Gold prices move higher amid U.S. political turmoil-SapForex24

Gold prices moved higher on Friday, as recent political events in the U.S. continued to weigh on the greenback and boost demand for safe-haven assets, although investors were also eyeing the release of U.S. data due later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery were up 0.26% at $1,227.36.

The June contract ended Thursday’s session 0.43% higher at $1,224.20 an ounce.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,214.30, the low of May 9 and resistance at $1,236.90, the high of May 8.

Markets were still jittery since U.S. President Donald Trump’s unexpected decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

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Comey had been leading his agency’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

Investors were concerned the latest events in Washington could hamper the U.S. administration’s ability to implement promised tax reform and stimulus measures.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 99.48 on Friday morning.

A weaker U.S. dollar usually supports Gold, as it boosts the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

However, the greenback was still supported by the release on Thursday of upbeat reports on initial jobless claims and producer price inflation, as well as by mounting expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

Market participants were now looking ahead to upcoming data on U.S. inflation, retail sales and consumer sentiment, due later Friday.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for July delivery jumped 1.13% to $16.448 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery rose 0.20% to $2.513 a pound.

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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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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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Gold moves higher on geopolitical tension, takes Yellen in stride – SapForex24

Gold prices rose in European trade on Tuesday as rising political tension over North Korea and Syria supported demand for the safe-haven metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery gained 0.39% to $1.258.85 a troy ounce.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is currently at the G7 Foreign Affair Ministers meeting in Italy where political leaders are working to produce a cohesive message on Syria.

The U.S. had been working to rally international support for its revised stance on Syria ahead of the American Secretary of State’s first diplomatic trip to Moscow.
However, the Kremlin announced Monday that Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet in what could be a sign of increased tensions.

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Markets also focused eyes on Asia as North Korea warned Tuesday of “catastrophic consequences” in response to any further provocations by the U.S., days after a U.S. Navy battle group was sent to waters off the Korean peninsula.

Stateside, remarks Monday from Federal Reserve (Fed) chair Janet Yellen provided little effect on the precious metal as she repeated her outlook that the central bank would raise U.S. interest rates gradually with an aim to sustaining full employment and near-2% inflation without letting the economy overheat.

“Whereas before we had our foot pressed down on the gas pedal trying to give the economy all the oomph we possibly could, now allowing the economy to kind of coast and remain on an even keel — to give it some gas but not so much that we are pressing down hard on the accelerator — that’s a better stance of monetary policy,” she said.

“We want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it,” Yellen explained.
Elsewhere in metals trading, silver was up 0.13% at $17.938 a troy ounce.

Platinum rose 0.70% at $946.60 a troy ounce, while palladium gained 0.30% to $792.35 a troy ounce. Copper inched up 0.08% to $2.606 a pound.

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Forex – GBP/USD falls after U.K. data disappoints-SapForex24

The pound fell against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the release of disappointing U.K. manufacturing production data, while investors awaited a key report on U.S. employment due later in the day.

GBP/USD hit 1.2430 during European morning trade, the pair’s lowest since Wednesday; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2432, shedding 0.29%.
Cable was likely to find support at 1.2401, the low of March 30 and resistance at 1.2508, Thursday’s high.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics said manufacturing production fell 0.1% in February, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.2% and following a decline of 1.0% in the previous month.

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On an annualized basis, manufacturing production increased by 3.3% in February, below forecasts for a 3.9% advance.

The report also showed that industrial production fell 0.7% in February, compared to forecasts for a 0.2% increase.

Meanwhile, market participants were looking ahead to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, due later Friday, a day after the release of upbeat jobless claims data.

Separately, markets were jittery after the U.S. launched cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria, sparking concerns of an escalation in the Syrian civil war.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched.

The air strike came during a two-day summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping which, on Thursday, had a strong focus on trade and North Korea’s military program.

Trump had warned that he would be ready to act unilaterally to address North Korea’s nuclear program if China does not step up to help in the matter.
Sterling was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.21% to 0.8555.

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Forex – GBP/USD edges lower after mixed U.K. data- SapForex24

The pound edged lower against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the release of downbeat U.K. economic growth data and a more positive report on the country’s current account, while investors eyed upcoming U.S. economic reports.

GBP/USD hit 1.2447 during European morning trade, the session low the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2465, down 0.10%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.2401, Thursday’s low and resistance at 1.2598, the high of March 28.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics said its final reading of fourth quarter gross domestic product was an increase of 0.7%, in line with expectations and a previous estimate.

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Year-on-hear however, GDP rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter, below expectations and a previous estimate for a growth rate of 2.0%.

A separate report showed that the U.K. current account deficit narrowed to £12.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 from £25.7 billion in the third quarter, whose figure was revised from a previous estimate of 25.5 billion.

Analysts had expected the current account deficit to narrow to just £16.0 billion in the last quarter.

The pound has been surprisingly resilient this week, as British Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Brexit proceedings on Wednesday, launching a two-year negotiation process before the divorce comes into effect in late March 2019.

Meanwhile, sentiment on the greenback became more vulnerable ahead of a string of U.S. economic reports due later in the day, although upbeat data released earlier in the week still lent some support.

Markets were also jittery as U.S. President Trump was scheduled later Friday to sign executive orders aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti subsidy duties on imports.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross specified that one of the orders directs a major review of the causes of U.S. trade deficits, including “currency misalignment.”
Sterling was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.25% to 0.8583.

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Forex – Dollar higher but upside limited ahead of U.S. healthcare vote- SapForex24

The dollar moved higher against other major currencies on Friday, but gains were expected to remain limited as uncertainty over whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s healthcare bill will be approved continued to weigh.
EUR/USD edged down 0.14% to 1.0768.

Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after Trump warned House Republican lawmakers that he will leave Obamacare in place and move on to tax reform if they do not approve new healthcare legislation in a vote on Friday.

The healthcare vote is seen by investors as a test of his ability to implement key campaign promises such as tax reform and infrastructure spending.

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Market participants were looking ahead to a string of manufacturing and service sector activity data from the euro zone, due later in the day as well as U.S. data on durable goods orders.

GBP/USD slid 0.32% to trade at 1.2480, off the previous session’s one-month peak of 1.2532.

The pound was boosted on Thursday by a stronger than expected rise in U.K. retail sales last month.

USD/JPY gained 0.34% to 111.31, off Thursday’s four-month trough of 110.63.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.15% at 99.71, off Wednesday’s six-week low of 99.34.

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