials.

On Tuesday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said low interest rates do pose financial stability concerns that central bankers and the private sector must take seriously. On Monday, Bill Dudley, head of the New York Federal Reserve downplayed the recent slowdown in inflation, adding that halting rate increases at this point would be dangerous.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Monday it may be worthwhile for the U.S. central bank to wait until year-end to decide whether to raise interest rates again.

Bullish comments from Fed officials have surprised investors as economic data has failed to show consistent U.S. economic growth.

The precious metal has continued to slip from its recent high, after the Federal Reserve hiked rates last Wednesday, leaving the door open for an additional rate this year.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

 

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Oil languishes near multi-month lows on glut fears


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, trading around multi-month lows as investors discounted evidence of strong compliance by OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers with a deal to cut global output.

Global benchmark Brent (LCOc1) was down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $45.91 barrel at 0345 GMT after falling nearly 2 percent in the previous session to its lowest settlement since November.

U.S. crude futures (CLc1) for August were trading down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $43.43, after a more than 2 percent decline to the lowest since September on Tuesday.

Compliance with an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from January reached its highest in May since curbs were agreed last year.

"The lack of a positive response in oil prices clearly suggests market participants are not convinced that the OPECs efforts will help shore up prices in a meaningful way in the short-term as shale supply continues to rise in the U.S.," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures plunge 5% to lowest since March


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures started the week with heavy losses on Monday, sliding to the lowest level since mid-March as updated weather forecasting models pointed to weak demand in the weeks ahead.

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $2.898 per million British thermal units by 8:40AM ET (1240GMT), down 14.0 cents, or around 4.6%. It fell to its lowest since March 17 at $2.884 earlier in the session.

A cool front will sweep across the eastern U.S. the next few days with heavy showers and powerful thunderstorms, thereby dropping highs into the upper 60s and 70s with little demand for heating or cooling.

Longer-term models showed considerably cooler temperatures for late next weekend into the following week as weather systems over southern Canada advance more aggressively into the northern and eastern U.S.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.709 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 8.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 49 and 60 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 16.

 

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Gold points weaker in Asia on stronger dollar, Fischer awaited


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold pointed weaker in early Asia Tuesday on overnight gains in the dollar that make buying the greenback-denominated precious metal more expensive for key importers.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were last quoted at $1,245.75, down 0.86%.

The dollar index gained after fresh inflation views from a Fed policymaker and ahead of remarks later in the day from Deputy Fed Chairman Stanley Fischer.

Overnight, gold prices fell on Monday, weighed by an uptick in the dollar after upbeat comments on inflation from the head of the New York Federal Reserve increased expectations of a rate hike this year.

Gold futures came under pressure on Monday, as Bill Dudley, head of the New York Federal Reserve, downplayed the recent slowdown in inflation, adding that halting rate increases at this point would be dangerous.

"Inflation is a little lower than what we would like, but we think that if the labor market continues to tighten, wages will gradually pick up and with that, inflation will gradually get back to 2 percent," Dudley told a local business group in Plattsburg, New York.

The move lower in gold prices on Monday comes fresh on the heels of a two-week losing streak, as the precious metal has remained under pressure since the Federal Reserve hiked rates last Wednesday, leaving the door open for an additional rate this year.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

 

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Crude stages mild rebound in Asia with API estimates in focus


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude futures edged a tad higher in Asia on Tuesday with industry estimates of U.S. crude and refined product figures due later in the day to set the tone. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for August delivery edged up 0.05% to $44.55 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent  rose 0.06% to $46.94 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its weekly inventory estimates after the U.S. market close on Tuesday, followed by more-closely watched figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday. The API and EIA figures often diverge.

Initial forecasts expect a drop of 2.180 million barrels in crude oil and a build of 600,000 barrels for distillates. Gasoline inventoires which rose an unexpected 2.096 million barrels last week had so far not seen expectations listed.

Overnight, crude futures settled lower on Monday, despite Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih downplaying the impact of rising output from Libya, Nigeria and the United States, insisting that the oil market is expected to balance in the fourth quarter.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih set out to reassure market participants that rising output from U.S. shale, Nigeria and Libya would not derail OPECs plan to reduce crude output, and insisted that the oil market would rebalance soon.

“The forecasts that the oil market will re-balance in the fourth quarter have taken into consideration the rise in shale oil production,” he said. The rise in crude output from Libya and Nigeria is posing no threat as “the level of increase from these two countries is still within the limits set by the Algeria agreement of 500,000 barrels a day,” he told the Saudi-owned daily.

 

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Oil prices hold near seven-month lows, glut keeps dragging


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil markets held around seven-month lows on Tuesday as investors focused on persistent signs of rising supply that are undermining attempts by OPEC and other producers to support prices.

Brent futures were up 4 cents at $46.95 at 0214 GMT. On Monday, they fell 46 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $46.91 a barrel.

That was their lowest since Nov. 29, the day before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers agreed to cut output for six months from January.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 1 cent at $44.19 a barrel. They declined 54 cents, or 1.2 percent in the previous session, to settle at $44.20 per barrel, the lowest close since Nov. 14. The July contract will expire on Tuesday and August will become the front-month.

Both benchmarks are down around 15 percent since late May, when OPEC, Russia and other producers extended by nine months the cut in output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

"Recent data points are not encouraging," Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)  said in a research note. "Identifiable oil inventories - both crude and product in the OECD, China and selected other non-OECD countries - increased at a rate of (about) 1 (million bpd) in 1Q."

OPEC supplies jumped in May as output recovered in Libya and Nigeria, two countries exempt from the production cut agreement.

Libyas oil production has risen more than 50,000 bpd after the state oil company settled a dispute with Germanys Wintershall, a Libyan source told Reuters.

Analysts said rising U.S. crude production has fed the global glut. Data on Friday showed a record 22nd consecutive week of increases in U.S. oil rig numbers.

Still, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih remained confident OPECs cuts were working. The oil market is heading in the right direction but still needs time to rebalance, al-Falih told the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

"In my opinion, market fundamentals are going in the right direction, but in light of the large surplus in stockpiles over the past years, the cut needs time to take effect."

 

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Gold gains marginally in Asia as Fed views on rates noted


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold edged marginally higher in Asia on Tuesday on overnight gains in the dollar, though differing views by Fed policy makers on interest rates brought caution.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.01% to $1,246.87 a troy ounce.

The dollar index gained after fresh inflation views from a Fed policymaker and ahead of remarks later in the day from Deputy Fed Chairman Stanley Fischer.

Overnight, the dollar strengthened and U.S. Treasury yields rose on comments from New York Fed President William Dudley expecting that inflation should rise faster going forward, allowing the Fed to proceed with tightening monetary policy. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans however later said the Fed should move slowly to raise rates and trim its portfolio due to soft inflation.

Overnight, gold prices fell on Monday, weighed by an uptick in the dollar after upbeat comments on inflation from the head of the New York Federal Reserve increased expectations of a rate hike this year.

The move lower in gold prices on Monday comes fresh on the heels of a two-week losing streak, as the precious metal has remained under pressure since the Federal Reserve hiked rates last Wednesday, leaving the door open for an additional rate this year.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

 

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Trumps coal plan sends U.S. energy "back to the past": Vatican


Indian Business Trade

 

 U.S. President Donald Trump is sending U.S. energy production "back to the past" with disastrous decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and to promote the coal industry, a senior Vatican official said on Friday.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said Pope Francis was concerned that any harm to the environment will be like a "boomerang that will come back ... especially to poor people" with ever worsening effects.

Trump said on June 1 he was pulling the United States out of the 195-nation Paris climate agreement, the first to oblige all nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions, saying he wanted to create jobs in the U.S. fossil fuel industry.

Trump said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

"This is to go back to the past and not to see the future," Sanchez Sorondo, an Argentine like the pope, told Reuters in a telephone interview. He said future energy jobs would be in renewables, such as wind or solar power, rather than coal.

Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement "is a disaster for this country (the United States) and also for all the world", he said, echoing remarks he made to an Italian newspaper just before Trumps announcement.

Many other leaders have expressed dismay and anger at Trumps withdrawal and pledged to push ahead with the Paris accord. Among them, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged action to protect "Mother Earth".

SCIENCE TEACHING

The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to phase out greenhouse gas emissions this century to limit a rise in average temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

The pope has urged Trump to be a peacemaker and gave him a signed copy of a 2015 encyclical about the environment in a meeting in the Vatican last month. Sanchez Sorondo said he had not heard if Trump had read the document.

Sanchez Sorondo criticized what he called the poor level of teaching of science in the United States, compared to many European countries such as Germany. "The German people are more educated in sciences and believe in science," he said.

"The real situation of the Earth today, of the planet, is described by scientists," he said. To anyone on the surface the Earth can seem flat but scientific findings mean "its difficult to say the Earth is not round," he said.

The Vatican has embraced climate change science in recent years, a quicker acceptance than in some other areas. Pope John Paul acknowledged only in 1996, for instance, that Charles Darwins 1859 theory of evolution was "more than a hypothesis".

During his campaign, Trump dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax. By contrast, a U.N. panel of climate scientists says it is at least 95 percent probable that most warming since the 1950s is caused by human activities.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: June 19 – 23


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices ended a bit higher on Friday, but the yellow metal still logged its second straight weekly loss after the Federal Reserve hiked rates and maintained plans to go ahead with another increase by year-end.

Gold for August delivery inched up $1.90, or about 0.2%, to close at $1,256.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It touched its lowest since May 24 at $1,252.70 on Thursday.

For the week, the precious metal lost $13.20, or roughly 1.2%, the second weekly loss in a row.

Also on the Comex, silver futures dipped 5.5 cents, or around 0.3%, to settle at $16.66 a troy ounce, the lowest level since May 19. The white metal declined 3.3% for the week.

The Fed raised interest rates as widely expected on Wednesday and maintained plans to go ahead with another rate hike by year-end. The central bank also provided greater detail about how it plans to reduce its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Despite the Feds relatively hawkish message, market players remained doubtful over the Feds ability to raise rates as much as it would like before the end of the year due to a recent run of disappointing U.S. economic data.

U.S. homebuilding fell for a third straight month in May to the lowest level in eight months, data showed on Friday, suggesting that subdued housing activity could dent economic growth in the second quarter.

In a separate report the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment gauged fell to 94.5 in early June from 91.1 in May. Analysts had expected a reading of 97.1.

Futures traders are pricing in less than a 15% chance of a hike at the Feds September meeting, according to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool.  Odds of a December increase was seen at about 35%.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, platinum  tacked on $5.50, or 0.6%, to end at $926.80, for a weekly loss of about 1.1%, while palladium  advanced $7.70, or 0.9%, to close at $865.65 an ounce, taking its weekly gain to roughly 2.8%.

Meanwhile, copper lost less than half a cent on Friday to settle at $2.564 a pound, ending about 3.2% lower for the week.

Following a busy week packed with central bank meetings, market players will focus on a handful of Federal Reserve speakers in the week ahead,  as they look for more clues on future monetary policy moves.

Traders will also keep an eye out on more U.S. housing data to gauge if a recent downtick in consumer spending and inflation is translating into lower home prices and slack in sales.

Meanwhile, in Europe, market players eagerly await the start of Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: June 19 – 23


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil futures settled a bit higher on Friday, but prices still suffered their fourth straight weekly loss as the market weighed rising U.S. drilling against ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output to reduce a global glut.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude July contract inched up 28 cents, or around 0.6%, to end at $44.74 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It touched its lowest since May 5 at $44.22 on Thursday.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery advanced 45 cents to settle at $48.15 a barrel by close of trade, after hitting a daily trough of $47.40, a level not seen since May 5.

For the week, WTI lost $1.13, or about 2.4%, while Brent fell 78 cents, or roughly 1.6%. Both have now posted losses four weeks in a row, which marks the longest weekly losing streak since August 2015 for WTI.

Concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market remained in focus.

Data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday that U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 22nd week in a row, the longest such streak on record, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

 

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Oil prices dip on further rise in U.S. drilling, demand slowdown


Indian Business Trade

 

 Oil prices dipped on Monday, weighed down by a continuing expansion in U.S. drilling that has helped to maintain high global supplies despite an OPEC-led initiative to cut production to tighten the market.

Signs of faltering demand have also prompted weakening sentiment, dropping prices to levels comparable to when the output cuts were first announced late last year.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were down 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $47.24 per barrel at 0406 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $44.59 per barrel.

Prices for both benchmarks are down by around 14 percent since late May, when producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended their pledge to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by an extra nine months until the end of the first quarter of 2018.

 

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Gold sinks to lowest in 3 weeks after upbeat U.S. economic data


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices sank to the lowest level in around three weeks in North American trading on Thursday, adding to overnight losses following the release of upbeat U.S. economic data and as investors continued to digest the Federal Reserves hawkish message.

Comex gold futures were at $1,255.37 a troy ounce by 9:00AM ET (1300GMT), down $20.72, or around 1.6%. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,253.11. Gold prices touched their lowest since May 24 at $1,252.70 earlier in the session.

The U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending June 10 decreased by 8,000 to 237,000 from the previous weeks total of 245,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 3,000 to 242,000 last week.

Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its manufacturing index slipped only to 27.6 this month from Mays reading of 38.8. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 24.0.

Meanwhile, the Empire State manufacturing index climbed to 19.80 in June from -1.00 the previous month, compared to expectations for a reading of 4.00.

The data came a day after the Fed raised interest rates for the second time this year, putting it in a range between 1.0%-1.25%. The central bank maintained its outlook of one more rate hike for this year, as it expects that a tightening labor market will lift inflation to the 2% target over the medium term.

 

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U.S. natural gas jumps almost 3% after bullish weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures rose sharply on Thursday, after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose less than anticipated last week.

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $3.010 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (1435GMT), up 8.0 cents, or around 2.7%. Futures were at around $2.952 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 78 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 9, below forecasts for a build of 86 billion.

That compared with a gain of 106 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 69 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 87 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.709 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 8.4% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Prices of the fuel notched a third-straight decline on Wednesday after falling to its lowest since March 20 at $2.916, as forecasts for below-normal temperatures across most parts of the U.S. over the next two weeks weighed.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

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Crude futures settle at six week lows as oversupply concerns persist


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude futures settled lower on Thursday, amid growing investor skepticism in Opec and its allies ability to reduce the glut in supply, as both Opec and non-Opec output remained elevated.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for July delivery lost 27 cents to settle at $44.46 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent  dipped 5 cents to trade at $46.95 a barrel.

Crude futures extended losses for a second straight day, as investors continued to fret about growing US production after recent data showed an unexpected surge in gasoline inventories, pointing to a period of potential weak demand.

The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, unexpectedly rose by roughly 2m barrels against expectations for a decline of 457,000 barrels.

The bearish inventory report added to the current negative sentiment on oil, after the International Energy Agency said Wednesday that non-Opec output was set to increase over the near term.

