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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Oil extends gains after tallying best day since December -SapForex24

Oil prices edged higher in European trading on Thursday, extending their biggest one-day jump since December after U.S. government data revealed the largest weekly decline in crude supplies so far this year.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract tacked on 46 cents, or around 1%, to $47.79 a barrel by 3:50AM ET (07:50GMT), after rising to a one-week high of $47.85 earlier.

The U.S. benchmark surged $1.45, or around 3.2%, on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for July delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London rose 48 cents to $50.70 a barrel. The global benchmark rallied $1.49 a day earlier.

Oil futures posted their largest one-day gain since December 1 on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week ended May 5, far exceeding market expectations. The reading marks the biggest weekly drawdown since December.

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The EIA also said that gasoline stockpiles declined by 200,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles were down 1.6 million barrels last week.

Crude sank to a five-month low earlier this week, rattled by concern over increasing U.S. crude output that has shaken investors’ faith in the ability of OPEC to rebalance the market.

OPEC and non-member oil producers are considering extending a global supply cut for nine months or more to give the market more time to rebalance, according to OPEC and industry sources.

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.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for June inched up 1.3 cents, or nearly 0.9%, to $1.557 a gallon, while June heating oil added 1.2 cents to $1.488 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for June delivery dipped 0.4 cents to $3.288 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later in the global day.

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Oil steadies, but rattled by concern about OPEC’s clout-SapForex24

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, but faced headwinds from concern over slowing demand and the rise in U.S. crude output that has shaken investors’ faith in the ability of OPEC to rebalance the market.

Brent crude futures were up 20 cents at $49.54 per barrel at 0852 GMT, above a session low of $49.18, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 21 cents at $46.64 per barrel.

Weekly U.S. data on crude production and inventories, plus monthly reports on supply and demand from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the U.S. Energy Information Administration this week, should provide a detailed picture of how quickly global crude inventories are falling.

“We really need to see some of the data starting to support the idea that global inventory levels are coming down,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

“Almost as importantly, there have been some signs that there has been some wavering in terms of demand growth.”

High U.S. gasoline stocks have fed some concern about demand in the United States, where consumer spending expectations hit a three-year low last month and vehicle sales have fallen year-on-year for four months in a row.

Coupled with that is faltering manufacturing activity and a drop in commodity imports in China, the world’s second-largest economy and biggest raw materials consumer.

Even though OPEC has stuck to its pledge to cut production, U.S. output has risen by more than 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day, close to the output of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“That’s making it difficult to drive the stockpiles down to a level OPEC thinks will see prices rise sustainably,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) said the low oil prices were also due to a slowdown in demand.

“Oil demand growth this year is underwhelming, in part explaining why crude oil prices and refining margins have sold off sharply recently,” it said.

On the physical markets, barrels of North Sea crude changed hands at their lowest levels since late 2015 on Monday. [CRU/E]

Top exporter and de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would “do whatever it takes” to rebalance a market that has been dogged by oversupply for over two years.

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Oil prices give up gains, U.S. output weighs against OPEC-led cuts-SapForex24

Oil prices gave up early gains on Monday, as the market weighed news from OPEC and other producers about prolonging output cuts against data showing the recovery in U.S. drilling had extended for a year.

Brent crude was up just 3 cent at $49.13 a barrel by 0959 GMT (5.59 a.m. ET), after trading as high as $49.92 earlier in the session. U.S. light crude was also little moved at $46.28 a barrel, down from a intra-day high of $46.98.

Both futures contracts have dropped by more than 10 percent in the last month despite moves by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other exporters, including Russia, to restrict supply in the first half of 2017.

But the OPEC-led efforts to reduce bulging global oil inventories have been undermined by a surge in drilling in the United States, filling much of the gap left by OPEC.

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OPEC meets on May 25 when it is expected to discuss extending the cuts to the end of 2017, although analysts say a further six-month extension may not be enough.
“The market is in a very dangerous condition,” said Robin Bieber, technical chart analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. “The trend is still down, but just correcting.”

Russia said on Monday it was discussing prolonging cuts with other producers beyond 2017, without giving a clear timeline. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih also talked of the possibility of prolonging curbs beyond 2017.

