Gold hits fresh 3-week highs amid Trump policy jitters-SapForex24

Gold prices rose to a three-week high during European morning hours on Wednesday, as growing doubts about U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth economic agenda prompted investors to dump risky assets and rush to safe havens.

Comex Gold futures reached a session peak of $1,249.05 a troy ounce, the highest since February 28. It was last at $1,247.00 , up 50 cents, or less than 0.1%.

It settled higher for the fourth session in a row on Tuesday, as risk-averse investors sought safer investments amid a weak dollar and as U.S. equities tumbled on doubts over the implementation of President Trump’s economic agenda.
Meanwhile, spot gold was up $3.95 at $1,248.55 per ounce.

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Headlines from Washington will continue to be in focus, as House Republicans are expected to vote on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.
The Freedom Caucus, a key group of House Republicans, threatened to issue a formal statement of opposition to the Obamacare replacement bill, which would delay the vote, unless the language in the bill changes dramatically.

Appetite for riskier assets took a hit on concerns the House will not have enough votes to repeal and replace the healthcare bill, triggering worry that more of the Trump Administration’s pro-growth policies could be delayed or derailed in Congress.

Global stock markets sold off as investors unwound bets from a post-election rally on worries that Trump would not be able to live up to his promises for large-scale reform on tax and regulation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed near a seven-week low of 99.53 in London morning trade.

U.S. Treasury yields traded lower, with the benchmark 10-year note yield falling to a three-week low of 2.405%.

The greenback, along with Treasury yields, have been on the retreat since the Fed raised interest rates on Wednesday last week, but stuck to its outlook for two more hikes this year, instead of three expected by the market.

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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Gold prices fall to 6-week lows, below $1,200 mark-sapforex24

Gold prices fell to six-week lows on Friday, hovering below the psychologically important $1,200 mark as the strength of the U.S. dollar and growing expectations for a U.S. rate hike next week continued to weigh on the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery were down 0.61% at $1,195.65, the lowest since January 31.

The April contract ended Thursday’s session 0.51% lower at $1,203.20 an ounce.

 Comex Market Update-SapForex24

Futures were likely to find support at $1,187.10, the low of January 30 and resistance at $1,212.20, Wednesday’s high.

The greenback remained broadly supported after U.S. payroll processor ADP reported on Wednesday that the private sector added 298,000 jobs in February, well above forecasts for an increase of 190,000. It was the largest increase in private sector hiring since March 2006.

Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s government employment report for February, where a strong reading would cement expectations for a rate hike from the Fed next week.

Markets seemed to shrug off a report by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 243,000 last week, compared to expectations for a 12,000 rise.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.94, not far from Thursday’s one-week high of 102.25.

A strong U.S. dollar usually weighs on Gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.81% to $16.877 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery added 0.12% to $2.583 a pound.

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Oil ticks up on weaker dollar, stalled Russian output cuts-SapForex24

Oil markets rose on Friday as the dollar edged away from a multi-week high, but prices are being held in check by unchanged Russian output for February, a sign of its weak compliance on a global deal to cut supplies.

The dollar slipped on Friday from its highest in seven weeks against a basket of currencies, although still holding close to a level that anchors Brent crude near $55 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) just under $53.

Benchmark Brent Crude futures were up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $55.29 a barrel, as of 0755 GMT. It closed down $1.28, or 2.3 percent, in the previous session, and dropped almost 3 percent on the week.

FOREX AND COMEX MARKET HEADLINE-SAPFOREX24
FOREX AND COMEX MARKET HEADLINE-SAPFOREX24

WTI futures gained 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $52.77 a barrel after dropping on Thursday to its lowest since Feb. 9. The U.S. benchmark finished in negative territory the past three sessions.

The dollar had climbed on Thursday after hawkish comments by a U.S. Federal Reserve official encouraged investors to expect a near-term interest rate hike.
“Last night’s dollar moves really shook up the markets – we’re seeing it across all markets, not just oil,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney’s CMC Markets.

