Oil attempts to break 6-day losing streak-SapForex24

Oil prices were higher in European trading on Tuesday, rising for the first time in seven sessions as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations after futures fell to the lowest level in four weeks amid signs of further gains in U.S. crude output.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract rose 13 cents, or around 0.3%, to $49.36 a barrel.

The U.S. benchmark settled lower for the sixth session in a row on Monday after hitting its weakest level since March 29 at $49.03.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for June delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 16 cents to $52.29 a barrel after sliding to $51.42 in the prior session, its deepest trough since March 29.

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Investors 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 later on Tuesday. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of 1.3 million barrels.

Crude has been under heavy selling pressure in recent days amid fears that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 14th week in a row, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed on Friday, extending a 10-month drilling recovery. That brought the total count to 688, the most since September 2015.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump will sign several executive orders on energy and the environment this week, which would make it easier for the U.S. to develop energy on and offshore, a White House official said on Sunday.

The 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.

A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.

Russia said on Monday that its oil output could climb to the highest rate in 30 years if OPEC and non-OPEC producers do not extend a supply reduction deal beyond June 30.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for June inched down 0.2 cents, or about 0.2%, to $1.624 a gallon, while June heating oil added 0.2 cents to $1.550 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for June delivery was little changed at $3.159 per million British thermal units

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Dollar edges down, euro resists French election volatility-SapForex24

The dollar inched lower against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, suffering from a solid performance by the euro before the first round of French presidential elections and from an improvement in sentiment towards Britain’s pound this week.

The biggest mover overnight was the New Zealand dollar, jetting higher after inflation surged past 2 percent to its highest in five years, bolstering the case for a rise in kiwi interest rates over the next year.

Attention is largely focused on the French vote, however. Despite a surge in measures of expected volatility , the euro rose another third of a percent to $1.0748 in early European trade, its strongest in three weeks.

Even with polls giving both far-right and far-left candidates a chance of making it into next month’s run-off, the single currency has gained 1.3 percent this week, its strongest performance in 2017 so far.

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Traders put that down more to a broadly weaker tone to the dollar, which sold off across the board on Tuesday as faith in continuing U.S. economic outperformance and the Trump administration’s promises of tax reform wavered.

“I’m more inclined to think that we are dealing with that kind of dynamic,” said Barclays (LON:BARC) strategist Hamish Pepper.

“We still expect the dollar to strengthen a bit more into the end of year, but I do see more and more signs that perhaps the dollar has peaked. The data has started to look slightly more inconsistent than it was, and there is the doubt over what we will get on the fiscal front.”

By 0848 GMT, the dollar had fallen 0.14 percent to 99.601. It was marginally higher at 108.96 yen but around 0.4 percent weaker against sterling at $1.2824.

The bounce for the New Zealand dollar comes at a time of flux for monetary policy in a number of developed economies.

Money market expectations for a rise in European Central Bank interest rates have largely evaporated.

Yet a Reuters poll on Thursday showed the bank’s next move would be to cut the value of its monthly bond purchases, and speculation is rife that the bank will be able to change tack once political risks to the euro abate.

“Relative to its U.S. counterparts, Europe offers good value on strong economy, even peripherals like Portugal are posting bullish economic data,” said Shaniel Ramjee, a multi-asset fund manager with Swiss INVESTMENT FIRM Pictet.

“We would have been even more positive were it not for the uncertainties triggered by the French presidential election.”

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Forex – Sterling erases gains ahead of statement by British PM May- SapForex24

The pound erased gains against the dollar and the euro on Tuesday ahead of a statement by British Prime Minister Theresa May due to take place at 10.15 GMT amid speculation that she will call an early election.

GBP/USD was down 0.33% by 09.22 GMT after going as high as 1.2607 earlier in the session, the most since March 27.

The pound had risen against the broadly weaker dollar and the euro earlier as ongoing geopolitical tensions continued to weigh on market sentiment.

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Investors remained wary as trade talks between the U.S. and Japan got underway on Tuesday, while worries over North Korea, which has vowed to conduct more missile tests following Sunday’s failed missile launch also weighed.

EUR/GBP climbed 0.47% to 0.8508, rebounding from the two-month low of 0.8449 set earlier in the day.

Investors were continuing to monitor political developments ahead of the upcoming French presidential elections as the race tightened after a surge in polls for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who wants a referendum on the country’s European Union membership.