Countering those efforts, U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 16th week in a row last week, extending a drilling recovery into a 12th month, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday.

Since a low point in May 2016, U.S. producers have added 387 oil rigs, or about 123 percent, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said.

U.S. crude output averaged 9.3 million bpd in the week ended April 28, its highest since August 2015, according to federal data [EIA/S].

Many analysts now see U.S. crude output heading toward 10 million bpd over the next year or so.

“It’s all about inventories and U.S. shale versus OPEC,” said Hussein Sayed of brokerage FXTM. “OPEC members have no choice but to talk up prices by signaling an extension to the production cuts agreement.”

He said oil prices would probably rally “but the recovery won’t be a straight line.”

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Oil rebounds from near 2017 lows on falling U.S. crude stocks-SapForex24

Oil prices rebounded from near 2017 lows on Wednesday after preliminary data showed a much larger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude stocks, reviving bullish sentiment about easing oversupply.

Benchmark Brent crude (LCOc1) was up 35 cents at $50.81 a barrel at 1010 GMT. On Tuesday the futures had settled at their lowest since Nov. 30, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to cut oil supply.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude (CLc1) traded at $47.94 a barrel, up 28 cents. WTI had slid 2.4 percent on Tuesday on concerns about falling OPEC compliance with its production-curbing deal.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) assessing closely watched U.S. oil inventories showed late on Tuesday that crude stocks had fallen last week by 4.2 million barrels, nearly double the drop expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

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“The API statistics are helping the market recover, but the underlying sentiment is still bearish,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
The U.S. government releases official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday at 1430 GMT (6.30 a.m. ET).

The data will also provide an update on growth in U.S. oil production, a key factor that has kept a lid on price gains driven by output cuts elsewhere.

“(U.S.) production growth has slowed during the past couple of weeks. If continued today it may also add some glimmer of hope for the bulls, who increasingly have been losing patience,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank.

Oil investors continue to eye producing countries’ compliance with their pledge made in late 2016 to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by the middle of the year.

Russia, contributing the largest production cut outside OPEC, said on Wednesday that as of May 1, it had curbed output by more than 300,000 bpd since hitting peak production in October.

Its largest oil producer, Rosneft, said it had contributed just over 70,000 bpd to Russia’s cuts.

This means Russia has achieved its reduction target a month ahead of schedule, just as the latest Reuters survey of OPEC production showed compliance had fallen slightly.

More oil from Angola and higher UAE output than originally thought meant OPEC compliance with its production-cutting deal slipped to 90 percent from a revised 92 percent in March, the Reuters survey showed.

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Forex – Dollar index holds steady as caution dominates-SapForex24

The dollar held steady against other major currencies on Tuesday, as the previous session’s downbeat U.S. data continued to weigh and as investors remained cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision on Wednesday.
EUR/USD rose 0.20% to 1.0920.

The dollar remained under pressure after the Institute of Supply Management said on Monday that its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 54.8 in April from 57.2 the previous month, compared to expectations for a downtick to 56.5.

A separate report showed that U.S. personal spending was flat in March, confounding expectations for a 0.2% rise and after a 0.1% gain.

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However, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that economic growth of 3% is achievable in the next two years as the Trump administration is planning to dramatically cut taxes.

Market participants were also eyeing the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting this week. While the central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates, investors were eyeing hints on the pace of future rate hikes.

GBP/USD held steady at 1.2894 after research group Markit said its manufacturing PMI rose to 57.3 in April from 54.2 the previous month. It was the highest reading since July 2014.

Analysts had expected the index to hit 54.0 last month.

USD/JPY gained 0.36% to 112.24, while USD/CHF shed 0.29% to 0.9934.
The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7529, while NZD/USD added 0.16% to 0.6918.

Earlier Tuesday, data showed that China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI slipped to 50.3 in April from 51.2 the previous month, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading.

At the same time, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its benchamark interest rate unchanged at 1.50% in a widely expected move.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged down 0.17% to trade at 1.3658, just off Monday’s three-week highs of 1.3699.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 98.91.

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