Crude holds gain in Asia with U.S. rig count data eyed.- 10 Mar 2017

Commodity Intraday Tips

Gold holds weaker after Park impeachment confirmed by Korea court.
Gold prices fell in Asia below a key support level as expectations for a Fed rate hike next week appear on track, though U.S. jobs data later in the day is key and locally a decision by the Constitution Court to uphold the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye the focus came against a backdrop of tension on the Korean Peninsula and a scandal with top chaebol Samsung Group. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.18% to trade at $1,198.20 a troy ounce, dropping below the key $1,200 level. Elsewhere, silver futures dropped 0.38% to $16.88 a troy ounce.Gold struggled to take advantage of a pull-back in the dollar, after initial jobless claims missed analysts’ forecasts while investors’ expectations of a March rate hike grew ahead of key non-farm payrolls report due to be released on Friday. U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, initial jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 243,000 in the week ending March 4 from the previous week’s total of 223,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 12,000 to 235,000 last week.

MMG Releases Forecast for Copper, Zinc Production in 2017. Will Nickel Keep Falling after Indonesian New Export Policy Changes Market Expectations over Ore Supply?MMG expects copper output to be 560,000-615,000 tonnes in 2017, with zinc production of 65,000-12,000 tonnes, according to aastocks.com. LME nickel lurched higher in February against the background of supply shortages and demand recovery. But, the market tumbled on March 8 after market interpretation of Indonesia's new export policy and growing expectations over US's rate hike in March.  Indonesia is expected to gradually set export quota and export timetable to further detail its new export ore policy. Market expectations over ore supply shortages will change in March with progress of new export policy in Indonesia and end of monsoon season in the Philippines.Nickel ore exports from the Philippines to China are expected to fall to 36.40 million WMT in 2017 due to the declines both in reserves and grades, SMM foresees, down 7.30 million WMT from 2016’s. The Philippines’ environmental crackdown on mining sector is expected to exert a small impact on ore shipments from the country, so SMM factors out the impact when predicting 2017 export volumes from the Philippines to China.  

Crude holds gain in Asia with U.S. rig count data eyed.
Crude held gains in Asia on Friday after another sharp drop overnight after Saudi Arabia warned that an extension of a coordinated oil output cut beyond June 30 is not guaranteed with investors turning attention to weekly rig count data in the U.S. Ahead, investors are awaiting an update after the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil. Last week, figures showed oil rigs rose by 7 for the seventh weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 609, the most since October 2015, showing the sustained strength of a supply response as crude stays above $50 a barrel in a narrow range since the end of November when an output cut pact was announced.Overnight, Saudi sources reportedly told a meeting of U.S. shale oil firms that an extension of a pact by OPEC and non-OPEC nations to trim almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from global markets in the first half of the year is not a good assumption to make for drilling plans. The supply response by shale drillers will again be in sharp focus on Friday when figures on U.S. rig drilling from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes are due.

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