Monday, 21 August 2017

Oil starts the week on back foot amid U.S. production jitters-SapForex24

Oil prices drifted lower on Monday, as concern over rising production in the U.S. dampened sentiment.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed last week that total domestic crude production edged up by 79,000 barrels a day to 9.5 million barrels, its highest level since July 2015.
That comes despite data showing that U.S. energy firms cut rigs drilling for new oil for a second week in three. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September con||tract was at $48.52 a barrel by 3:25AM ET (0725GMT), down 14 cents, or around 0.3%.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 16 cents, or about 0.3%, to $52.58 a barrel.



Oil prices settled sharply higher on Friday, jumping about 3% in a surprise rally after reports surfaced that a unit at Exxon (NYSE:XOM) Mobil’s Baytown, Texas refinery shut down. The 584,000 barrel-a-day plant is the second-largest refinery in the U.S.Despite Friday's rally, New York-traded oil prices ended the week down 31 cents, or nearly 0.6%, its third such loss in a row. In contrast, London-traded Brent futures notched a weekly gain of 62 cents, or roughly 1.2%.

The global benchmark has been buoyed by recent signs that global supplies are tightening.
OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September declined 1.7 cents, or nearly 1.1%, to $1.605 a gallon, while September heating oil slumped 0.9 cents, or 0.6%, to $1.610 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery tacked on 0.9 cents, or roughly 0.3%, to $2.902 per million British thermal units.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Oil rises as inventory overhang erodes and Saudi cuts exports-SapForex24

Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.

Crude is down nearly 7 percent so far this year, suppressed in large part by concern that OPEC and its partners may not be able to force global oil inventories to drop by cutting production.

However, Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would cut supplies to most buyers in Asia - the world's biggest oil-consuming region - by up to 10 percent in September.

Brent crude futures were up 29 cents at $52.99 a barrel by 0855 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 17 cents at $49.73.

In a sign that investors are turning more optimistic about the pace at which oil supply and demand are rebalancing, prices for crude for prompt delivery are trading above those for delivery further in the future.

"This is the march toward the flattening of the curve," said SEB chief commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop.


"The major event now going forward is the Middle East and Asian refineries rushing back into operation and consuming more crude, just as Saudi Arabia says it will cut September deliveries to Asia," he said.

The physical market is also showing signs of stronger near-term demand, after having suffered from a persistent overhang of unused crude.

Prices for prompt deliveries of North Sea crude oil are at their smallest discount to future prices in nearly two years and a surplus of oil stored on ships is gradually dissipating, having hit two-year highs.

Inventories in the United States are at their lowest since October, having fallen for 10 of the last 12 weeks.

Global stocks remain above their longer-term averages and with the summer driving season nearly at an end, investors are well aware that the attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers to boost prices may bring unwanted side-effects.

"The minute OPEC try to raise prices by cutting production, U.S. producers will react accordingly to fill the void. This results in a tug of war that we have witnessed all year and the final outcome is a range-bound market," said Matt Stanley, a commodities broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai.

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Oil on the back foot ahead of U.S. supply update-SapForex24

Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract was at $49.12 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), down 5 cents, or around 0.1%.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.02 a barrel.

Oil prices fell for a second straight session in volatile trade on Tuesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT).

Analysts expect Crude Oil inventories dropped by around 2.7 million barrels at the end of last week, while gasoline supplies are seen decreasing by about 1.4 million barrels and distillates are forecast to fall about 131,000 barrels.



After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 7.89 million barrels in the week ended August 4.

The API report also showed a gain of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks fell by 157,000 barrels.

There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.
Meanwhile, officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee said on Tuesday that they expect greater compliance with their output-cutting pact.

According to recent calculations, compliance fell to 86% in July, the lowest level since January.
OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

However, so far, the deal has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September was little changed at $1.602 a gallon, while September heating oil ticked down 0.8 cents to $1.620 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery shed half a cent to $2.818 per million British thermal units.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Forex - Dollar remains moderately lower vs. other majors - SapForex24

The dollar remained moderately lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, as trading was expected to remain quiet with no major U.S. data expected throughout the day, although Friday’s strong U.S. jobs report still lent some support.

The greenback continued te be supported by Friday’s strong nonfarm payrolls data, which fueled expectations the Federal Reserve will stick to its plans for a third interest rate hike this year.

The U.S. Labor Department on Friday said the economy added 209,000 jobs last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 183,000.

Investors were now eyeing U.S. inflation reports later in the week for indications of whether the recovery in the dollar is sustainable in the longer term.

EUR/USD added 0.13% to 1.1811 but gains were expected to remain limited after data showed that German exports fell by 2.8% in June, snapping five months of gains. It was the biggest drop since August 2015.

German imports dropped by 4.5%, the largest decline since January 2009. That drove Germany’s trade surplus up to €21.1 billion, from €20.3 billion in May, a 10-month high.



Elsewhere, GBP/USD held steady at 1.3043, just off the previous session’s one-and-a-half week low of 1.3014.