Investors have long since been anxious about front runner Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party, who also wants to put the country’s EU membership to a vote and abandon the euro.

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Gold moves higher on weaker dollar and geopolitical tension-SapForex24

GOLD PRICES rose in European trade on Monday as a weaker dollar and tensions on the Korean peninsula supported demand.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery gained 0.16% to $1.290.50 a troy ounce.

Gold also benefitted Monday from a weaker dollar as the greenback felt pressure from Friday’s release of weak U.S. retail sales and inflation data.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.30% at 100.19 by 4:02AM ET (8:02GMT).

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A weak dollar usually supports GOLD PRICES, as it bolsters the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more attractive to holders of other currencies.

Geopolitical tension surrounding North Korea also remained on markets’ radar, supporting demand for safe haven assets, a day after the country’s attempted launch on Sunday of a ballistic missile failed.

The U.S. is working with allies and China on responses to the failed test, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said on Sunday.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver was up 0.43% at $18.590 a troy ounce.
Platinum slipped 0.03% at $977.10 a troy ounce, while palladium lost% to $794.40 a troy ounce. Copper gained 0.60% to $2.586 a pound.

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Forex – Dollar index edges higher, U.S. data ahead-SapForex24

The dollar edged higher against other major currencies on Thursday, as investors awaited the release of U.S. data due later in the day, although concerns over U.S. politics and global geopolitical tensions limited gains.

EUR/USD fell 0.20% to 1.0620, pulling away from a one-week high of 1.0678 hit overnight.

The greenback initially weakened after U.S. President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the dollar “is getting too strong” and that he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.

Markets were also jittery after President Trump said the United States’ relationship with Moscow “may be at an all-time low.”

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Trump’s comments came after he ordered a missile attack on Syria to punish the government’s suspected use of poison gas. Russia condemned the U.S. action.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD edhed up 0.14% to 1.2554.

USD/JPY held steady at 109.05, while USD/CHF added 0.10% to trade at 1.0036.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.80% at 0.7583 and with NZD/USD climbing 0.50% to 0.7006.

Earlier Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the number of employed people increased by 60,900 in March, blowing past expectations for an increase of 20,000.

The number of employed people rose by 2,800 in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated decline of 6.400.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9% last month, in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, data showed that China’s exports increased by an annualized rate of 16.4% in March, while imports climbed 20.3%.

China is Australia’s biggest export partner and New Zealand’s second biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slipped 0.13% to trade at 1.3232.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% at 100.17, off a two-week low of 99.94 hit earlier in the day.

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Oil prices rise on potential extension of output cuts -SapForex24

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, putting crude futures on track for their longest streak of gains since August 2016, as Saudi Arabia was reported to be lobbying OPEC and other producers to extend a production cut beyond the first half of 2017.

Brent Crude futures were up 20 cents, or 0.36 percent, at their highest since early March at $56.43 per barrel at 0656 GMT (02:56 a.m. EDT).

If Wednesday’s rise holds, it would mark the seventh straight daily increase. That would beat a six-day bull-run from August 2016, although the price jump then was 17.5 percent versus a 6-percent rise in the current rally.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 18 cents, or 0.34 percent, at $53.58 a barrel, also their highest since early March.

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Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has told other producers that it wants to extend a coordinated production cut beyond the first half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

OPEC and other producers, including Russia, have pledged to cut output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017 in an effort to rein in oversupply and prop up prices.

While compliance from some participants has been patchy, Saudi Arabia has made significant cuts, with production down 4.5 percent since late 2016, despite a slight increase in March to 9.98 million bpd.

“(The) Saudi Arabian production reduction appears to be ahead of forecast and gave oil a boost,” said Jeffrey Halley of futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
Despite this, there are still concerns that oil markets remain bloated and oversupplied.

Fearing a loss of market share, Saudi Arabia is shielding its most important customers in Asia from the cuts, continuing to supply them with all contractual volumes.

And in the United States, both production and inventories are surging.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that U.S. 2018 crude oil output would rise to 9.9 million barrels per day in 2018, from 9.22 million bpd this year.

With demand expected to rise by 340,000 bpd in 2018, that will leave increasing amounts of U.S. oil for exports or to be put into storage.

U.S. commercial crude inventories hit a record 535.5 million barrels this month, although a report on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute suggested a dip.

Official U.S. production and inventory data will be published later on Wednesday by the EIA.

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