"For total non-Opec production, we expect production to grow by 700,000 bpd this year, but our first outlook for 2018 makes sobering reading for those producers looking to restrain supply," the IEA said in its monthly oil market report.

 

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Gold Down On More Profit Taking; Silver In Serious Slump


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices were ending the U.S. day session modestly lower Tuesday. There have been no major, fresh developments recently to give the safe-haven metal additional support. This has allowed the shorter-term futures traders to put downside pressure on the market via profit taking and the liquidation of weak long positions. The silver market hit a three-week low today and is in the midst of a steep price downdraft. August Comex gold was last down $3.30 an ounce at $1,265.60. July Comex silver was last down $0.154 at $16.79 an ounce. Focus is on this weeks FOMC meeting that began Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. The Federal Reserve is expected by many to slightly raise U.S. interest rates. Traders and investors are also keen to see if the Fed acts to further reduce its big balance sheet of government securities. Trading in markets could be volatile following the 2:00 p.m. Eastern time FOMC statement Wednesday.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures creep up in choppy trade


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Tuesday, but gains were limited as traders monitored shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for early-summer demand and supply levels

U.S. natural gas for July delivery was at $3.030 per million British thermal units by 9:20AM ET (1320GMT), up 0.6 cents, or around 0.2%.

Prices of the fuel fell for the first time in three sessions on Monday.

Warm to hot conditions will dominate the eastern half of the country this week, as strong high pressure continues to spread.

Over the West, an unseasonably cold weather systems continues to bring heavy showers, including high elevation snowfall.

Late in the week, brief cooling will spill across the Northwest and Northeast, while the rest of the country remains very warm to hot.

Looking further out, the east-central U.S., including the Northeast will be near to slightly cooler than normal from June 20-27, as weather systems track through.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.631 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 11.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 9.0% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 79 and 89 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 9.

That compares with a gain of 106 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 69 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 87 billion cubic feet.

 

  

 

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Gold prices unchanged as the Feds two-day meeting kicks off


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices traded at break-even on Tuesday, after expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates on Wednesday weighed on gold, as the precious metal struggled to capitalise on a slump in the dollar.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $0.10 or 0.01%, to $1,268.80 a troy ounce.

Gold futures traded in a narrow range, as investors held off initiating large positions in the precious metal ahead of the start of the Federal Reserves June meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, with the majority of traders expecting an interest rate hike.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

Investors are expected to closely monitor Fed chair Janet Yellens press conference for any clues on future monetary policy, and an update on the Federal Reserves plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Investor skepticism on the pace of rate hikes has started to grow in recent weeks amid signs of cracks in the US economy, with some analysts suggesting that Wednesdays widely expected interest rate hike could be final hike of 2017.

 

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Crude down in Asia on API build, China industrial data shrugged off


Indian Business Trade

 

Crude prices fell in Asia on Wednesday after disappointing figures from industry on U.S. inventories overnight and shrugging off upbeat industrial figures from China, though the market is awaiting official data later in the day.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for July delivery fell 0.97% to $46.01 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent  eased 0.84% to $48.31 a barrel.

China, the worlds second largest crude importer, reported industrial production for May rose a faster than expected 6.5% on year, and retail sales also gained a clip quicker at 10.7%, while fixed-asset investment came in a less than seen 8.6%. China also said crude oil production fell 3.7% in May from a year earlier to 16.26 million metric tons, or 3.83 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest daily level on record, Crude runs rose 5.4% at 46.62 million metric tons, or 10.98 million bpd, retreating from a record in March.

U.S. crude inventories rose 2.753 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday, well above the 2.739 million barrels decline expected.

Gasoline supplies gained 1.794 million barrels compared with a drop of 457,000 barrels seen and distillates dropped 1.451 million barrels compared with a build of 686,000 barrels expected. Supplies at the Cushing, Oklahoma oil hub were down by 833,000 barrels.

Overnight, crude futures settle higher on Tuesday, as investors looked ahead to fresh U.S. crude inventory data expected to show draw in crude stockpiles, offsetting concerns about an uptick in output from OPEC members.

Crude futures started the day on the front foot, as Saudi Arabia pledged to reduce exports to customers in July, in an effort to help curb the glut in supply.

Sentiment, however, turned negative later during the session, following Opecs monthly report, showing that output from the group rose by 336,000 barrels a day in May to 32.14m barrels per day (bdp).

An uptick in production from both Nigeria and Libya, was singled out as the reason the market was rebalancing at a “slower pace”, as both nations are exempt from supply cuts.

Investor disappointment from the OPEC report eased later during the session, as investor focus shifted to weekly inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected to show that crude stockpiles fell by more than 2m barrels for the week ended June 2.

Despite expectations of a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles, fears of rising U.S. shale production are expected to continue to weigh on Opec and its allies efforts to rebalance supply and demand in the market.

 

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Gold higher in Asia heading into Fed rate views

 


Indian Business Trade

Gold gained in Asia on Wednesday in cautious trade as investors awaited the latest Fed rate decision and forward-looking guidance on plans to trim its massive balance sheet.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.23% to $1,271.55 a troy ounce.

China reported industrial production for May rose a faster than expected 6.5% on year, and retail sales also gained a clip quicker at 10.7%, while fixed-asset investment came in a less than seen 8.6%.
Overnight, gold prices traded at break-even on Tuesday, after expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates on Wednesday weighed on gold, as the precious metal struggled to capitalise on a slump in the dollar.

Gold futures traded in a narrow range, as investors held off initiating large positions in the precious metal ahead of the start of the Federal Reserves June meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, with the majority of traders expecting an interest rate hike.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

Investors are expected to closely monitor Fed chair Janet Yellens press conference for any clues on future monetary policy, and an update on the Federal Reserves plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Growing investor skepticism on the pace of rate hikes has started to grow in recent weeks amid signs of cracks in the US economy, with some analysts suggesting that Wednesdays widely expected interest rate hike could be final hike of 2017

 

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Oil prices fall on OPEC output increase, rising U.S. crude stocks


Indian Business Trade

 

 Oil prices fell around 1 percent on Wednesday after data showed a build in U.S. crude stocks and OPEC reported a rise in its production despite its pledge to cut back on output.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $48.28 per barrel at 0523 GMT, down 44 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were at $45.96 per barrel, down 50 cents, or 1.1 percent.

Crude prices have fall by more than 10 percent since late May, pulled down by an supply glut that persists despite a move led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the first quarter of 2018.

OPECs own compliance with the cuts has been questioned, and the producer group said in a report this week that its output rose by 336,000 bpd in May to 32.14 million bpd.

ANZ bank said in a note to clients that prices were "under pressure earlier in the day after a report from OPEC showed that its production had increased."

Adding to the supply surplus is rising U.S. production from shale drillers that has pushed U.S. output up by 10 percent over the last year to 9.3 million bpd, not far below levels by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

"The outlook for oil hinges on the effectiveness of the OPEC cuts relative to the supply increases from U.S. shale," said William OLoughlin, analyst at Australias Rivkin Securities.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to June 9 to 511.4 million, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. [API/S]

With supplies plentiful, strong demand is needed to support the market, but there are signs of a slowdown.

Global energy demand grew by 1 percent in 2016, a rate similar to the previous two years but well below the 10-year average of 1.8 percent, BP (L:BP) said in its benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy on Tuesday.

More specifically for oil, there are signs of a slowdown in China, long the key component of fuel demand growth, as its economy slows. The nations refiners have produced too much fuel for it to consume, forcing a drop-off in activity.

"Chinese demand is slow ... so we have a build-up of crude in Asia where demand seems to have slowed for now," said Oystein Berentsen, managing director for oil trading company Strong Petroleum.

 

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Oil edges up on Saudi pledge to make real supply cuts


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices edged up early on Tuesday, lifted by statements that OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia was making significant supply cuts to customers, although rising U.S. output meant that markets remain well supplied.

Brent crude futures LCOc1  were at $48.42 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1  were at $46.21 per barrel, also up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia, the worlds top oil exporter, is leading an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the first quarter of 2018 in order to prop up prices. Other countries, including top producer Russia, are also participating.

During the first half of the year, there were doubts over OPECs compliance with its own pledges, as supplies, especially to Asia, remained high.

Saudi officials now say they are making real cuts, including 300,000 bpd to Asia for July, although several Asian refiners said they were still receiving their full allocations. oil prices rose on the back of further supportive talk from Saudi Arabia. Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that inventories are declining and reductions will accelerate in the next three week," ANZ bank said.

Although other OPEC members, like Libya and Nigeria, are exempt from the cuts, and there have been doubts over the compliance of others, including Iraq, the clubs supplies have been falling since the the cuts start in January.

Trade data shows that OPEC shipments to customers averaged around 26 million bpd in the last six months of 2016, while they are set to average around 25.3 million bpd in the first half of this year.

Threatening to undermine OPECs efforts to tighten the market is a relentless rise in U.S. drilling activity RIG-OL-USA-BHI , which has driven up U.S. output C-OUT-T-EIA by more than 10 percent since mid-2016, to over 9.3 million bpd.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says production will rise above 10 million bpd by next year, challenging top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Overall, oil markets remain well supplied.

A sign of ample supplies is the Brent forward curve 0#LCO: , which is in a shape known as contango, in which crude for delivery in half a years time is around $1.50 per barrel more expensive than that for immediate dispatch, making it profitable to charter tankers and store fuel instead of selling it for direct use.

 

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Gold edges lower; Fed meeting, U.K. political woes in focus


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices kicked off the week with modest losses in European trading on Monday, as investors looked ahead to a Federal Reserve policy meeting, while keeping an eye on political developments in the U.K.

Comex gold futures were at $1,269.17 a troy ounce by 2:45AM ET (0645GMT), down $2.20, or around 0.2%. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,267.07.

Gold prices fell Friday to notch a third-straight decline after falling to a one-week low of $1,266.70.

A key focus for markets this week is the Federal Reserves two-day policy meeting that ends on Wednesday.

With the U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates, investors focus will be on any fresh hints on the pace of further tightening in the months to come and next year.

Market players will also pay close attention to details of the Feds plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year.

The median Fed policymaker forecast is for two more rate increases by year-end, after already raising its benchmark interest rate once this year, by a quarter percentage point in March.

But a recent run of disappointing U.S. economic data combined with growing uncertainty about the Trump administrations ability to pass tax and healthcare reforms sparked doubts over the Feds ability to raise rates as much as it would like before the end of the year.

Fed Rate Monitor Tool, conviction for a move beyond this weeks widely expected rate hike has faded, with just 40% of market players expecting another rate increase later this year.

Besides the Fed, this weeks calendar also features U.S. data on inflation, retail sales, producer prices, building permits, housing starts, initial jobless claims, industrial production, consumer sentiment as well as surveys on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia and New York regions.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the new British cabinet is set to have its first meeting later on Monday after Prime Minister Theresa May was reelected with a minority government late last week.

 

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Oil prices slide amid relentless increase in U.S. drilling


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices edged lower in European trading on Monday, giving back small overnight gains as the market weighed a relentless increase in U.S. drilling against ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output and reduce a global glut.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude July contract was at $45.70 a barrel by 3:10AM ET (0710GMT), down 13 cents, or around 0.3%. It touched its lowest since May 5 at $45.20 last Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for August delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London declined 11 cents to $48.04 a barrel. The global benchmark sank to $47.40 late last week, a level not seen since May 5.

Oil prices suffered their third straight weekly loss last week, amid concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market remained in focus.

Energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday that U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 21st week in a row, the longest such streak on record, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

The U.S. rig count rose by 8 to 741, extending a year-long drilling recovery to the highest level since April 2015.

The increase in U.S. drilling activity and shale production has mostly offset efforts by OPEC and other producers to cut output in a move to prop up the market.

Last month, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended a deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018.

So far, the production-cut agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, and a relentless increase in U.S. shale oil output.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: June 12 – 16


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices fell for a third day on Friday as the stronger dollar weighed after British elections failed to deliver a clear majority for Prime Minister Theresa May, sending sterling sharply lower.

Gold for August delivery closed down 0.79% at $1,269.45 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was down 0.69%, the first weekly percentage decline in five weeks.

The shock UK election result added to political risks surrounding the upcoming Brexit negotiations, due to start on June 19, sending sterling tumbling.

That, along with a drop in the euro, pushed the dollar higher against a basket of the other major currencies.

The v was up 0.3% to 97.24 late Friday after touching an almost two-week high of 97.47 earlier.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise.

The dollar index plumbed seven-month lows earlier in the week amid caution ahead of former FBI Director James Comeys testimony and the UK election.

On Thursday, Comey accused President Donald Trump of firing him in a bid to undermine a probe into Russias alleged involvement in the U.S. presidential election, but did not say whether he thought the president attempted to obstruct justice.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver  fell 1.46% to $17.15 a troy ounce late Friday.

Meanwhile, copper  was up 1.4% to $2.646 a pound and rallied around 3% for the week after severe weather hit some mines in South America and labor issues re-emerged in Indonesia, fuelling fears over supply disruptions.

Platinum rose 0.25% to $940.4 a troy ounce, while palladium put on 1.27% to trade at $857.25 a troy ounce.

In the week ahead, investors will be turning their attention to Wednesdays Federal Reserve policy meeting, where the central bank is widely expected to deliver its second rate hike so far this year.

Markets will also be watching central bank meetings in the UK, Japan and Switzerland.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

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Gold down in Asia with Fed meeting this week in focus


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday with views ahead of the June policy review by the Fed key for the precious metal.

Gold for August delivery dipped 0.21% to $1,268.75 at troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In the week ahead, investors will be turning their attention to Wednesdays Federal Reserve policy meeting, where the central bank is widely expected to deliver its second rate hike so far this year. Markets will also be watching central bank meetings in the UK, Japan and Switzerland.

Last week, gold prices fell for a third day on Friday as the stronger dollar weighed after British elections failed to deliver a clear majority for Prime Minister Theresa May, sending sterling sharply lower.

The shock UK election result added to political risks surrounding the upcoming Brexit negotiations, due to start on June 19, sending sterling tumbling. That, along with a drop in the euro, pushed the dollar higher against a basket of the other major currencies.

 

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Oil prices slide amid relentless increase in U.S. drilling


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices edged lower in European trading on Monday, giving back small overnight gains as the market weighed a relentless increase in U.S. drilling against ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output and reduce a global glut.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude July contract was at $45.70 a barrel by 3:10AM ET (0710GMT), down 13 cents, or around 0.3%. It touched its lowest since May 5 at $45.20 last Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for August delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London declined 11 cents to $48.04 a barrel. The global benchmark sank to $47.40 late last week, a level not seen since May 5.

Oil prices suffered their third straight weekly loss last week, amid concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market remained in focus.

Energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday that U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 21st week in a row, the longest such streak on record, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

 

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Gold prices slide lower on stronger dollar


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices slid lower on Friday, as the dollar regained some ground after Thursdays three major risk events, although markets were still awaiting the final results of the U.K. election.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery were down 0.31% at $1,275.51.

