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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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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