Crude oil eases for 2nd day on rising U.S. inventories

Commodity Intraday Tips

Gold steadies after hitting 5-month peak as political tensions simmer.
Gold steadied on Wednesday after hitting a five-month peak as the dollar reversed losses and political tensions simmered, leaving investor interest in safe havens like the precious metal largely intact. Tarnishing an otherwise brightening outlook for global growth, tensions continued over the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, while worries about the upcoming French presidential election persisted."Although it is possible that further unwinding of the Trump related equity trades or escalation in heightened geopolitical tensions pushes gold even higher in the next several weeks, we think that over the next three months improvement in U.S. hard growth data and subsequent increase in real rates would bring gold prices down." Gold tends to gain when rate hike expectations recede because lower rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Lead price boost as deficits set to widen.
Lead's rally from multi-year lows hit November 2015 were on the back of major zinc-lead mine shutdowns and strong demand from the automotive sector, responsible for the bulk of demand. A new report from BMI Research says positives for the market will largely stay in place leading to a widening albeit relatively small market deficit through 2021.  BMI, a unit of rating agency Fitch, forecasts the lead market will be minimally undersupplied this year the back of persistent supply cuts and growing demand from second-tier consumer countries but the shortfall could quadruple to 70,000 tons in 2021. Mined lead production will continue to feel the effects of a global slowdown in mining capital expenditure, which will have a knock-on effect on refined lead supply.

Crude oil eases for 2nd day on rising U.S. inventories.
Crude oil futures slid for a second session on Thursday, moving away from a onemonth high touched in the last session as rising U.S. inventories stoked worries about global oversupply. Traders focused on preliminary U.S. production estimates in the weekly Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that suggested domestic output is still climbing. The report also showed stockpiles at the U.S. crude hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose 276,000 barrels in the week.OPEC and other producers, including Russia, agreed late in November to curb output by around 1.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2017 to rein in oversupply. The U.S. data followed bullish reports from OPEC nations, which said they had cut March output beyond measures they had promised, according to figures the group published in a monthly report, as it sticks to an effort to clear a glut that has weighed on prices. 

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