The August contract ended Thursdays session 1.06% lower at $1,279.50 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,261.30, the low of June 2 and resistance at $1,291.50, Thursdays high.

The greenback gained ground after former FBI director James Comey in testimony on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of firing him to try to undermine his investigation into possible collusion by the Trump campaign team with Russias alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.29% at 97.22, just off a one-and-a-half week high of 97.36.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it weakens the metals appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Markets were also still digesting the European Central Banks decision on Thursday to cut its forecast for inflation this year to 1.5%, down from 1.7% in March.

The forecast came after the central bank left interest rates unchanged in a widely expected move.

 

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U.S. natural gas slides after bearish weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade

 

 U.S. natural gas futures edged lower on Thursday, after data showed that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for July shed 2.5 cents, or around 0.8%, to $2.995 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (1435GMT). Futures were at around $3.010 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 106 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 2, above forecasts for a build of 98 billion.

That compared with a gain of 81 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 65 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 94 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.631 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 11.2% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 9.0% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Natural gas futures settled lower for seventh time in the past eight sessions on Wednesday after falling to its lowest since March 20 at $2.935 at the start of the week.

Prices of the commodity have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

 

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Gold gains in Asia as turmoil from UK election threatens Brexit talks


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold rose in Asia on Friday as markets stood on edge for a hung parliament after the U.K. election, plunging efforts to hold talks later this month on an exit from the European Union into potential chaos.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.09% to $1,280.63 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices fell on Thursday, as testimony from former FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Committee was less controversial than many had feared, easing investor concerns about a sharp rise in U.S. political turmoil which dampened demand for safe havens.

Investors were relived as former FBI Director James Comeys public testimony to the Senate Committee offered little to spark further political turmoil in Washington, after he confirmed that President Donald Trump was not directly under investigation at the time he was fired.

Comeys testimony overshadowed economic data, showing U.S. initial jobless claims fell by less than expected.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to 245,000 in the week ended June 3, below forecasts of a 15,000 decline.

Meanwhile in Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) lowered Eurozone inflation expectations for the next two years, and said policymakers had not discussed tapering its massive bond buying program.

At a press conference after the ECB issued its decision to keep interest unchanged, ECB President Mario Draghi said interest rates were likely to remain at current levels for “an extended period of time."

The dovish comments from Mr Draghi weighed on the euro, lifting the dollar higher, which dampened demand for the precious metal.

Dollar-denominated commodities such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A rise in the dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency and thus, reduces demand.

 

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Oil stabilizes after steep falls, but supply glut prevails


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices stabilized on Friday following steep falls earlier this week, but they were still pressured by evidence of an ongoing fuel glut despite efforts led by OPEC to tighten the market by holding back production.

Brent crude(LCOc1) was at $47.86 per barrel at 0504 GMT, unchanged from its last close. It still puts Brent almost 12 percent below its opening level on May 25, when an OPEC-led pledge to cut production was extended into 2018.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude (CLc1) was at $45.63, also virtually unchanged from the last close, but almost 11 percent below May 25.

The slump was a result of oversupply despite the effort led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of production until the first quarter of 2018.

"Crude oil prices are testing lows last seen in 4Q16 ... despite last months 9-month extension to the 1.8 million bpd cuts," U.S. bank Jefferies said, pointing to the United States as the main pressure on prices.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data this week showed a surprise build in commercial crude oil stocks to 513.2 million barrels this week .

Inventories of refined products were also up, despite the start of the peak demand summer season.

"This was the first crude build in 9 weeks ... Gasoline built 3.3 million barrels (first build in 5 weeks), while distillate stocks were plus 4.4 million barrels (in their) largest build since January 2017," Jefferies said.

The bank said that refined product inventories were now back above 2016 levels and well above their five-year range, adding that this was due to a surprise slowdown in U.S. demand for gasoline and distillate fuels.

Asian markets are also oversupplied, with traders continuing to put excess crude into floating storage, a key indicator for a glut.

The Brent forward curve now shows a clear contango shape, in which prices for January next year are $1.5 per barrel above those for immediate delivery making it profitable to put crude into tankers and wait for a later sale.

Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows at least 25 supertankers currently sitting in the Strait of Malacca and the Singapore Strait, holding unsold fuel.

Thats similar amounts to May and April, indicating that even in Asia with its strong demand growth traders are struggling to clear bloated inventories.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: June 5 - 9


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices rose to their highest level in over than a month on Friday after a disappointing U.S. employment report underlined the case for the Federal Reserve to continue raising rates at a gradual pace.

Gold for June delivery settled at $1,278.77 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 0.93%. It was the highest close since April 25.

The U.S. economy added 138,000 jobs last month the Labor Department reported, falling far short of economists expectations for 185,000 new jobs.

Figures for March and April were also revised to show that 66,000 fewer jobs were created than expected, indicating that the labor market may be losing momentum.

The unemployment rate ticked down to a 16-year low of 4.3%.

The U.S. dollar index,  which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.57% to 96.61 late Friday. It was the lowest close since the U.S. presidential election on November 8, which sent the index soaring.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise.

Most analysts still believe the disappointing data will not stop the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates at its meeting later this month.

Traders now see a roughly 88% chance of a Fed rate increase on June 14, down slightly from 89% before the jobs report.

But the slowdown in jobs growth could temper expectations for a pick-up in economic growth in the second quarter after the economy expanded by just 1.2% year-over-year in the first quarter.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver jumped 1.56% to $17.55 a troy ounce late Friday.

Copper was trading at $2.57 a pound late Friday, down 0.44%.

Palladium was up 1.86% percent at $838.42, while platinum advanced 2.84% to $955.35 an ounce in late trade.

Events in Europe are likely to set the tone for global financial markets this week, ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting and British general election. Chinese data on trade and inflation will also be closely watched.

In the U.S., market players will pay close attention to former FBI director James Comeys testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a hearing that could add to difficulties facing the Trump administration.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

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China May exports rise 8.7 pct, imports up 14.8 pct, beat forecasts


Indian Business Trade

 

Chinas May exports rose 8.7 percent from a year earlier, while imports expanded 14.8 percent, both beating analysts expectations, official data showed on Thursday.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $40.81 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected May shipments from the worlds largest exporter to have risen 7.0 percent, easing slightly from 8.0 percent growth in April.

Imports were expected to have climbed 8.5 percent, after rising 11.9 percent in April.

Analysts were expecting Chinas trade surplus to have widened to $46.32 billion in May from Aprils $38.05 billion.

Improving global demand has boosted exports for China and other trade-reliant Asian economies in recent months after several lean years of declining shipments, but investors have been more focused on its strong appetite for imports, particularly for industrial commodities such as iron ore and coal which is boosting resources prices worldwide.

 

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METALS--London copper rises to one-week high as China trade gains


Indian Business Trade

 

 London copper rose to a one-week high on Tuesday after China trade improved in May which alleviated concerns over the health of the worlds second-biggest economy.

China reported stronger-than-anticipated exports and imports for May despite falling commodity prices, suggesting the economy is holding up better than expected despite rising lending rates and a cooling property market. Chinas unwrought copper arrivals also jumped from a month earlier, making up for a drop in concentrate imports that had been impacted by supply disruptions in Indonesia and Chile. "Refined copper imports tend to increase when there is limited availability of concentrate, so the decrease in concentrate supply could be the result of a lingering effect from the strike in Chile and supply disruptions at Freeport in Indonesia," said analyst Amy Li of National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

 

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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on June 8


Indian Business Trade

 

Prime Minister Theresa May is on course to increase her majority in parliament in Britains election on Thursday, opinion polls showed on Wednesday, suggesting her gamble to call the vote to bolster her position in Brexit negotiations will pay off. * SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday its business is not experiencing any operational disruptions in Qatar in the wake of a decision by several Gulf countries to sever ties. * WPP: WPP , the worlds largest advertising group, reported a slight increase in like-for-like net sales growth in the first four months of 2017, saying there was growth in all regions and businesses except North America and data investment management. * BOOHOO: Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com Plc on Wednesday nudged its full-year sales forecast upwards after a doubling in first-quarter sales on the back of strong demand across all its businesses. * BERENDSEN: French laundry services group Elis SA sweetened its offer to buy UK peer Berendsen Plc on Wednesday, and the companies said they had agreed in principle on key terms. * BHP/CHILE: BHP Billitons Escondida, the worlds biggest copper mine, said it was snowing and all operations had been suspended after heavy rains lashed the high altitude desert region of Antofagasta overnight and into Wednesday. Antofagasta said Centinela and Zaldivar had suffered intermittent interruptions. * BT GROUP: BT Group has picked a new auditor to replace PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), months after the emergence of a 530 million pound accounting crisis in its Global Services division, Sky News reported. * MINING: Large global mining companies, including Glencore , Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto , have cut back on investments despite a turnaround in profitability and a spike in commodity prices, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report revealed on Wednesday. * EX-DIVS: Associated British Foods , Johnson Matthey , Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust , Vodafone Group , WPP Plc will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 11.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations * The UK blue chip index closed 0.6 points lower at 7478.6 on Wednesday, a day before Britons were set to begin voting in parliamentary elections that will shape talks for the countrys exit from the European Union.

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Gold steadies below 7-month high as risk events loom


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices held steady just below their strongest level in seven months in European trade on Wednesday, as investor jitters over looming geopolitical risk events supported demand for safe-haven assets.

Comex gold futures were at $1,294.93 a troy ounce by 2:55AM ET (0655GMT), down $2.50, or around 0.2%. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,292.40.

Gold prices scored a third-straight session of gains Tuesday after hitting its highest level since November 9 at $1,298.80, as investors sought safe-haven assets ahead of potentially market-moving events later this week.

Also on the Comex, silver futures dipped 5.2 cents, or about 0.3%, to $17.65 a troy ounce. It rose to $17.74 in the prior session, a level not seen since April 25.

Market players will pay close attention to former FBI director James Comeys testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Investors are fearful that the Trump administration may be further damaged by any revelations that could emerge when Comey testifies about Russias alleged involvement in the U.S. election.

Traders were also wary ahead of Britains general election, which is also set for Thursday.

While pollsters still expect British Prime Minister Theresa May will win the most seats in the election, a tight result could throw the country into political deadlock just days before formal Brexit talks with the European Union are due to begin on June 19.

The risk-off mood was further compounded by escalating tensions in the Middle East, where Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations severed their ties with Qatar earlier in the week, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Gold is often seen as an alternative currency in times of global economic uncertainty and a refuge from financial risk.

Reduced expectations for aggressive U.S. rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in the second half of this year further boosted the appeal of the yellow metal.

The dollar index,  which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was little changed at 96.52 in London morning trade. It fell to 96.46 on Tuesday, the weakest level since November 9.

 

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Oil lower on glut concerns amid Middle East tensions


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil remained under pressure Wednesday as bloated global inventories continued to weigh.
The market received some support from the rift in Qatars ties with its Middle East neighbors and a fall in U.S. crude stocks. 
U.S. crude was off 32 cents, or 0.66%, at $47.87 at 08:30 ET. Brent  shed 42 cents, or 0.84%, to $49.70.
A Saudi-led alliance on Monday broke off ties with Qatar, alleging its neighbor backed terrorism .
Port restrictions imposed on Qatari-flagged vessels could cause some disruption to oil shipments.
The American Petroleum Institute Tuesday reported a fall of 4.6 million barrels in U.S. crude stockpiles in the latest week.
The Energy Information Administration is due to release its official inventories report later in the session.
The EIA is forecast to report a drop in U.S. crude stocks of 3.46 million barrels.
The EIA Tuesday also said U.S. oil output could hit a record 10 million barrels a day next year, up from 9.3 million currently.

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Oil rises off one-month lows struck after surprise stock build


Indian Business Trade

 

 Crude futures edged up in early Asian trading on Thursday following heavy losses in the previous session after official data showed that U.S. inventories rose for the first time in 10 weeks, reawakening concerns over a glut.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 were up 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $45.98 a barrel at 0026 GMT. On Wednesday. They closed down 5 percent, or $2.47 a barrel, in the previous session to the lowest settlement since May 4.

Brent crude prices LCOc1 were 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, higher at a $48.35 a barrel, having fallen 4 percent in the previous session, also the lowest since May 4.

U.S. stocks of crude oil and gasoline surprisingly rose last week as refinery runs declined and exports fell, official data showed on Wednesday. EIS/

Crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose by 3.3 million barrels in the week ended June 2, compared with expectations for a decrease of 3.5 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.

It was the first such increase in 10 weeks and came as refineries eased off on record processing levels that had reached a week earlier. U.S. refiners are still producing at a very high rate.

The data surprised analysts and undercut a growing view that inventories were finally showing steady progress toward drawing down to seasonal averages.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures rise for 1st time in 7 sessions


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. natural gas futures were higher on Tuesday, rising for the first time in seven sessions as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations in wake of recent losses.

U.S. natural gas for July tacked on 6.8 cents, or around 2.3%, to $3.050 per million British thermal units by 8:55AM ET (1255GMT).

It settled lower for the sixth session in a row on Monday after falling to its lowest since March 20 at $2.935 after the latest U.S. weather model called for mild temperatures over the next two weeks, which should reduce heating demand during that time.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.525 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 12.8% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 8.9% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 88 and 98 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 2.

That compares with a gain of 81 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 65 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 94 billion cubic feet.

 

  

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Gold down in Asia as investors sit on sidelines for Super Thursday


Indian Business Trade

 

 Gold trended weaker on Wednesday in Asia as investors braced for a big day on Thursday with the European Central Bank, testimony by fired FBI chief James Comey and the U.K. election.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.24% to $1,294.37 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold rose to seven-week highs on Tuesday, as safe-haven demand soared, ahead of risk events that could rattle markets while the dollar fell to its lowest level since November as investors questioned the strength of the U.S. economy amid weak economic data.

Investors piled to into safe havens, such as U.S. treasuries, the yen, and gold, ahead of a flurry of risk events on Thursday that could spark turmoil in markets.

On Thursday, investors will contend with Britains general election, the European Central Banks policy meeting and former FBI chief James Comeys testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Gold had achieved its longest winning streak since 2010 in May, advancing 0.05% for the month, despite rising expectations that the Federal Reserve would increase its benchmark rate at its June 13-14 meeting.

Investor optimism about the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes over the longer-term, however, has been pegged back recently, as investors question whether recent economic data has deterred the Federal Reserve from its view that two additional rate hikes this year are appropriate.

According to investing.coms Fed rate monitor tool,  over 80% of the traders expect the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next week.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The slump in the dollar to seven-month lows supported an uptick in commodities across the board.

 

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Oil dips on glut concerns, but Mideast tension, falling U.S. stocks support


Indian Business Trade

 

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, with Brent crude futures around $50 per barrel, as fuel markets remained oversupplied, although tension in the Middle East and falling U.S. inventories lent some support.

