Gold Prices Advance to 1-Month High as Dollar Moves Lower - 29 Dec, 2017

Gold Prices Advance to 1-Month High as Dollar Moves Lower - Gold prices hit a one-month high on Thursday, in holiday-thinned trading as weakness in the dollar supported the precious metal. Futures were on the rise for a third straight session and were on track for weakly gains of more than 1%. Gold has benefitted from recent weakness in the dollar in what many observers are suggesting is a case of selling off on the official announcement that U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on the tax overhaul. A weaker greenback makes the precious metal more affordable for holders of foreign currency. On Thursday’s economic calendar, investors will focus on weekly jobless claims at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT). Also on the docket, markets will digest the November trade balance, wholesale inventories and the Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December.

Nickel price set to go up in Q1 2018  -  Nickel price is forecast to rise in mid-January to February next year due to shorter ore supply and better stainless steel demand, SMM believed. Raining season in the Philippines and bad weather in Indonesia at the start of the year would limit nickel ore supply. As stainless steel demand is set to pick up after the Chinese New Year in mid-February, restocking is expected to happen earlier that month. With the maintenance of one major nickel pig iron (NPI) plant, other NPI producers are unlikely to make up the shortage before the Spring Festival.   

Analysis: Zinc inventory set to grow on high prices - Zinc inventory in Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong stood at 130,500 mt as of December 22, down over 38% from this time last year due to falling supply, according to SMM statistics. However, things are likely to change following surging imports and higher zinc prices. Since the start of 2017, many small and medium-sized zinc mines in China were forced to shut down due to stricter environmental inspections. Zinc prices, on the other hand, started to move lower following a surge at the end of 2016. Zinc prices then started to respond to tight supply and rebounded, while smelters also started to resume normal production.

U.S. oil prices hit highest since mid-2015 on surprise output drop -  U.S. oil prices hit their highest levels since mid-2015 on the final trading day of the year as an unexpected fall in American production and a fall in commercial crude inventories stoked buying.Friday's WTI price rises were driven by a surprise drop in U.S. oil production, which last week dipped to 9.754 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 9.789 million bpd the previous week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released late on Thursday. U.S. output is still up by almost 16 percent since mid-2016, but most analysts had expected production to break through 10 million bpd by the end of this year - a level only surpassed by top exporter Saudi Arabia and top producer Russia.

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