USD/JPY slipped 0.19% to 110.54, while USD/CHF was little changed at 0.9727.

The Australian dollar was stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.20% at 0.7929, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7359.

Earlier Tuesday, the National Australia Bank said its business confidence index rose to 12 in July from a reading of 9 the previous month.

Separately, official data showed that China’s exports increased by 7.2% in July and imports climbed 11.0%. Both readings were slightly below analysts’s projections
China is Australia’s biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slipped 0.14% to trade at 1.2664, not far from Monday’s three-week high of 1.2714.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.13% at 93.18, still close to Friday’s one-week high of 93.64.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Forex - Dollar struggles near 10-month lows, sterling slips- SapForex24

The dollar was wallowing near 10-month lows on Monday after data showing that China’s economy gained momentum in the second quarter amid lingering doubts over the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates again this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ticked up 0.11% to 94.99 by 06.13 a.m. ET (10.13 a.m. GMT).

The index touched a 10-month low of 94.86 overnight after falling 0.69% on Friday.

China reported overnight that second-quarter gross domestic product expanded by an annualized 6.9%, driven by strong retail sales, industrial output and exports.

The data brightened the outlook for global growth because China is the world’s second largest economy.

USD/JPY was last at 112.43 after falling to a two-week low of 112.31 overnight.



The dollar weakened broadly on Friday after weak U.S. inflation and retail sales data added to doubts over the Fed’s plans for a third rate hike this year.

The Fed hiked rates at its June meeting and stuck to its forecast for one more rate hike this year but the sluggish inflation outlook has raised questions over whether officials will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.

The euro was a touch lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD slipping 0.1% to 1.1456, still within striking distance of the 14-month high of 1.1488 set last Wednesday.

Sterling moved lower, with GBP/USD down 0.26% to 1.3066 amid concerns over heightened political uncertainties and the potential impact of Brexit as full talks got underway in Brussels.

The pound rallied 1.2% against the dollar on Friday, its largest one-day percentage gain in three months to a high of 1.3093.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were slightly lower, with AUD/USD pulling back to 0.7822 from the 15-month high of 0.7832 set overnight as the upbeat Chinese data bolstered inflows into higher yielding assets.

NZD/USD slid 0.2% to 0.7331 after rising as high as 0.7361 earlier.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Gold holds near 5-week low amid hawkish Fed outlook -SapForex24

Gold prices stayed near the lowest level in around five weeks in European trade on Tuesday, as hawkish remarks made by an influential Federal Reserve official reinforced expectations for the Fed to keep raising interest rates.

Comex gold futures were at $1,248.89 a troy ounce by 4:35AM ET (0835GMT), up $2.20, or around 0.2%. Prices fell to $1,244.10 in overnight trade, a level not seen since May 17. Gold prices lost about $10.00, or 0.8%, on Monday.

Also on the Comex, silver futures were up 7.8 cents, or roughly 0.5%, to $16.58 a troy ounce, after hitting its lowest since May 18 at $16.44.

New York Fed Chief William Dudley gave an upbeat assessment of the economy on Monday and warned against the central bank taking a pause in the tightening cycle.

In a business roundtable held in Plattsburg, New York, Dudley said U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rise alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, allowing the Fed to continue gradually tightening U.S. monetary policy.


The remarks echoed similar comments made by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in last week’s press conference after the central bank hiked rates for the second time this year.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans however later said the Fed should move slowly to raise rates and trim its portfolio due to soft inflation.

The U.S. central bank last week raised interest rates as widely expected and maintained plans to go ahead with another rate hike by year-end. The Fed also provided greater detail about how it plans to reduce its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Despite the Fed's relatively hawkish message, market players remained doubtful over the central bank's ability to raise rates as much as it would like before the end of the year due to a recent run of disappointing U.S. economic data.

Futures traders are pricing in around a 20% chance of a hike at the Fed's September meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a December increase was seen at about 40%.

Market players will focus on a pair of Federal Reserve speakers Tuesday, as they look for more clues on future monetary policy moves.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks at 8:15AM ET at the DNB-Riksbank Macroprudential Conference Series meeting in Amsterdam. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will also speak in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer did not address the outlook for U.S. monetary policy or the economy when he spoke in Amsterdam earlier in the day.

Among other precious metals, platinum was little changed at $928.05, while palladium tacked on 0.5% to $859.80 an ounce.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Forex - GBP/USD re-approaches 1-month lows amid U.K. political jitters-SapForex24

The pound dropped against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, re-approaching a one-month low after the release of downbeat U.K. data and amid mounting political uncertainty in the Britain ahead of the June 8 election.

GBP/USD hit 1.2780 during European morning trade, the pair’s lowest since May 26; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.2783, declining 0.59%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.2772, the low of May 26 and resistance at 1.2890, Tuesday’s high.

Data showed that U.K. net lending to individuals fell to £4.3 billion in April from £4.7 billion the previous month, compared to expectations for decline to £4.5 billion.