Brent crude futures (lococ1) were at $50.08 per barrel at 0504 GMT, down 4 cents from their last close. Brent is 7 percent below its open on May 25, when OPEC said they, along with producers outside of the group such as Russia, would extend their oil output cuts through to the first quarter of 2018.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (clc1) were at $48.14 per barrel, down 5 cents from the previous close, and 6 percent below their May 25 open.

Traders said an ongoing fuel glut was keeping prices under pressure despite a pledge by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers to cut almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of output.

"Disappointed that the oil cartel and Russia could not come up with a bolder plan to reduce the global crude surplus, market participants have been selling into every bounce," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.

World fuel production and consumption is roughly in balance, at almost 98 million bpd, although inventories remain bloated, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

"Where oil (price) ultimately goes is going to be driven by inventories," said Greg McKenna, strategist at AxiTrader, another futures brokerage.

OPECs efforts to tighten the market could be undermined by U.S. production , which the EIA said could hit a record 10 million bpd next year, up from 9.3 million bpd now. That would nearly match the output level of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

In the near-term, however, the market was supported by escalating tensions in the Middle East and by signs of a gradual drawdown of bloated U.S. fuel inventories.

A campaign by leading Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, to isolate Qatar is disrupting trade, including oil.

"Port restrictions on Qatari flagged vessels are going to cause loading disruptions," said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA.

"That said, the disruptions are seen as inconvenient rather than systematic and thus will maybe only put a floor on crude in the short-term rather than starting a panic rally," he added.

In the United States, crude inventories fell by 8.7 million barrels in the week to May 26, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed late on Tuesday.

 

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Oil continues march higher as OPEC prepares to meet; U.S. stockpile data ahead


Indian Business Trade

Oil prices were higher in European trading on Wednesday, trying for their sixth straight session of gains on the likelihood that OPEC will extend production cuts for another nine months when it meets on Thursday.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude July contract added 18 cents, or around 0.4%, to $51.65 a barrel by 2:50AM ET (06:50GMT). The U.S. benchmark settled higher for the fifth straight session on Tuesday after hitting its strongest since April 19 at $51.79.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for July delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 20 cents to $54.35 a barrel, after climbing to its highest since April 19 at $54.43 a day earlier.

Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producing countries will meet in Vienna on Thursday to decide whether to extend their current production agreement beyond a June 30-deadline.

In November last year, OPEC and 11 other non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January 1 and June 30.

Most market analysts expect the oil cartel to extend output cuts for a further nine months until March 2018, instead of six months as previously expected.

There is also talk that OPEC is looking at the option of deepening current production cuts, but it is not clear whether there would be support for that.

So far, the production-cut agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya, and a relentless increase in U.S. shale oil output.

The U.S. rig count rose for the 18th week in a row to the highest level since April 2015 last week, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

Investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies reportat 10:30AM ET (14:30GMT) Wednesday.

Analysts expect crude oil inventories dropped by around 2.4 million barrels at the end of last week, while gasoline supplies are seen decreasing by about 1.1 million barrels and distillates are forecast to fall by 743,000 barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by a less-than-expected 1.5 million barrels in the week ended May 19. The API report also showed a decline of 3.15 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks dropped by 1.85 million barrels.

 

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Gold futures steady near 1-month highs


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices were steady after touching a fresh four week high in European trade on Tuesday as European geopolitical fears sapped risk appetite, underpinning safe haven demand for the precious metal.

Comex gold future dipped 86 cents, or 0.07%, to $1,267.51 a troy ounce by 07.15 GMT after rising to $1,270.32 earlier, the highest since May 1. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,267.81.

Also on the Comex, silver was last at $17.42 a troy ounce. It rose to $17.47 in overnight trade, a level not seen since April 27.

Concerns over the Greek bailout package, as well as British polls indicating that Prime Minister Theresa Mays Conservative Party has less of a lead over the Labor Party than expected sapped risk appetite.

Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Worries that Athens and its creditors may not reach an agreement over its bailout program in time mounted overnight, leading to concerns that the euro zone debt crisis could flare up again.

Meanwhile, the tightening election race in the UK added to concerns over the political risk surrounding Brexit.

Golds gains were held in check as the dollar firmed up against the euro and the pound.

The U.S. doller index which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.33% to 97.65, extending its pullback from last weeks six-and-half month lows.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes up, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will fall.

Investors were looking ahead to Fridays U.S. employment report, which was expected to show that conditions in the labor market remain solid.

A strong U.S. jobs report would cement expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its next meeting in June.

Futures traders are currently pricing in around an 80% chance of a hike at the Feds June 13-14 meeting, according to Investing.coms fed rate moniter rule.

However, market players are no longer convinced that the Fed will be able to raise rates two more times this year, with odds for a second hike by December currently at about 35%.

The median Fed policymaker forecast is for two more rate increases by year-end. But a recent run of disappointing U.S. economic data combined with signs of deepening political turmoil in the White House raised doubts over the Feds ability to raise rates as much as it would like before the end of the year.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures under pressure with weather, supply in focus


Indian Business Trade

 

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.369 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 13.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 10.8% above the five-year average for this time of year.

The EIAs next   storage report due Thursday is expected to show a build in a range between 59 and 69 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 19.

That compares with a gain of 68 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 71 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 90 billion cubic feet.

 

  

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Oil dips as U.S. drilling undermines drive to tighten markets

 


Indian Business Trade

 Oil prices dipped on Monday as a relentless rise in U.S. drilling undermined an OPEC-led push to tighten supply.

Trading activity will be subdued on Monday due to public holidays in China, the United States and Britain.

futures were trading down 6 cents at $52.09 per barrel at 0645 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 8 cents at $49.72 per barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers agreed last week to extend a pledge to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the first quarter of 2018. But the decision did not go as far as many investors had hoped and led to a heavy sell-off.

An initial agreement, in place since January, would have expired in June this year.

"The immediate market reaction to the May 25 OPEC decision is indicative of the weaker-than-expected impact production cuts had on bloated global crude stocks over H1 2017," BMI Research said in a note.

Despite the ongoing cuts, oil prices have not risen much beyond $50 per barrel.

Much of OPECs success will depend on output in the United States, which is not participating in the cuts and where production has soared 10 percent since mid-2016 to over 9.3 million bpd, close to top producer levels Russia and Saudi Arabia.

U.S. drillers have now added rigs for 19 straight weeks, to 722, the highest amount since April 2015 and the longest run of additions on record, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc.

Almost all of the recent U.S. output increases have been onshore, from so-called shale oil fields.

Even if the rig count did not rise further, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: said it estimates that U.S. oil production "would increase by 785,000 bpd between 4Q16 and 4Q17 across the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken and Niobrara shale plays."

Analysts say that reducing bloated global fuel inventories will be key to reining in ongoing oversupply.

"Its going to be all about inventories and whether they fall as much as OPEC thinks," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

While it is hard to come by reliable global oil inventory data, regional stock levels for the United States, Europe and parts of Asia suggest that inventories have dipped in recent weeks, albeit from record levels.

 

  

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Gold steadies near 4-week highs after latest North Korea missile test


Indian Business Trade

 

Gold prices were little changed near a four-week high in European trade on Monday, as the latest ballistic missile test by North Korea supported safe-haven demand.

Comex gold future shed 60 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,267.47 a troy ounce by 3:00AM ET (0700GMT). Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,267.59.

Prices of the yellow metal ended Fridays session up almost 1%, after touching its strongest since May 1 at $1,269.30.

Also on the Comex, silver future tacked on 3.2 cents, or about 0.2%, to $17.35 a troy ounce. It rose to $17.38 in overnight trade, a level not seen since April 28.

North Korea fired what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, South Koreas military said.

It was the ninth missile the hermit state has tested this year, as it faces increasing pressure from the U.S. and historical ally China over its missile testing program.

Trading volumes were likely to remain light with U.S. markets closed Monday for Memorial Day while the U.K. is also shuttered for a public holiday.

Global financial markets will focus on the U.S. employment report ahead  for further signs of the Federal Reserves likely rate hike trajectory through the end of the year.

Besides the monthly jobs report, this weeks holiday-shortened calendar also features U.S. data on manufacturing and service sector growth, consumer confidence, auto sales, personal spending, core PCE inflation, as well as monthly trade figures.

 

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U.S. natural gas futures hit session lows after supply data


Indian Business Trade

U.S. natural gas futures fell to session lows on Thursday, following data showing that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery was down around 0.026 cents or 0.76% to $3.275 per million British thermal units by 10:35 ET (14:35 GMT).

Futures were at around $3.303 prior to the release of the supply data after rising to a session high of $3.351 earlier.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 75 billion cubic fee in the week ended May 19, above forecasts for a build of 71 billion.

That compared with a gain of 68 billion cubic feet in the preceding week.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.444 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Stocks were 371 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 241 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 2,203 billion cubic feet.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

 

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Gold remains in positive despite dollar bounce


Indian Business Trade

steadied on Thursday, after the Federal Reserves May meeting minutes, raised concerns over whether the Federal Reserve would continue with its plan to introduce two additional rate hikes in 2017.

According to the Federal Reserves minutes for its 2-3 May meeting, released on Wednesday, most Fed officials said a further increase in short-term interest rates will be needed "soon", fuelling expectations that the U.S. central bank is poised to hike interest rates at its next meeting in June.

According to fed rate monitor tool, nearly 80% of traders expect the Fed to hike interest rates in June.

The hawkish view that a rate hike was needed soon was offset by comments from some Fed members at the meeting, who said that further signs would need to show that weakness in the first-quarter was temporary, prior to future rate hikes.

U.S. economic growth, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), rose by annualized rate of just 0.7% for the first three months of 2017. It was the slowest period of first-quarter economic growth since 2014.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange added $2.85 or 0.23%, to $1,255.95 a troy ounce by 13:32 EDT.

A surge in the dollar, however, weighed on gold prices, which dropped to session lows, following bullish initial jobless claim data, boosting sentiment that the economy is continuing to show signs of a rebound in the second quarte

 

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Crude settles nearly 5% lower as OPEC deal fails to match expectations


Indian Business Trade

Crude futures settled below $50, tumbling nearly 5%, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies decision to extend production cuts for nine more months, failed to meet traders expectations that the cartel group would announce deeper cuts.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange Crude futures  for June delivery lost 4.7% to settle at $48.90 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, brent lost $4.1% cents to trade at $51.35 a barrel.

OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March on Thursday, after the output cuts agreed in November last year failed to rein in the glut in supply, which has pressured oil prices for nearly three years.

The nine-month extension was widely anticipated but traders were hopeful that OPEC would take a more aggressive approach to curb oversupply with deeper cuts, in the wake of a rise in non-OPEC output.

OPEC, however, announced that no new non-OPEC members will join the global deal to reduce supply and confirmed it would adhere to the production cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day agreed in late November.

Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said current levels were sufficient to “reach the five-year average by the end of the year” and expected to reach target before year-end.

Khalid Al-Falih said he expected a “healthy return” for U.S. shale and remained defiant that a boom in U.S. shale wont derail OPECs effort to tackle the demand and supply imbalance.

Nigeria and Libya will remain exempt from making cuts while Iran would be allowed to retain the right to increase production to the same reference level, around 3.797 million barrels a day, agreed in November last year.

 

  

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Crude holds weaker in Asia on continued bearish tone after OPEC meet


Indian Business Trade

Crude prices dropped in Asia on Friday fresh from a sharp overnight drop in the U.S. after OPEC extended output cuts another nine months as expected and markets quickly took profits on gains made in the run-up to the decision.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for July delivery fell 0.27% to $48.77 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, brent was last quoited down 0.41% to $51.25 a barrel.

However, at least one analyst said the decline could prove short-lived.

"This is a bit of an overreaction. Markets are heading towards more rebalancing in Q3 and Q4 of this year," said Wood Mackenzies research director for Asia refining, Sushant Gupta.

Overnight, crude futures settled below $50, tumbling nearly 5%, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies decision to extend production cuts for nine more months, failed to meet traders expectations that the cartel group would announce deeper cuts.

OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March on Thursday, after the output cuts agreed in November last year failed to rein in the glut in supply, which has pressured oil prices for nearly three years.

The nine-month extension was widely anticipated but traders were hopeful that OPEC would take a more aggressive approach to curb oversupply with deeper cuts, in the wake of a rise in non-OPEC output.

OPEC, however, announced that no new non-OPEC members will join the global deal to reduce supply and it would adhere to the production cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day agreed in late November.

OPEC president and Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said current levels were sufficient to “reach the five-year average by the end of the year” and expected to reach target before year-end.

Falih said he expected a “healthy return” for U.S. shale and remained defiant that a boom in U.S. shale wont derail OPECs effort to tackle the demand and supply imbalance.

Nigeria and Libya will remain exempt from making cuts while Iran would be allowed to retain the right to increase production to the same reference level, around 3.797 million barrels a day, agreed in November last year.

 

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Gold gains slightly in Asia with China demand in focus


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices posted mild gains in Asia on Friday with demand from China eyed on anecdotal reports flows via Hong Kong have waned in recent months.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up 0.04% to $1,256.88 a troy ounce. China vies with India as the worlds top gold importer.

Overnight, gold futures steadied on Thursday, after the Federal Reserves May meeting minutes, raised concerns over whether the Federal Reserve would continue with its plan to introduce two additional rate hikes in 2017.

According to the Federal Reserves minutes for its 2-3 May meeting, released on Wednesday, most Fed officials said a further increase in short-term interest rates will be needed "soon", fuelling expectations that the U.S. central bank is poised to hike interest rates at its next meeting in June.

According to investing.coms fed rate moniter rule, nearly 80% of traders expect the Fed to hike interest rates in June.

The hawkish view that a rate hike was needed soon was offset by comments from some Fed members at the meeting, who said that further signs would need to show that weakness in the first-quarter was temporary, prior to future rate hikes.

U.S. economic growth, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), rose by annualized rate of just 0.7% for the first three months of 2017. It was the slowest period of first-quarter economic growth since 2014.

A surge in the dollar, however, weighed on gold prices, which dropped to session lows, following bullish initial jobless claim data, boosting sentiment that the economy is continuing to show signs of a rebound in the second quarter.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the week ended May 18.

Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 238,000 in the week ended May 18. Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A dip in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand.

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METALS-China pollution crackdown lifts steel inputs zinc, nickel


Indian Business Trade

 

May 22 (Reuters) - Shanghai zinc and nickel surged on Monday on the back of a sustained crackdown in Chinas polluting steel industry, which fuelled worries about steel supply and lifted the prices of its raw materials.

Both metals were jolted out of a downtrend that last week saw them touch their lowest for the year amid concerns about a slowdown in Chinas metals demand. The rally in steel prices also caught short-holders by surprise and forced them to cover their positions.

FUNDAMENTALS

* ZINC: Shanghai Futures Exchange zinc surged 5 percent. London Metal Exchange zinc rallied 1.5 percent to $2,655 a tonne, having earlier struck its highest in two weeks at $2,667 a tonne, the most expensive since May 2.