Russia’s February oil output was unchanged from January at 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd), energy ministry data showed, with its cuts from October 2016 levels remaining at 100,000 bpd or a third of what was pledged by Moscow under its agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Official U.S. data also showed that crude inventories in the world’s biggest oil consumer rose for an eighth straight week to a record 520.2 million barrels last week.

Crude oil fell to a three-week low as the stronger U.S. dollar combined with concerns about rising U.S. crude oil inventories to reduce investor appetite,” ANZ said in a note.

But even as U.S. oil production rose and Russian output held steady, OPEC boosted already strong compliance with the group’s six-month deal to 94 percent, cutting output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said it was too early to say if the deal to reduce oil production would be extended beyond the end of June. OPEC, Russia and others are due to agree on output policy in the next three months.

Short-term technical support could push Brent toward $60 a barrel, which will “establish an adequate price level for OPEC to reduce, but not abolish, its market intervention at the May 25th meeting,” BMI Research said in a note on Friday.

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Oil drops for second day; market awaits U.S. stocks data-SapForex24

Crude oil lost more ground on Wednesday with rising U.S. oil output adding pressure on the market, although OPEC production cuts continued to offer support.
Investors in the oil market are awaiting weekly inventories data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due at 1530 GMT on Wednesday.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $53.86 a barrel by 0723 GMT, and Brent crude gave up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $56.38.
“Signs that the U.S. shale industry is recovering weighed on the market,” ANZ said in a report.

U.S. Crude stockpiles have risen for seven straight weeks. Forecasts for another build last week, this time of 3.1 million barrels, have fueled worries that demand growth may not be sufficient to soak up the global crude oil glut.

Forex and Comex Market News Update-SapForex24
   Forex and Comex Market News Update-SapForex24

U.S. stockpiles rose 2.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 24, according to a report from trade group the American Petroleum Institute. Gasoline stockpiles rose unexpectedly and distillate stockpiles fell more than expected, the API said. Crude declined slightly on the report.

The market rose earlier in the session as a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump offered little on plans by his administration to boost U.S. oil production.

Market participants had been expecting President Trump to include details on energy policy in a speech to the U.S. Congress but his remarks lacked any specifics.
“If Trump had announced de-regulations of some of the environment protections to make it easier to pump more oil, that might have put pressure on WTI,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

“Now all the attention is around to EIA’s crude inventories data tonight.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has cut its oil output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, showing the exporter group has boosted already strong compliance with its supply curbs on the back of a steep reduction by Saudi Arabia.

Brent Oil looks neutral in a range of $55.93 to $57.26 per barrel, and an escape could suggest a direction, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

U.S. oil may edge up to a resistance at $54.28 per barrel, a break above which could lead to a further gain to $54.62.

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Oil rises toward 7-week highs as investors await U.S. supply data-SapForex24

Oil prices were higher during European morning hours on Thursday, rising back toward a seven-week high after data overnight showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude supplies.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude April contract rose 81 cents, or 1.5%, to $54.39 a barrel by 4:15AM ET (09:15GMT), after losing 74 cents, or 1.4%, on Wednesday. The U.S. benchmark reached $55.03 on Tuesday, a level not seen since January 3.

After markets closed Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories surprisingly fell by 884,000 barrels in the week ended February 17, breaking a trend of six-straight builds.

CRUDE OIL-FOREX & COMEX MARKET NEWS HEADLINES-SAPFOREX24
 FOREX & COMEX MARKET NEWS HEADLINES-SAPFOREX24

The oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, saw a draw of 1.73 million barrels, the sixth decline in seven weeks.

The API report also showed a decline of 893,000 barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks dropped a sharp 4.23 million barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 11:00AM ET (16:00GMT) Thursday.

The report comes out one day later than usual due to Monday’s President’s Day holiday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 85 cents, or nearly 1.6%, to $56.70 a barrel. The global benchmark dropped 82 cents in the prior session.