Sterling had already weakened after a new poll showed that British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party could lose 20 of the 330 seats it holds in Parliament while the opposition Labour Party could gain nearly 30 seats.


The news came after a string of opinion polls showed a narrowing lead for May's Conservatives.
Meanwhile, the greenback regained some ground thanks to growing expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its June policy meeting.

The had dollar weakened after data on Tuesday showed that the CB consumer confidence index fell to 117.9 in April, compared to expectations for a rise to 119.8.

However, the U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.4% last month, in line with economists’ forecasts. It was the biggest increase in four months.

The greenback had also been under pressure recently amid fears investigations into President Donald Trump's ties with Russia could hamper his administration's progress on promised stimulus measures.
Sterling was also lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP climbing 0.53% to 0.8746.

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Forex - Dollar index little changed, Fed meeting minutes ahead-SapForex24

The dollar was little changed against other major currencies on Wednesday, as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting due later in the day.

EUR/USD held steady at 1.1186, off Tuesday’s six-month high of 1.1268.

The greenback regained some ground as investors turned their attention to the upcoming minutes of the Fed’s most recent policy meeting, with hopes of further indications on the pace of future rate hikes.

The U.S. dollar had broadly weakened recently following a string of revelations surrounding the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in November’s U.S. presidential election and reports that Donald Trump attempted to interfere with the judicial process.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD rose 0.27% to 1.2994.



Investors were also still digesting the Manchester terrorist attack that killed 22 people on Monday evening.

USD/JPY eased up 0.08% to 111.86, while USD/CHF was little changed at 0.9758.

The Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.12% at 0.7471, while NZD/USD added 0.09% to 0.7019.

Earlier Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said construction work done fell 0.7% in the first quarter, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% slip.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was steady at 1.3505.

Also Wednesday, Moody’s downgraded China’s credit rating for the first time in almost three decades.

Moody’s warned that China’s financial strength is likely to deteriorate in the coming years, as its economy slows and its national debt keeps rising.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 97.22.

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Forex - Sterling gives up gains as UK inflation hits highest since 2013 -SapForex24

The pound pulled back from the day’s highs against the dollar on Tuesday after data showing that UK inflation rose to its highest since September 2013 last month, underlining concerns over a squeeze on consumer spending.

GBP/USD initially touched session highs of 1.2957 before pulling back to 1.2889 by 09.05 GMT.
The Office for National Statistics said consumer prices rose by 2.7% in April compared to economists' expectation for a 2.6% annual increase.

Consumer prices rose 0.5% from a month earlier, the ONS said. Economists had expected inflation to match its March increase of 0.4%.

The latest increase in inflation was driven by a jump in airfares during the Easter holidays, which fell later this year. Rising prices for clothing, vehicle excise duty and electricity also contributed to the increase the ONS said.

The rate of inflation in the UK has accelerated in recent months as the weakening of the pound in the wake of last June’s Brexit vote drives up import costs.


Last week Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that living standards will tighten this year, with wages expected to fall in inflation-adjusted terms.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile factors like food and energy, rose to 2.4%, the most since March 2013 and above economists' expectations for it to rise to 2.2%.

Sterling was at one-month lows against the broadly stronger euro, with EUR/GBP up 0.6% at 1.2904.
Demand for the euro has been underpinned as investors shifted their attention back to the outlook for monetary policy as concerns over political risks receded after centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected France's president over far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen.

The euro was boosted after data confirming that euro zone gross domestic product grew by 0.5% in the first quarter.

Another report showed that Germany economic sentiment improved slightly in May, but came in weaker than forecast.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.33% at 98.48, pressured lower by the stronger euro.

The dollar was hit following reports that U.S. President Donald Trump shared sensitive intelligence obtained from a close U.S. ally with Russia's foreign minister about an Islamic State operation in a meeting last week.

The report added to concerns that Trump will be unable to successfully push through his economic stimulus program in the face of mounting controversies.

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Forex - Dollar little changed amid fresh U.S. political concerns-SapForex24

The dollar remained moderately lower against other major currencies on Wednesday, amid fresh U.S. political concerns although growing expectations for a June rate hike by the Federal Reserve still lent some support to the greenback.

EUR/USD was steady at 1.0869, close to the six-month high of 1.1021 set on Monday after Emmanuel Macron win in the French presidential election.

ECB President Mario Draghi was scheduled to speak at the Dutch House of Representatives later in the day.

Investors were waiting to see if he adopts a more optimistic tone on the euro-area economy in light of recent upbeat economic reports.

Meanwhile, the greenback weakened after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey.

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.

GBP/USD added 0.14% to 1.2955, close to Monday’s eight-month peak of 1.2990.

USD/JPY slipped 0.14% to 113.84, while USD/CHF eased 0.08% to 1.0067.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.39% at 0.7371 and with NZD/USD advancing 0.49% to trade at 0.6929.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD fell 0.20% to 1.3693.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 99.43, after hitting a two-week high of 99.56 on Tuesday.

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