NICKEL: SHFE nickel jumped 3 percent while LME nickel rallied half a percent.

* STEEL: Prices of steel and its input materials rallied, supported by worries over tighter supply as China sustains a crackdown against polluting producers.

* CHINA POLLUTION: Chinas Tangshan city launched a campaign to improve air quality last week, saying steel mills in the countrys top producing region that fail to meet emission standards face suspension and heavy fines. * CHINA PROPERTY: China issued a draft of new rules for property sales and leasing on Friday to improve management and operation in a part of the services sector that is often poorly regulated. * COPPER: LME copper edged down by 0.1 percent to $5,675 a tonne by 0140 GMT, having hit the highest since early May at $5,694.50 a tonne on Friday. SHFE copper contract was up 1.7 percent at 45,910 yuan ($6,670) a tonne.

* COPPER SPECULATORS: Hedge funds and other money managers increased their net long position in COMEX copper in the week ended May 16, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed Friday. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks are set to edge higher on Monday following cautious gains on Wall Street, though the dollar is set to come under pressure as Washingtons political turmoil undermines confidence in U.S. economic policy. DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1230 U.S. National activity index Apr

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES Three month LME copper 5675.5 Most active ShFE copper 45890 Three month LME aluminium 1941.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14100 Three month LME zinc 2650 Most active ShFE zinc 22325 Three month LME lead 2123 Most active ShFE lead 15760 Three month LME nickel 9400 Most active ShFE nickel 78140 Three month LME tin 20470 Most active ShFE tin 147030

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 217.94 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1478.01 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 363.01 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -1718.51 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1305.06

 

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Gold set for biggest weekly gain since April amid dollar slide


Indian Business Trade

 traded flat on Friday, but remained on track for its biggest weekly win since mid-April, supported by a slide in the dollar amid ongoing U.S. political turmoil.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.20 or 0.10%, to $1,254.03 a troy ounce by 13:51 EDT.

Investors appeared to take profits in gold in the midst of the precious metals best trading week since April – gold is on track to book at 2% weekly gain amid a tumultuous week in U.S. politics.

The Justice Department earlier this week appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that President Trump collaborated with Russia during the 2016 election.

President Trump remained defiant in the wake of continued allegations that members of his campaign colluded with Russia during the U.S. presidential election.

Trump warned that the special counsil investigation “hurts our country” and labeled the probe “a witch hunt”.

Investors have piled into safe-haven assets such as gold, as they fear that the continued political saga in Washington could dampened Presidents Trump ability to deliver on his economic agenda.

Rising doubts over Trumps ability to deliver on this pro-growth economic agenda, pushed the dollar to a six-month low on Friday, which helped steady gold futures.

The u.s. doller index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.68% to 97.11 by 13:12 EDT.

Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A dip in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: May 22 – 26


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices were higher on Friday and notched the largest weekly gain since mid-April as political uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration pressured the dollar lower, boosting demand for the precious metal.

Gold for June delivery closed up 0.18% at $1,255.07 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was up 2.06%.

The dollar came under renewed selling pressure on Friday following reports that a senior White House adviser is a person of interest in the investigation into alleged Russian interference in Novembers presidential election.

The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed a former FBI director as special counsel to investigate possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The appointment of a special counsel comes after Trump fired James Comey, his FBI director who was leading a probe into Russias role in the election and reports that he attempted to interfere with the judicial process, leading to talk of possible impeachment.

Investor sentiment has been hit by fears that the U.S. political system could become engulfed by crisis, preventing lawmakers from pushing through tax or spending reforms.

The U.S. dollar index which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.79% at a six-month trough of 97.00, having given up all the gains it had made following the election in November.

The index ended the week down 2.12%, its worst weekly loss since last July.

A weaker dollar tends to boost prices for gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver rose 1.24% to $16.87 a troy ounce late Friday, while copper climbed 2.19% to $2.58 a pound

Platinum rose 0.38% to $940.4 a troy ounce, while palladium was down 1.07% to $757.23 a troy ounce.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking at Wednesdays Federal Reserve meeting minutes for fresh indications on the possible timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

Revised data on U.S. first quarter growth and private sector survey data out of the euro zone will also be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, May 22

Eurogroup finance ministers are to hold regularly scheduled talks in Brussels.

Financial markets in Canada are to remain closed for a holiday.

Tuesday, May 23

The euro zone is to publish survey data on private sector business activity.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and several other officials are to testify on inflation and the economic outlook before Parliaments Treasury Committee.

Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.

The U.S. is to publish a report on new home sales.

Wednesday, May 24

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Madrid.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

The U.S. is to report on existing home sales.

The Fed is to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.
Thursday, May 25

The UK is to publish revised data on first quarter growth, as well as preliminary data on business investment.

The U.S. is to publish the weekly report in jobless claims.

Friday, May 26

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on durable goods orders and a revised data on first quarter growth and consumer sentiment.

 

  

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Oil prices climb to 4-week high on speculation of extended OPEC cuts


Indian Business Trade

Oil prices were higher in European trading on Monday, touching the strongest level in around four weeks on growing expectations that members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to extend production cuts when they meet later this week.

The U.S. west taxes intermediate crude June contract tacked on 28 cents, or around 0.6%, to $50.95 a barrel by 2:35AM ET (06:35GMT). It rose to an overnight high of $51.26, a level not seen since April 21.

The U.S. benchmark gained $1.01 on Friday. It scored a weekly gain of $2.49, or about 5%, last week, the second straight weekly advance.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for July delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 26 cents to $53.87 a barrel, after climbing to its highest since April 19 at $54.17 earlier.

London-traded Brent futures jumped $1.10 in the prior session, to notch a gain of $2.77, or roughly 5.2%, last week.

Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producing countries will meet on Vienna on may25 to decide whether to extend their current production agreement beyond a June 30-deadline.

In November last year, OPEC and 11 other non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January 1 and June 30.

Most market analysts expect the oil cartel to extend output cuts for a further nine month until march2018, instead of six months as previously expected.

There is also talk that OPEC is looking at the option of depending current production cuts, but it is not clear whether there would be support for that.

So far, the production-cut agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya, and a relentless increase in U.S. shale oil output.

Data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday that U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 18th week in a row, the second-longest such streak on record, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

The U.S. rig count rose by 8 to 720, extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since April 2015.

 

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U.S. natural gas edges higher after weekly storage data


Indian Business Trade

U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Thursday, despite data showing that natural gas supplies in storage in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery ticked up 1.3 cents, or around 0.4%, to $3.205 per million British thermal units by 10:35AM ET (14:35GMT).

Futures were at around $3.192 prior to the release of the supply data before falling to a session low of $3.168, the weakest level since May 8.

Prices of the heating fell 3.8 cents on Wednesday amid bearish weather forecasts.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. rose by 68 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 12, above forecasts for a build of 61 billion.

That compared with a gain of 45 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 73 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 87 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.369 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 13.6% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 10.8% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, the latest U.S. weather model called for mild temperatures over the next two weeks, which should reduce demand during that time.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with springs mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

 

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Oil prices climb on hopes output cuts will be extended


Indian Business Trade

Oil futures rose in early trading on Friday on growing optimism that big producing countries will extend output cuts to curb a persistent glut in crude, with key benchmarks heading for a second week of gains.

Brent crude (LCOc1) was up 12 cents at $52.63 at 0006 GMT, after settling up half a percent on Thursday. The contract is on track for a 3.5-percent climb this week, a second week of gains.

U.S. crude oil (CLc1) was up 14 cents at $49.49 a barrel, after finishing the previous session at $49.35 a barrel, the highest close since April 26. The contract is heading for a weekly increase of 3.4 percent.

Oil prices have been trapped in a tight range in recent weeks as rising U.S. production has erased the effects of output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries, including Russia.

 

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Gold eases from two-week high as US data comes into focus


Indian Business Trade

Gold futures pulled back from two-week highs on Thursday, after stronger U.S. manufacturing and initial jobless claims data dented the flight to safety trade.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange lost $11.44 or 0.91%, to $1,247.20 a troy ounce by 14:05 EDT.

Demand fell for traditional safe-havens such as gold, U.S. treasuries, and the yen, as investors turned attention to better than expected U.S. economic data, despite continued political turmoil in Washington.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said Tuesday that its Philly Fed manufacturing index rose to a seasonally adjusted 38.8, from 22.0 in the preceding month, well above analysts expectations of a rise to 19.5.

In a separate report on Tuesday, The Labor Department said the number of Americans who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 12, dropped by 4000 to 232,000.

The release of upbeat economic data came amid continued U.S. political turmoil in Washington, after the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that President Trump collaborated with Russia during the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester on Thursday repeated her call for further U.S. interest rate hikes in the wake of recent U.S. economic data, showing that the rate of employment and inflation is close to matching the Feds objectives

 

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Crude futures settle higher in volatile session


Indian Business Trade

Crude futures settled higher on Thursday, as investors remained optimistic that OPEC would reach an agreement to extend the current supply-cut deal beyond June at its meeting next week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude future for June delivery gained 28 cents to settle at $49.35 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, brent added 27 cents to trade at $52.48 a barrel.

In what was a choppy day of trade, oil futures recovered from a more than 1% slump, as investors optimism that OPEC would seek an extension of the current deal to cut global production offset concerns over the rising level of U.S. shale production .

The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday, crude oil inventories fell by 1.75 million barrels last week, which was the sixth-straight week of declining crude stockpiles but the dip in inventories fell short of expectations of a draw of around 2.4 million barrels.

Despite the high level of compliance from OPEC members with the deal to rein in supply, global production remains above the five-year average, as non-OPEC members, who are not part of the supply-cut agreement have ramped up production.

In its monthly report last Thursday, OPEC estimated that non-OPEC production this year would grow by 950,000 barrels per day (bpd).

OPEC and other producers are set to meet on May 25 to decide whether to extend the current supply-cut deal amid growing optimism for a prolonged period of cuts.

Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed earlier this week that production cuts needed to be extended for a period of nine months until March 2018.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday, however, warned that OPECs effort to rein in the glut in supply may fail even if the oil group agrees to extend its supply-cut agreement.

Meanwhile, market participants braced for baker hughers rig count, due to be released on Friday at 13:00 EDT

 

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Crude prices gain slightly in Asia, U.S. rig count eyed


Indian Business Trade

Crude prices rose slightly in early Asia on Friday with weekly rig count figures expected to set the near-term tone ahead of next weeks meeting of OPEC and allied producers on production cuts.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery edged up 0.04% to $49.37 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, brent was last quoted at $52.49 a barrel.

In figures reported last Friday, oilfield services  firm Baker Hughes said U.S. drillers added 9 oil rigs to take the total to 712, rigs for the 17th weekly gain in a row and extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since August 2015, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Thursday, as investors remained optimistic that OPEC would reach an agreement to extend the current supply-cut deal beyond June at its meeting next week.

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Oil prices climb on hopes output cuts will be extended


Indian Business Trade

Oil futures rose in early trading on Friday on growing optimism that big producing countries will extend output cuts to curb a persistent glut in crude, with key benchmarks heading for a second week of gains.

Brent crude (LCOc1) was up 12 cents at $52.63 at 0006 GMT, after settling up half a percent on Thursday. The contract is on track for a 3.5-percent climb this week, a second week of gains.

U.S. crude oil (CLc1) was up 14 cents at $49.49 a barrel, after finishing the previous session at $49.35 a barrel, the highest close since April 26. The contract is heading for a weekly increase of 3.4 percent.

Oil prices have been trapped in a tight range in recent weeks as rising U.S. production has erased the effects of output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other countries, including Russia.

 

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Gold gains in Asia on heightened risk sentiment


Indian Business Trade

 Gold gained in Asia on Friday on heightened risk sentiment over political turmoil in brazil  and the U.S. and a potentially softer outlook for Fed rate hikes this year as the trump administration faces headwinds on its economic stimulus plans.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex  division of the New York Mercantile Exchange eased 0.21% to $1,250.19 a troy ounce. copper future on the Comex gained 0.08% to $2.534 a pound.

Overnight, gold futures   pulled back from two-week highs on Thursday, after stronger U.S. manufacturing and initial jobless claims data dented the flight to safety trade.

Demand fell for traditional safe-havens such as gold, U.S. treasuries, and the yen, as investors turned attention to better than expected U.S. economic data, despite continued political turmoil in Washington.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said Tuesday that its Philly Fed manufacturing index rose to a seasonally adjusted 38.8, from 22.0 in the preceding month, well above analysts expectations of a rise to 19.5.

In a separate report on Tuesday, The Labour Department said the number of Americans who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended May 12, dropped by 4000 to 232,000.

The release of upbeat economic data came amid continued U.S. political turmoil in Washington, after the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that Trump collaborated with Russia during the 2016 election.

 

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Crude stages mild rally in Asia ahead of U.S. rig count figures


Indian Business Trade

 

 

Crude prices staged a mild rally in Asia on Friday with U.S. crude nearing the key $50 a barrel mark ahead of weekly rig count figures expected to set the near-term tone ahead of next weeks meeting of OPEC and allied producers on production cuts.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery rose 0.85% to $49.77 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, brent gained 0.70% to $52.88 a barrel.

In figures reported last Friday, oilfield services  firm Baker Hughes said U.S. drillers added 9 oil rigs to take the total to 712, rigs for the 17th weekly gain in a row and extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since August 2015, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

 

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Gold prices surge as Trump turmoil deepens


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices added to overnight gains in North American trade on Wednesday, touching the highest level in two weeks as markets become increasingly worried about political turmoil involving U.S. President Donald Trump.

Comex gold futures rose around $10.00, or about 0.8%, to $1,246.42 a troy ounce by 7:15AM ET (11:15GMT). Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,246.64. Prices of the yellow metal jumped to an overnight peak of $1,248.90, the most since May 3.

Gold notched a fifth-straight winning session on Tuesday as the dollar sank to a six-month low amid signs of slowing economic activity in the U.S.

Markets were unnerved after media reports said President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into Michael Flynn, his former National Security Advisor, relating to alleged ties with Russia.

The news came one day after a report accused Trump of disclosing sensitive intelligence obtained from a close U.S. ally with Russias foreign minister about an Islamic State operation

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U.S. natural gas extends losses after tallying worst day since January


Indian Business Trade

U.S. natural gas futures edged lower on Wednesday, extending their biggest one-day loss since late January amid bearish weather forecasts.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery slumped 2.3 cents, or around 0.7%, to $3.207 per million British thermal units by 9:30AM ET (13:30GMT).

Prices of the heating fuel sank 11.9 cents, or around 3.5%, on Tuesday, the biggest daily decline since January 31.

Natural gas futures are down roughly 6% so far this week as the latest U.S. weather model called for mild temperatures over the next two weeks, which should reduce demand during that time.