Oil prices have been trading in a narrow $5 range around the mid-$50s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for March rose 1.8 cents, or 1.2%, to $1.537 a gallon, while March heating oil jumped 2.3 cents ,or 1.5%, to $1.653 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for April delivery added 3.2 cents, or 1.2%, to $2.734 per million British thermal units, as market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due later on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw of 85 billion cubic feet in the week ended February 17.

That compares with a withdrawal of 114 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 117 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 158 billion cubic feet.

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Forex – Dollar little changed in quiet trade ahead of U.S. holiday-SapForex24

The dollar was little changed against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday, lacking direction ahead of the U.S. Presidents Day holiday, while political woes continued to weigh on the euro.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 100.86, almost unchanged for the day.

The dollar pushed higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.22% to 113.08, not far from Friday’s one-week lows of 112.61.

FOREX MARKET NEWS TODAY-SAPFOREX24
FOREX MARKET NEWS TODAY-SAPFOREX24

Investors remained cautious as hopes for changes to fiscal, tax and regulatory policy under the Trump administration have so far failed to materialize.

A solo presidential press conference on Thursday added to doubts over how effective the administration will be in enacting its economic agenda.

In Japan, data overnight showed that export growth slowed in January, at a time of growing concerns over the protectionist trade stance of President Trump.
The euro edged higher, with EUR/USD inching up 0.07% to 1.0621, after ending the prior session down 0.55%.

The single currency remained under pressure amid concerns that the French left could unite behind one candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, possibly knocking centrist and right nominees out of the race in the first round.

This possible alliance could increase the chances of anti-European Union Marine Le Pen winning the presidency in the second-round runoff.

EUR/JPY was up 0.31% at 120.11 after falling 0.94% on Friday.

Meanwhile, the pound gained ground, with GBP/USD climbing 0.38% to 1.2455. Sterling ended lower on Friday after an unexpected fall in UK retail sales added to fears that rising inflation is eroding consumer spending.

The Australian dollar edged higher, with AUD/USD up 0.12% to 0.7670, while the New Zealand dollar was little changed, with NZD/USD at 0.7179.

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Gold rises to 1-week high as dollar pulls back-SapForex24

Gold prices rose to a one-week high on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar pulled back from its strongest level in more than a month, supporting demand for the yellow metal.

Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up $4.05, or about 0.3%, to $1,237.15 a troy ounce by 3:15AM ET (08:15GMT).

It rose to $1,238.00 during Asian hours, the strongest level since February 9. Prices gained $7.70, or about 0.6%, on Wednesday, snapping a four-session losing streak.
The dollar index was down around 0.2% at 100.92 in early London morning trade.

GOLD NEWS-COMEX MARKET NEWS WITH SAPFOREX24
GOLD NEWS-COMEX MARKET NEWS WITH SAPFOREX24

Upbeat U.S. inflation and retail sales data on Wednesday reinforced expectations of a near-term rate hike by the Federal Reserve, sending the index to 101.75, its strongest level since January 12.

On Tuesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised market expectations for a March rate hike after saying it would be “unwise” for the central bank to wait too long. She did not give any additional insight on the timing of the Fed’s next rate hike in her second day of testimony to Congress on Wednesday.

Fed fund futures priced in around a 27% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, up from less than 10% at the start of the week. Odds of a June increase was seen at around 74%.

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

On the data front, the U.S. will publish data on weekly jobless claims, housing starts, building permits and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing, all due at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT).

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery inched up 2.4 cents, or 0.1%, to $17.98 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, platinum gained 0.5% to $1,015.20, while palladium tacked on 0.4%, to $789.42 an ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures slipped 1.1 cents, or about 0.4%, to $2.729 a pound.

Prices of the red metal pulled back from a 20-month peak of $2.822 touched on Monday as talks renewed between striking workers and management at Chile’s Escondida copper mine.

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