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Gold nears key bullish turning point


Indian Business Trade

Gold looks poised to reach a bullish turning point after its rally in the past 24 hours as U.S. political risk rises, analysts say.
The precious metal is now closing in on a bullish cross of the moving averages after appearing to find some key support at the $1,214.09 an ounce mark.
The 50-day and 100-day moving averages are converging at the same spot suggesting the market is poised for a break higher.
The RSI Oscillator is also now out of oversold territory and is now trending higher with plenty of upside.
These technical factors suggest the metal is about to break above the 100-day moving average and begin a rally toward an interim target of $1,263.48 an ounce.
Fundamentals are also supporting gold with some signs of weakness in the U.S. economy 

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U.S. inventories of oil, gasoline fall in latest week: EIA


Indian Business Trade

 

U.S. crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories <usoilc=eci>fell by 1.8 million barrels for the week to May 12, compared with analysts expectations for an decrease of 2.4 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub <usoicc=eci>rose by 35,000 barrels, EIA said.

Refinery crude runs <usoicr=eci>rose by 363,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates <usoiru=eci>rose by 1.9 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks <usoilg=eci>fell by 413,000 barrels, compared with analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for a 731,000 barrels drop.

 

 

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Gold hits two-week high as investors return to risk-off trade


Indian Business Trade

Gold futures soared to a two-week high on Wednesday, as investors poured back into the safe-haven trade, after U.S. political turmoil and a recent batch of downbeat economic data dampened investor appetite for riskier assets.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $22.84 or 1.85%, to $1,259.24 a troy ounce by 13:40 EDT.

The U.S. political saga continued to dominate market moves for a second-straight day amid reports that President Donald Trump asked the then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into the actions of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.

The latest political saga out of Washington weighed on the dollar, which underpinned a surge in commodities across the board.

The US Dollar Index Futures, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-

 

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Oil prices dip as supply remains ample despite output cuts


Indian Business Trade

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by plentiful supply despite ongoing efforts led by OPEC to tighten the market by cutting production.

Brent crude (LCOc1) was down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from its last close at $52.03 per barrel at 0244 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude (CLc1) was down 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $48.91.

The downward correction eroded gains from the previous session when prices rose on the back of a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and a slight dip in American production.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude inventories <usoilc=eci>fell 1.8 million barrels for the week to May 12, to 520.8 million barrels.

 

 

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Crude prices hold weaker in Asia on Trump, look to output cut meeting


Indian Business Trade

Crude held slightly weaker in Asia on Thursday as investors turned cautious on political risk after U.S. Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the investigation of Russias alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and awaited more on next weeks crucial meting on extending an oil output cut plan.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery fell 0.20% to $48.97 a barrel, while on Londons Intercontinental Exchange, Brent eased 0.21% to $52.10 a barrel.

Overnight, crude futures settled higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered the release of a bullish report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), showing U.S. crudeinventories fell for a sixth-straight week.

For the week ended May 12, the EIA said that crude oil inventories fell by 1.75 million 

 

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Nickel, zinc bounce on steel rally, shut mine; copper dips

 


Indian Business Trade

Nickel and zinc rebounded on Wednesday after steel prices jumped, while nickel also received a boost from news that output at a Canadian mine would be suspended.

Meanwhile, copper was knocked lower by a fresh influx of inventories into warehouses.

Steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped 4.3 percent, its biggest single-day rise since Jan. 10. "Base metals shrug off a more bearish Western macro picture and react positively to the rally in ferrous markets," Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

Nickel is mainly used to make stainless steel, while the biggest demand for zinc is to galvanise steel.

But Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said there was little fundamental basis for stronger prices.

"Im tending to put it down to trading strategies. Our China economic team have been saying for a while that growth in China will start to slow," she said.

"Were fairly convinced that the government are not going to launch any stimulus, they are very committed to reining in credit growth and taking the heat out of the property market."

NICKEL - The prospects of less supply bolstered nickel prices after Vale said it would suspend operations at its Birchtree nickel mine on Oct. 1 because of weak nickel prices and declining ore grades. "The company stated that the mine was already approaching the end of its viability but more importantly they blamed the current low price levels which raises the question of how many other operations are in the same position," Malcolm Freeman of broker Kingdom Futures said in a note.

PRICES - The benchmark zinc price on the London Metal Exchange closed 0.6 percent firmer at $2,561 a tonne while nickel gained 1 percent to end at $9,215. They each shed about 1 percent on Tuesday.

DOLLAR - Metals were also supported by a weaker dollar index , which wallowed near its lowest since Nov. 9 due to an intensifying political scandal around U.S. President Donald Trump. COPPER - LME inventories have climbed by a third since late April after data showed on Wednesday they added another 17,100 tonnes to 339,600. Copper had rallied after disruptions at major copper mines earlier in the year, but Bain said much of the lost output would likely be made up.

LME copper fell into the red after the data release and finished slightly weaker, off 0.02 percent at $5,610.

CHINA - Economic growth in top metals consumer China will just about make Beijings target of 6.5 percent this year, analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast, as it slows from 6.9 percent in the first quarter. PRICES - LME aluminium , untraded in closing rings, was bid up 0.1 percent at $1,924 while lead traded 1.3 percent up at $2,110 after touching four-month lows on Tuesday.

Tin shot up 2.2 percent to end at $20,380, the highest since April 6 and biggest one-day gain since March 28.

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Big investors urge Trump to stick with Paris climate accord


Indian Business Trade

Investors with more than $15 trillion of assets under management urged governments led by the United States to implement the Paris climate accord to fight climate change despite U.S. President Donald Trumps threats to pull out.

"As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments," according to the letter signed by 214 institutional investors and published on Monday.

"We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the Agreement," it said. Signatories of the letter included the California Public Employees Retirement System and other pension funds from Sweden to Australia.

The letter was addressed to governments of the Group of Seven, before a summit in Italy on May 25-26, and to leaders of the Group of 20 who will meet in Germany in July.

Trump is due to announce in coming days whether he will carry out a campaign threat to "cancel" the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in temperatures by phasing out use of fossil fuels.

The European Union has been scrambling to persuade Trump, who wants to bolster the U.S. coal industry, to stick with the accord. His advisers have warned of legal problem if Washington stays but waters down its climate commitments.

"Climate change action must be an urgent priority in the G20 countries, especially the United States, whose commitment is in question," Mindy Lubber, head of the non-profit organization Ceres, which helped coordinate the letter, said in a statement.

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change in Europe, which also coordinated the letter, said nations should shift to a low-carbon economy "regardless of what the U.S. administration does".

Separately, senior government officials from almost 200 nations will meet in Bonn from May 8-18 to work on detailed rules for the Paris Agreement.

 

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Iran says $55 oil price suitable, sees supply cut extension


Indian Business Trade

Iran sees $55 per barrel as a suitable price for crude oil, and believes that OPEC and non-OPEC producers are likely to extend output curbs to support prices, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Saturday.

"The price range of $55 per barrel would be suitable for oil," Zanganeh said, according to the oil ministrys news website SHANA.

Oil prices closed higher on Friday, rebounding from five-month lows, following positive U.S. jobs data and assurances by Saudi Arabia that Russia is ready to join OPEC in extending supply cuts to reduce a persistent glut.

Brent futures gained 72 cents, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $49.10 a barrel.

Zanganeh said members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have signaled that they are leaning towards extending the supply cuts, SHANA reported.

"I think non-OPEC oil producers will also second (an) extension of the plan," said Zanganeh, speaking on the sidelines of an energy fair in Tehran.

OPEC and non-OPEC ministers are due to meet on May 25.

They appear likely to extend their agreement to limit supplies beyond its June expiry to help clear a glut, three OPEC delegates said on Thursday, downplaying the chance of additional steps such as a bigger cut.

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: May 8 - 12


Indian Business Trade

Oil futures settled higher on Friday, but still registered a hefty loss for the week as signs of rising U.S. shale production continued to feed concerns about a global supply glut.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract tacked on 70 cents, or around 1.5%, to end at $46.22 a barrel by close of trade Friday. It plunged almost 5% on Thursday after hitting its lowest since November 14 at $43.76.

The U.S. benchmark lost $3.11, or almost 6.3%, on the week, the third straight weekly decline, marking the longest losing streak since November.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July delivery ticked up 72 cents to settle at $49.10 a barrel by close of trade. The global benchmark sank to $46.64 a day earlier, a level not seen since November 15.

For the week, London-traded Brent futures recorded a loss of $2.95, or nearly 5.7%.

Crude has been under pressure in recent weeks amid fears that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 16th week in a row, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

The U.S. rig count rose by 6 to 703, extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since August 2015.

The relentless increase in U.S. output has overshadowed pledged output cuts by major producers.

In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January and June, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels.

Saudi Arabias OPEC Governor Adeeb Al-Aama said on Friday there is an emerging consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC countries who took part in a global pact to cut crude output on the need to extend the agreement beyond June to help clear a supply glut.

A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for June gained 2.3 cents, or about 1.6% to end at $1.504 on Friday. It closed down around 2.9% for the week on concern over lackluster demand.

June heating oil tacked on 2.4 cents to finish at $1.436 a gallon. For the week, the fuel lost roughly 4.7%.

Natural gas futures for June delivery rose 8.0 cents to $3.266 per million British thermal units, up 2.5% for the session but 0.3% lower for the week.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, investors will keep an eye out for a monthly report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, May 9

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, May 10

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, May 11

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties will publish its monthly assessment of oil markets.

The U.S. government is to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, May 12

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: May 8 - 12


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices retraced gains on Friday after data showing a strong rebound in U.S. jobs growth last month underlined expectations for a June rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Gold for June delivery settled at $1,229.01 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, off an earlier high of $1,236.00.

The precious metal ended the week down 3.26%, the largest week decline since early November.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for a gain of 185,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4%, a near a 10-year low.

The report also showed that the prior months figure of 98,000 was revised down to an even lower 79,000.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in April. However, downward revisions to previous months lowered the year-on-year increase to 2.5%, the smallest gain since August 2016, from 2.6% in March.

The jobs data did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June. Markets are pricing in around a 75% chance of a hike at the Feds June meeting, according to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Expectations of a faster pace of rate increases tend to weigh on gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

Fading euro zone political risks also weighed on safe haven for the precious metal ahead of Sundays second round vote in the French presidential elections.

Opinion polls on Friday showed centrist Emmanuel Macron with a 23- to 26-percentage-point lead over anti-EU far-right candidate Marine Le Pen ahead of Sundays second-round vote.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was up 0.47% to $16.38 a troy ounce, and ended the week down 5.72%.

Copper was trading at $2.53 a pound late Friday, up 1.02% for the day and ended the week down 2.97% as commodity markets slumped amid concerns over weakening demand from China.

Palladium was up 1.58% at $813.3 and finished the week down 1.65%. Platinum was up 0.74% at $914.4 an ounce and ended the week with losses of 3.56%.

The outcome of the French presidential elections is likely to set the tone in financial markets this week.

Investors will also be looking ahead to Fridays U.S. data on inflation and retail sales to gauge if the economy is on a strong enough footing for another rate hike as soon as next month.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, May 8

Australia is to release data on building approvals and business confidence.

China is to publish trade data.

The UK is to produce industry data on house prices.

Tuesday, May 9

Australia is to release data on retail sales.

Canada is to publish a report on building permits.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is to speak at an event in Dallas.

Wednesday, May 10

China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak about the impact of monetary policy at the Dutch House of Representatives, in Netherlands

The U.S. is to release data on import prices.

Thursday, May 11

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.

Switzerland is to release inflation data.

The UK is to report on manufacturing production.

The Bank of England is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish the meeting minutes.

Canada is to report on new house price inflation.

The U.S. is to release reports on initial jobless claims and producer prices.

Friday, May 12

Finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 nations are to meet in Italy.

The U.S. is to round up the week with a string of reports including a look at consumer prices, retail sales and consumer sentiment.

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Gold gains in Asia after French polls, China trade data eyed on copper


Indian Business Trade

Gold gained in Asia on Monday after centrist Emmanuel Macron matched opinion poll expectations and beat anti-EU far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and as investors looked ahead to China trade data.

Gold for June delivery rose 0.58$ to $1,234.00 a troy ounce. Copper was last quoted up 0.04% to $2.538 a pound amid concerns over weakening demand from China. Later on Monday, China is expected to report trade data with a trade balance surplus of $35.05 billion seen with copper imports a closely-watched subset.

Investors will also be looking ahead to Fridays U.S. data on inflation and retail sales to gauge if the economy is on a strong enough footing for another rate hike as soon as next month.

Last week, gold prices retraced gains on Friday after data showing a strong rebound in U.S. jobs growth last month underlined expectations for a June rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The precious metal ended the week down 3.26%, the largest week decline since early November.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for a gain of 185,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4%, a near a 10-year low.

The report also showed that the prior months figure of 98,000 was revised down to an even lower 79,000.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in April. However, downward revisions to previous months lowered the year-on-year increase to 2.5%, the smallest gain since August 2016, from 2.6% in March.

The jobs data did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June. Markets are pricing in around a 75% chance of a hike at the Feds June meeting, according to Investing.coms Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Expectations of a faster pace of rate increases tend to weigh on gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

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Crude holds gains in Asia after weaker than seen China trade data


Indian Business Trade

Crude held gains in Asia on Monday despite disappointing trade figures from China as centrist Emmanuel Macron matched opinion poll expectations and beat anti-EU far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and as investors looked ahead to regular weekly data sets and other reports.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract rose 1.28% to $46.81 a barrel, recovering after a slightly more than 6% fall last week. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for July deliveryhgained 1.34% to $49.76 a barrel.

China imported 34.39 million metric tons of crude oil in April, down 11.7% from 38.95 million metric tons in the previous month, according to data from Chinas General Administration of Customs. mports of oil products fell 7.8% to 2.49 million metric tons while exports of oil products fell 25.1% to 3.50 million metric tons.

Overall, China said exports rose 8.0% in April year-on-year, below the 10.4% gain seen, while imports rose 11.9% also below the 18.0% gain expected for a trade balance surplus of $38.05 billion, wider than the $35.50 billion seen.

Last week, oil futures settled higher on Friday, but still registered a hefty loss for the week as signs of rising U.S. shale production continued to feed concerns about a global supply glut.

Crude has been under pressure in recent weeks amid fears that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 16th week in a row, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

The U.S. rig count rose by 6 to 703, extending an 11-month drilling recovery to the highest level since August 2015.
The relentless increase in U.S. output has overshadowed pledged output cuts by major producers.

In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January and June, but so far the move has had little impact on inventory levels.

Saudi Arabias OPEC Governor Adeeb Al-Aama said on Friday there is an emerging consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC countries who took part in a global pact to cut crude output on the need to extend the agreement beyond June to help clear a supply glut.

A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.

Oil prices rise on expectation of output cut extensionOil prices rose on Monday as Saudi Arabias energy minister said an OPEC-led production cut scheduled to end in June would likely be extended to cover all of 2017, although a relentless increase in U.S. drilling capped gains.

Brent crude futures were at $49.82 per barrel at 0323 GMT on Monday, up 72 cents, or 1.47 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.85 per barrel, up 63 cents, or 1.36 percent.

Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Monday oil markets were rebalancing after years of oversupply, but that he still expected the OPEC-led deal to cut output during the first half of the year to be extended.

"Based on consultations that Ive had with participating members, I am confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year," said Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, during an industry event in Malaysias capital Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader, as well as other producers including Russia, pledged to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year to prop up the market.

The comments from Al-Falih and rising prices came after steep falls last week due to ample supply in countries that arent participating in the cuts, including the United States where output is soaring.

A decision on whether to continue the production cuts is expected at OPECs next official meeting on May 25.

"Oil may have seen the worst of the selloff for now, as the market turns its attention to the OPEC meeting at the end of the month," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

Traders said the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election against far-right Marine Le Pen also supported oil prices as it raised hopes of a more stable European economy.

Still, both Brent and WTI crude are holding below $50 a barrel because of brimming storage tanks, high drilling rates and ample production.

U.S. drilling for new oil continued to pick up last week, with the rig count climbing by 6 to 703.

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: January 30 - February 3


Indian Business Trade

Oil futures finished lower on Friday, logging a modest weekly loss, as investors turned their attention to rising production in the U.S. and away from OPEC and other producers commitment to curbing global oversupply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March slumped 61 cents, or around 1.1%, to end at $53.17 a barrel by close of trade. Futures touched a high of $54.08 earlier, the strongest level since January 6.

For the week, New York-traded oil futures lost 5 cents, or about 0.1%.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery declined 72 cents, or nearly 1.3%, to settle at $55.45 a barrel by close of trade Friday. Prices climbed to a three-week high of $56.55 in the prior session.

London-traded Brent futures scored a gain of 7 cents, or approximately 0.1%, on the week.

Prices dropped to the lowest levels of the session after oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by 15 last week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks.

That brought the total count to 566, the most since November 2015.

The data raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

Futures have been trading in a narrow range around the low-to-mid $50s over the past month as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries have made a strong start to lowering their oil output under the first such pact in more than a decade as global producers look to reduce oversupply and support prices.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for February dipped 1.5 cents, or 1% to $1.527 a gallon. It ended down about 2.5% for the week.

February heating oil shed 2.2 cents, or 1.4%, to finish at $1.618 a gallon. For the week, the fuel lost around 1.7%.

Natural gas futures for March delivery slipped 3.9 cents, or nearly 1.2%, to $3.358 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly gain of around 0.3%.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

Traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, January 31

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, February 1

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, February 2

The U.S. EIA is to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, February 3

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

 

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: January 30 - February 3


Indian Business Trade

Gold ended little changed on Friday, after weaker-than-expected figures on U.S. fourth quarter growth dampened expectations for a faster rate of interest rate hikes this year.

Gold for April delivery settled at $1,190.0 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The precious metal was 1.35% lower for the week, as the stronger U.S. dollar weighed.

The annual rate of economic growth slowed to 1.9% in the three months to December the Commerce Department reported Friday, slowing sharply from the 3.5% rate of growth seen in the third quarter.

The economy grew just 1.6% in 2016 as a whole, the slowest rate of growth since 2011.

The slowdown in growth prompted speculation that the Federal Reserve will avoid hiking interest rates too quickly.

Investors also remained cautious as they pondered the economic implications of President Donald Trumps pledges of increased fiscal spending, tax cuts and protectionism.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $17.16 a troy ounce late Friday and ended the week little changed.

Copper was trading at $2.69 a pound late Friday and ended the week up 2.86%, and platinum was up 0.69% on the day at $988.45 an ounce.

In the week ahead, markets will be paying close attention to Fridays U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January as well as Wednesdays policy statement by the Fed.

Investors will also be watching central bank meetings in Japan and the UK.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, January 30

Financial markets in China will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary data on inflation.

The U.S. is to release figures on personal income and spending as well as a report on pending home sales.

Tuesday, January 31

Markets in China will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.

The euro zone is to release preliminary estimates of consumer price inflation and fourth quarter GDP.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Frankfurt.

Canada is to publish its monthly report on GDP.

The U.S. is to release private sector data on consumer confidence.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event in Alberta.

Wednesday, February 1

Markets in China will remain shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

China is to release survey data on manufacturing and service sector activity.

New Zealand is to publish its quarterly employment report.

The UK is to release data on manufacturing activity.

The European Commission is to publish its latest economic forecasts for the European Union.

The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payrolls report for January and the Institute for Supply Management is to release its manufacturing PMI.

The Federal Reserve is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a monetary policy statement.

Thursday, February 2

Markets in China will remain shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Australia is to release data on building approvals and the trade balance.

The UK is to release data on manufacturing activity.

The Bank of England is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish the minutes of its monetary policy meeting along with its quarterly inflation report. BoE Governor Mark Carney, along with other policymakers will also hold a press conference to discuss the inflation report.

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Slovenia.

The U.S. is to publish data on initial jobless claims and labor costs.

Friday, February 3

China is to publish its Caixin manufacturing PMI.

The UK is to release data on manufacturing activity.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is to speak.

The U.S. is to round up the week data on factory orders and the non-farm payrolls report for January, while the ISM is to release its services PMI.

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Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: January 23 - 27


Indian Business Trade

Oil futures finished higher on Friday, logging a modest weekly gain with traders encouraged by signs that global supply is tightening in wake of a planned agreement by major crude producers to cut output.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery rallied $1.33, or about 2.5%, to settle at $55.45 a barrel by close of trade Friday.

London-traded Brent futures scored a gain of 4 cents, or approximately 0.1%, on the week.

Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March jumped $1.10, or around 2.1%, to end at $53.22 a barrel by close of trade.

For the week, New York-traded oil futures rose 5 cents, or nearly 0.1%.

Oil jumped on Friday after Saudi Arabias Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said that 1.5 million barrels a day of the roughly 1.8 million in cuts pledged by OPEC and non-OPEC countries have already been taken out of the market.

The upbeat comments added to signs that the oil market is rebalancing.

Prices, however, finished off the sessions highs after data showed a sharp weekly rise in the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil.

According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. jumped by 29 last week to 551, the largest weekly increase since a recovery in the rig count began in June and the highest level in around 14 months.

The data raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

In a monthly report issued this week, the International Energy Agency said OPEC production has slowed, declining by 320,000 barrels a day to 33.09 million barrels in December.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Some traders remain skeptical that the planned cuts will be as substantial as the market currently expects.

While some major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have so far showed signs that they are sticking to their pledge to cut back output, others, such as Libya and Iraq have ramped up production.

A monitoring committee charged with tracking adherence to the global deal is due to meet in Vienna for the first time on January 22.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for February rose 3.1 cents, or about 2.1% to $1.566 a gallon. It ended down about 2.9% for the week.

February heating oil tacked on 2.7 cents, or 1.7%, to finish at $1.645 a gallon. For the week, the fuel declined around 0.3%.

Natural gas futures for February delivery sank 16.4 cents, or nearly 4.9%, to $3.204 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly loss of more than 6% on forecasts for warmer winter weather.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

Traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, January 24

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, January 25

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, January 26

The U.S. EIA is to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, January 27

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: January 23 - 27


Indian Business Trade

Gold ended higher on Friday, buoyed by the weaker dollar as the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president fueled uncertainty about the direction of fiscal and economic policy.

Gold for February delivery settled up 0.67% at $1,209.5 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The metal was 0.75% higher for the week, helped by a broad weakening of the U.S. dollar.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.33% to 100.77 late Friday.

The index has fallen 1.49% so far this month amid worries over Trumps protectionist stance and following recent remarks in which he said the dollar was too strong.

On Friday, Trump said his administration would put "America first" and also promised new roads, bridges and highways.

But market sentiment was hit by the negative tone of the speech, which underlined uncertainty over how Trump will govern.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $17.09 a troy ounce late Friday, and ended the week with gains of 1.59%.

Copper was trading at $2.61 a pound late Friday and ended the week down 2.35% as traders locked in profits after prices hit seven-week peaks.

Platinum was up 2.66% on the day at $981.8 an ounce, trimming the weeks losses to 0.6%.

In the week ahead, the economic calendar is light but Trumps policy plans in his first days in office are likely to dominate headlines. Investors will also be awaiting a first look at fourth quarter growth from the U.S. on Friday and from the U.K. a day earlier.

Tuesdays data on euro area private sector activity will also be closely watched.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, January 23

Canada is to publish data on wholesale sales.

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Italy.

Tuesday, January 24

The euro zone is to release data on private sector business activity.

The U.K. High Court is to deliver a ruling regarding the governments ability to bypass parliament and initiate Britains exit from the European Union by triggering Article 50.

The U.K. is also to release data on public sector borrowing.

The U.S. is to report on existing home sales.

Wednesday, January 25

Australia is to publish data on inflation.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

Thursday, January 26

New Zealand is to publish its monthly inflation report.

The U.K. is to release the preliminary reading on fourth quarter growth.

The U.S. is to release data on initial jobless claims and new home sales.

Friday, January 27

Shanghai stock exchange will be shut for a holiday.

The U.S. is to round up the week with a preliminary estimate of fourth quarter economic growth, as well as a report on durable goods orders and revised data on consumer sentiment.

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Crude gains in Asia after weekend meeting on OPEC, non-OPEC cuts


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil prices rose in Asia on Monday following a weekend meeting of OPEC ministers and counterparts from major producing countries who agreed a coordinated plant to trim global oil supplies is working well.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March rose 0.21% to $53.30 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery was lastt quoted up 0.18% to $55.55.

"The deal is a success ...All the countries are sticking to the deal ...(the) results are above expectations," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters after the first meeting of a committee set up to monitor the deal.

OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, both suffering setbacks in production, were given exemptions from the OPEC leg of the cuts with Saudi Arabia bearing the lions share for the cartel.

"The Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] has taken the initiative and other countries took part in very significant actions," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters following the meeting.

"Despite demand usually being lower in the first quarter in winter, the actions taken by the Kingdom and many other countries has impacted the market in a tangible way and we have seen the impact in spot prices."

Last week, oil futures finished higher on Friday, logging a modest weekly gain with traders encouraged by signs that global supply is tightening in wake of a planned agreement by major crude producers to cut output.

Oil jumped on Friday after Saudi Arabias Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said that 1.5 million barrels a day of the roughly 1.8 million in cuts pledged by OPEC and non-OPEC countries have already been taken out of the market.

The upbeat comments added to signs that the oil market is rebalancing.

Prices, however, finished off the sessions highs after data showed a sharp weekly rise in the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil.

According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. jumped by 29 last week to 551, the largest weekly increase since a recovery in the rig count began in June and the highest level in around 14 months.

The data raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

In a monthly report issued this week, the International Energy Agency said OPEC production has slowed, declining by 320,000 barrels a day to 33.09 million barrels in December.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Some traders remain skeptical that the planned cuts will be as substantial as the market currently expects. Still, while some major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have so far showed signs that they are sticking to their pledge to cut back output, others, such as Libya and Iraq have ramped up production.

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Oil prices edge up on weaker dollar, expected crude output cuts


Indian Business Trade

Oil prices inched up on Monday, supported by a weaker dollar and expectations that OPEC and other producers will cut output as part of a deal to curb global oversupply.

Brent crude futures (LCOc1), the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading at $55.64 per barrel at 0344 GMT (10:44 p.m. ET), up 19 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 17 cents at $52.54 a barrel.

Traders said that prices were buoyed by a weakening dollar, which makes fuel purchases cheaper for countries that use other currencies domestically, potentially spurring demand.

After spending much of the second half of 2016 in an upward trend, the dollar has fallen around 2.5 percent against a basket of other leading currencies (DXY) since its early-January peak.

The greenback is in particular focus for international investors this week as Donald Trump is set to take office as the next U.S. president on Friday.

"Oil pricing will be driven this week by the movement of the U.S. dollar rather than crude itself, with President-elect Trumps inauguration ... being the main event," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA brokerage in Singapore.

Oil also continued to receive support from an announced crude output cut from major producers including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.

OPEC has said it would reduce its output by 1.2 million barrels per day to 32.5 million bpd from Jan. 1, and Russia as well as other non-OPEC members are planning to cut about half as much.

However, there is a broad expectation that OPEC will not fully implement its announced cuts, although compliance estimates of 50 to 80 percent are enough to keep crude prices supported in the mid-$50s per barrel, traders said.

Rising oil output in the United States has prevented crude prices from climbing further.

Despite a small dip in drilling last week, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said it expected year-on-year U.S. oil production to rise by 235,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, taking into account estimates of wells that have been drilled and are likely to start producing in the first half of the year.

Overall U.S. oil output stands at 8.95 million bpd, up from less than 8.5 million bpd in June last year and back at similar levels to 2014, when OPEC decided to start a price war against U.S. shale producers and sent the market into a tailspin.

 

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Brent, NYMEX gain in Asia in thin trade with U.S. markets closed


Indian Business Trade

Crude prices gained in Asia on Monday in think trade with the U.S. market slated for a public holiday and investors looking ahead to a monthly OPEC report for details on output under a plan to trim 1.2 million barrels a day from global markets for the first half of the New Year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in February gained 0.32% to $52.54 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery inched up 0.05% to $55.62 a barrel.

Japans core machinery orders fell in November at the fastest pace in seven months by 5.1% in November from the previous month, data showed on Monday, more than the median estimate for a 1.7% decline.

Weekly figures on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Wednesday and Thursday, a day late because of the U.S. holiday on Monday, will be eyed on strength of demand in the worlds largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, investors will keep an eye out for monthly reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and the International Energy Agency to gauge global supply and demand levels.

Last week, oil futures finished lower on Friday, logging their first weekly decline in five weeks amid doubts over the implementation of a planned deal by global crude producers to scale back output.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

However, some traders remain skeptical that the planned cuts will be as substantial as the market currently expects.

While major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have so far showed signs that they are sticking to their pledge to cut back output, others, such as Libya have ramped up production.

OPEC plans to release its monthly oil report on January 18 and the IEAs monthly report is due the day after, but both would come just over two weeks after the output cuts officially began.

As a result, markets will have to wait until the January report in mid-February for further evidence that OPEC members are adhering to planned output cuts.

Meanwhile, market players shrugged off a report showing a downtick in U.S. drilling activity last week.

According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week decreased by 7 to 522. That was the first decline in the oil-rig count in 10 weeks.

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Gold gains in Asia as investors seek safety on Brexit, Trump concerns


Indian Business Trade

Gold prices gain on Monday in Asia as the British pound fell on the terms of Brexit that could be outlined in a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday and as President-elect Donald Trump rioled markets with interviews and tweets on topics from BMWs manufacturing in mexico to cutting nuclear weapons ahead of his inaguration.

Gold for February delivery rose 0.40% at $1,200.95 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver gained 0.50% to $16.848 a try ounce, while copper dropped 1.00% to $2.679 a pound.

Japans core machinery orders fell in November at the fastest pace in seven months by 5.1% in November from the previous month, data showed on Monday, more than the median estimate for a 1.7% decline.

Investors will be looking ahead to Thursday policy announcement by the European Central bank and Chinese data on fourth quarter growth, due for release on Friday. On Monday, U.S. financial markets will be closed for Martin Luther King Day and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is due to speak at an event in London.

Last week, gold ended lower on Friday as investors took profits after prices hit a seven-week peak in the previous session, but still notched up a third consecutive weekly gain.

The dollar had rallied to 14-year peaks earlier this month on expectations that Trumps policies would spur growth and inflation and prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly.

Trump will officially take office on January 20.

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Yen gains further in Asia as Japan economic policy team to meet


Indian Business Trade

The yen gained further on Wednesday in Asia as top policymakers in Japan prepared for another set of meetings on the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote in the U.K.

USD/JPY traded at 102.548 down 0.28%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7405, up 0.27%. GBP/USD edged down 0.24% to 1.3314.

In Japan, retail sales for May fell 1.9% year-on-year, compared to a 1.6% fall seen. In Australia the HIA new home sales figures for May fell 4.4%, less than the decline of 4.7% expected.

The pound eased after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron told Europes leaders that they will have to offer the U.K. more control over immigration at the end of a fractious day where politicians across Europe clashed over the meaning and consequences of last weeks Brexit vote.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenbacks strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.02% to 96.21.

Overnight, the dollar pared losses against the other major currencies on Tuesday, as the release of upbeat U.S. data boosted optimism over the strength of the economy, lending support to the greenback.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 98.0 this month from a reading of 92.4 in May, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 92.6. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 93.3 in June.

The report came after the third estimate of first quarter U.S. growth domestic product showed growth of 1.1%, revised up from the initial reading of a 0.8% rise. Analysts had expected growth to settle at 1.0%.

However, real consumer spending for the first three months of the year was revised down to 1.5%, from the prior reading of 1.9%. Economists had forecast an upward revision to 2.0%

Global stock markets suffered the largest two-day rout ever, as a wave of selling wiped around $3 trillion from markets.

Ratings agencies Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings both downgraded their credit ratings for the U.K. on Monday and warned that further cuts are possible.

S&P, the only major ratings agency to maintain a Triple A rating for the U.K., cut its rating by two notches to AA, warning that Brexit posed a risk to the constitutional and economic integrity of the U.K.

Fitch lowered its rating from AA+ to AA, forecasting an "abrupt slowdown" in growth in the short-term.

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Gold prices up in Asia as tussles over Brexit plans grow sharper


Indian Business Trade

Gold gained in Asia on Wednesday as investors noted continued friction over the timing of Britains expected notification to exit the European Union.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery rose 0.33% to $1,322.30 a troy ounce.

Silver futures for August delivery jumped 1.17% to $18.098 a troy ounce, while copper futures fell 0.83% to $2.163 a pound.

The pound eased on Wednesday in Asia after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron told Europes leaders that they will have to offer the U.K. more control over immigration at the end of a fractious day where politicians across Europe clashed over the meaning and consequences of last weeks Brexit vote.

Overnight, gold fell slightly on Tuesday taking a pause from the Brexit-inspired rally, as investors looked to lock into profits days after the precious metal surged to 27-month highs.

In the frenzied days since last weeks surprising decision by voters in the U.K. to approve a referendum paving the way for a departure from the EU, Gold has largely avoided a major sell-off, as traders continue to seek shelter in safe-haven assets.

On Monday, gold remained supportive in broad risk-off trade while investors took part in a flight to safety from plunging euro area bank stocks. Consequently, Gold has become a preferred option for rattled investors along with low-risk government bonds and currencies such as the U.S. Dollar, Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc.

While addressing Parliament on Monday, U.K. prime minister David Cameron said that he will not immediately invoke Article 50, a provision of the Lisbon Treaty, which initiates a two-year process for a member state to leave the European bloc. Upon his arrival in Brussels, Cameron told reporters that he would like the process of Britains departure from the EU to be as "constructive as possible," to avoid complicating the relationship with their key trade partners.

"These countries are our neighbors, our friends, our allies, our partners and I very much hope well seek the closest possible relationship in terms of trade and cooperation and security, because that is good for us and that is good for them. And thats the spirit in which the discussions I think will be held today," Cameron said.

Meanwhile, top leaders from throughout the euro area appear to be adopting a hard-line stance against the U.K. While addressing the Bundestag, Germany chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a proposal from former London mayor Boris Johnson which would enable Britain to receive access to the European single market while simultaneously enacting a measure that would severely restrict immigration into the U.K. In an interview with CNN, Italy prime minister Matteo Renzi echoed the sentiments.

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Iraqs southern oil exports seen steady through 2016 at 3.162 million bpd


Indian Business Trade

Oil exports from Iraqs southern ports have averaged 3.162 million barrels per day (bpd) so far this month, down slightly from May due to maintenance work and rising demand for fuel oil used in power generation, a senior oil official said.

The exports, including 850,000 barrels of Basra Heavy, are expected to hold steady through the end of the year, Hayan Abdulghani Abdulzahra, the head of state-owned South Oil Company (SOC), told Reuters in an interview late on Sunday.

"With the start of summer, demand for crude oil from power stations and refineries has increased to around 550,000 barrels per day, and this comes at the expense of exports," he said.

Power stations and refineries had been using 400,000 bpd before high temperatures boosted electricity consumption, he said.

OPECs second-largest producer aims to increase its southern oil storage capacity to 14 million bpd by the first quarter of 2018, from 11.5 million currently, to help cope with export bottlenecks caused by bad weather and to absorb an expected rise in output, Abdulzahra said.

The country plans to bring a fourth single point mooring (SPM) facility online by mid-2017 to boost export capacity from southern terminals to 4.5 million bpd from 3.6 million currently, he said.

Iraq last year was OPECs fastest source of supply growth, boosting output by more than 500,000 barrels per day, despite spending cuts and conflict with Islamic State militants.

A collapse in global prices (LCOc1), which at $47 a barrel are less than half their level of two years ago, has hit revenue for the government which relies on oil for nearly all its income.

The price drop has raised concern that Iraqs oil output growth could slow, or stall. Indeed, oil companies have warned Iraq that projects will be delayed if the government insists on drastic spending cuts this year.

Abdulzahra said more talks were needed with ExxonMobil (N:XOM) and PetroChina (HK:0857), which Iraq approached last year about a multi-billion dollar project to boost output from Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi, two smaller southern oilfields now producing 35,000 and 17,000 bpd respectively.

"We reached an initial agreement that production from both fields should reach 550,000 barrels per day," he said, without specifying a timeframe.

SOC is seeking investments from the two companies to build infrastructure needed to raise output at fields it operates.

Most of Iraqs production comes from five giant fields. Abdulzahra said production from BPs (L:BP) Rumaila oilfield, Iraqs largest, is currently at 1.45 million bpd, more than 60,000 barrels higher than last year.

West Qurna 1, developed by Exxon Mobil , is producing 450,000 bpd, while Lukoils (MM:LKOH) West Qurna 2 produces 405,000 bpd, he said. Output from Shells (L:RDSa) Majnoon is at 220,000 bpd and at Enis (MI:ENI) Zubair at 360,000 barrels.

 

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U.S. stocks fall sharply erasing 2016 gains, as Brexit concerns fester


Indian Business Trade

U.S. stocks fell to three and a half month lows erasing all of their gains for 2016, as losses mounted on Monday after S&P lowered the U.K.s credit rating due to increased fears of an oncoming market deterioration in England in the wake of last weeks historic Brexit decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 260.51 or 1.50% to 17,140.24, dropping to its lowest level since mid-March. With the sharp declines, the Dow shaved off more than 850 points over the last two sessions, suffering its worst two-day sell-off since last Augusts Flash Crash. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, plunged 36.87 or 1.81% to 2,00.54, as eight of 10 sectors closed in the red. Stocks in the Basic Materials, Energy and Financials industries lagged, each falling more than 2.50%. High yield stocks in Utilities and Telecommunication led, as investors looked to capitalize on dividend plays in broad risk-off trade.

The NASDAQ Composite index, the sessions underperformer, lost 113.54 or 2.41% to 4,594.44, as technology stocks continued to weigh. At session-lows, all three major fell below their 200-day moving average.

In the euro area, financial stocks tumbled more than 15%, amid concerns that major banks earnings and net margins could take a hit if the Bank of England and European Central Bank approve further easing measures in the coming months. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 2.35 or 1.66% to 139.51, said in a note to investors on Monday that the results from last weeks Brexit referendum could tip the U.K. into mild recession by early-2017. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), which warned that long-term bank profit targets could fall 13% due to Brexit concerns, lost 1.99 or 3.34% to 57.61.

Dow transports fell by nearly 3%, as airlines stocks hovered near 52-week lows. As the Pound slid to fresh 31-year lows on Monday, experts in the airline industry expressed concerns that a lower Pound sterling and euro could limit overseas corporate travel from the U.S. The downbeat travel outlook also weighed on American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), which lost 2.39 or 3.98% to 57.67, closing as the worst performer on the Dow.

The top performer was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which inched up 0.92 or 0.80% to 116.55. In total, only two of 30 Dow components closed in the green.

The biggest gainer on the NASDAQ was Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), which added 5.40 or 2.80% to 198.55, bouncing from 3-month lows. Tesla shares have come under pressure from last weeks potential $2.86 billion acquisition of struggling rooftop solar power systems company SCTY. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also serves the chairman of SolarCity. The worst performer was Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC), which plummeted 5.66 or 11.83% to 42.18. Much like American Express, Western Digital shares fell amid reports that the semiconductor company will trade ex-dividend for its upcoming quarterly dividend.

On the New York Stock Exchange, declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by a 2,499-576 margin.

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Gold holds gains in Asia as Brexit politics eyed for timetable


Indian Business Trade

Gold gained in Asia on Tuesday with investors eyeing a political process in the United Kingdom that could take months to play out before a firm plan for exiting the European Union is put forth.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery rose 0.25% to $1,328.00 a troy ounce.

Silver futures for August delivery gained 0.30% to $17.820 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery held flat at $2.129 a pound.

Overnight, gold closed slightly higher on Monday, remaining near two-year highs, as investors continued to engage in a flight to safety amid the fallout of last weeks stunning decision by voters in the U.K. to approve a departure from the European Union.

It came one session after gold soared nearly $100 an ounce to $1,362.45, as markets worldwide were jolted by a surprising outcome in the historic Brexit referendum in the wee hours of Friday morning. Since opening the year near $1,075 an ounce, the precious metal has soared nearly 25% over the calendar year. With three days left in the month of June, Gold is on pace for its strongest first half of a year in more than a decade.

In London, U.K. prime minister David Cameron took steps to calm voters nationwide and markets overall after the British Pound fell sharply by more than 3% to tumble to fresh 31-year lows against the U.S. Dollar. At the close of euro area markets, GBP/USD stood at 1.3204, down 3.45%. The Pound Sterling has fallen by approximately 10% since it became apparent that the Leave campaign would prevail last Friday.

In an address before Parliament on Monday afternoon, Cameron emphasized that while the result of the referendum was not the outcome he preferred, it is a decision that he will respect along with the rest of his cabinet. Cameron also said that the U.K. has created a new civil service designed specifically for withdrawal discussions from the EU. While Cameron said last Friday that he plans to leave office by October, his administration announced on Monday that a new prime minister will be put in place by September 2. Cameron emphasized that the domestic economy remains on solid footing due to low, stable inflation and a comparatively low unemployment rate.

In addition, he told Parliament that the financial system is "substantially more resilient" than it was six years, as capital requirements remain 10 times higher than from the Financial Crisis. The U.K. prime minister also reiterated that the Bank of England has set aside an additional £250 billion in liquidity to support the nations banks and financial markets.

"It is clear that markets are volatile, some companies are considering their investments and we know this will be far from plain sailing. However, we should take confidence from the fact that Britain is ready to confront what the future holds for us from a position of strength," Cameron said in his speech.

"The markets may not have been expecting the Referendum results but the Treasury, the Bank of England and our other financial authorities have spent the last few months putting in place robust contingency plans. The bank stress tests have shown that UK institutions have enough capital and liquidity reserves to withstand a scenario more severe than the country currently faces."

Notably, Cameron told Parliament that he will not immediately invoke Article 50, a provision of the Lisbon Treaty, which initiates a two-year process for a member state to leave the European bloc. Though Cameron is expected to deliver a dinner speech on Tuesday at an EU Summit in Brussels, he will not take part in discussions with leaders from the blocs 27 other nations a day later.

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NYMEX crude up in Asia as Brexit politics eyed, API data ahead


Indian Business Trade

Crude oil prices gained in ASia on Tuesday with industry data on U.S. stockpiles due later in the day and markets watching an expected long-drawn political process in the U.K. before any Brexit timetable becomes clear.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for August rose 0.76% to $46.68 a barrel.

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will release its estimates of crude and refined product stockpiles in the U.S. by the end of last week. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy releases more closely-watched figures.

Overnight, U.S. crude futures slid to near six week lows on Monday, as a broadly stronger dollar weighed on global oil prices while the shockwaves of last weeks historic Brexit referendum continued to be felt worldwide.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for September delivery wavered between $47.31 and $49.48 a barrel, before settling at $47.85, down 1.24 or 2.43% on the day. Crude futures have slumped by approximately 8% since last Fridays shocking decision by U.K. voters to approve a departure from the European Union.

Despite the considerable two-day sell-off, U.S. crude futures are still up by more than 65% from their level in mid-February when they slid to a 13-year low at $26.05 a barrel.

In Mondays session, investors continued to pile into safe-haven assets such as government bonds, gold and the dollar, as the British Pound fell an additional 3% to touch a fresh 31-year low against the greenback. On Monday afternoon, Standard & Poors lowered its credit rating on U.Ks sovereign debt from AAA to AA, as it weighed the possibility of future contagion effects if other nations in the EU decide to leave the European bloc. In lowering its outlook for U.K. bonds to negative, S&P cited heightened risks of market deterioration on external financial conditions, as well as the wider constitutional issues surrounding a potential U.K. departure by Northern Island or Scotland.

In last weeks referendum, Scotland voters backed the Remain campaign by a 62-38% margin, triggering concerns that the country could look to leave the U.K. in the coming months. Shortly after the results were tallied, Scotland first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would seek a re-revote of the nations 2014 independence referendum from the U.K., which failed by a 55-45%. In the months leading to the 2014 referendum, Scotlands Oil and Gas Analytical Bulletin predicted that production in Scottish offshore oil fields could generate as much as £57 billion by 2018.

Also on Monday, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:NYSE:GS) said in a note to investors that last weeks Brexit vote could tip the U.K. into mild recession by early next year. A number of leading energy analysts have expressed widespread concerns that demand in oil could falter if economic growth throughout the euro area declines sharply.
The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rallied by more than 1% to hit a fresh three-month high at 96.86, before falling back slightly in U.S. afternoon trading. The index is still down more than 3% since early-December.

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