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16 Sep 2013

Crude Oil Tumbles As Traders Book Profits


                      Crude oil is trading at 106.68 easing by 86 cents this morning, while Brent oil is trading at 110.80 down by 93 cents. Oil prices falls were limited by the severe drop in the US dollar which fell hard after FOMC member Larry Summers withdrew his nomination for Mr. Bernanke’s position as Director of the Federal Reserve, when Mr. Bernanke steps down in January 2014. Crude oil prices settled marginally lower on Friday on the back of a stronger dollar. Meanwhile, some profit booking also weighed on the prices as WTI and Brent gained 1% in the previous trading session. WTI crude capped its biggest weekly drop since July. Energy saw their biggest declines early in the week as an agreement appeared to emerge that would avert—or at least delay—a U.S. strike on the Syrian government in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons. Syria is only a minor oil producer, but investors have worried that conflict in the region would set off a chain reaction of turmoil elsewhere and disrupt more significant production centers—much as the “Arab Spring” uprising that began in Tunisia eventually led to a sharp decline in Libyan production. As the prospect of an attack on Syria faded, oil prices fell from the two-year high they had reached on the previous Friday. Another factor boosting sentiment may have been investors’ increasing comfort level with potential changes in monetary policy emerging from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on September 17 and 18. Many economists expect that policymakers will decide to reduce the pace of the Fed’s purchases of long-term bonds, which have helped keep long-term interest rates very low even as economic prospects have improved. Improving conditions in both the housing and labor markets, and new found strength in U.S. manufacturing and energy production, should provide support for commodities over the longer term.
Natural gas is trading at 3.687 up by 11 points this morning. Natural gas futures ended higher on Friday, backed by this week’s supportive inventory report and expectations for a light build next week, but the upside was limited by the milder weather expected next week which should slow demand. On a weekly basis, Nymex natural gas prices gained by more than 4 percent on account of less than expected rise in US natural gas inventories. Further, weakness in the DX supported an upside in prices. Gas prices touched a weekly high of 3.689 and closed at 3.676 in last trade of the week. Large-scale gas exports from the United States will narrow the gap between U.S. domestic prices and those in Asia, but the boost to U.S. domestic gas prices is likely to be smaller than U.S. gas producer’s hope and consumers fear. - FxEmpire.com

Copper trims gains from Summers rally with Fed meeting in focus


             Copper futures were higher on Monday, albeit off the best levels of the session, as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s upcoming two-day policy meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, amid ongoing speculation over the timing of the central bank’s widely expected reduction in monthly bond purchases.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for December delivery traded at USD3.213 a pound during European morning trade, up 0.3%. 

Copper prices rose by as much as 2.1% earlier in the day to hit a session high of USD3.271 a pound. The December contract settled 0.2% lower at USD3.203 a pound on Friday.

Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.191 a pound, Friday’s low and the weakest level since August 8 and resistance at USD3.282 a pound, the high from September 11.

Copper futures rallied sharply as the U.S. dollar sank after former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers withdrew himself from consideration to be the next Federal Reserve chairman.

Summers’ withdrawal leaves Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen as the frontrunner for the job, who some analysts say may favor a slower reduction in U.S. stimulus.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.4% to trade at 81.34, trimming an earlier loss of as much as 0.6%.

Traders now turned their attention to this week's U.S. monetary policy decision on Wednesday, amid speculation the Fed will start tapering its bond-buying program at its upcoming policy meeting this week.

The central bank is scheduled to meet September 17-18 to review the economy and assess policy.

Market analysts expect the Fed will cut monthly purchases of Treasuries by USD10 billion to USD35 billion and keep mortgage-bond buying unchanged at USD40 billion.

The Fed’s stimulus program is viewed by many investors as a key driver in boosting the price of commodities as it tends to depress the value of the dollar.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery rose 0.5% to trade at USD1,314.80 a troy ounce, while silver for December delivery advanced 0.65% to trade at USD21.86. - investing.com

Silver futures climb 1% as Summers withdraws from Fed chair race


                   Silver futures kicked off the week with strong gains on Monday, after former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers removed himself from consideration to be the next head of the Federal Reserve.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver futures for December delivery traded at USD21.88 a troy ounce during European morning trade, up 0.75%. 

Silver prices rose by as much as 3.15% earlier in the day to hit a session high of USD22.43 a troy ounce. The December contract settled 1.94% lower at USD21.72 a troy ounce on Friday.

Silver prices were likely to find support at USD21.42 a troy ounce, Friday’s low and resistance at USD23.19, the high from September 12.

The U.S. dollar tumbled against its major counterparts after Summers pulled out of the race to be the next Fed chairman, easing investor concerns that he would aggressively scale back economic stimulus measures.

“I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interests of the Federal Reserve, the Administration, or ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing recovery,” Summers wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama.

Summers’ withdrawal leaves Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen as the frontrunner for the job, who some analysts say may favor a slower reduction in U.S. stimulus.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.45% to hit 81.32, the lowest level since August 28.

Dollar-denominated silver futures contracts tend to rise when the dollar falls, as this makes commodities cheaper for buyers in other currencies.

Meanwhile, investors shifted their focus to the Fed’s upcoming two-day policy meeting, which concludes on Wednesday, amid ongoing speculation over the timing of the central bank’s widely expected reduction in monthly bond purchases.

Moves in the silver price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the U.S. central bank would end its quantitative easing program sooner-than-expected.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for December delivery rose 0.7% to trade at USD1,317.70 a troy ounce, while copper for December added 0.4% to trade at USD3.217 a pound.  - investing.com

Crude Oil lower on slack U.S. data, waning Syria fears


                                   Crude Oil futures traded lower in the early part of Monday’s Asian session as traders in the region digested some slack U.S. data points that were published last Friday. 

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for October delivery fell 0.80% to USD107.34 per barrel in Asian trading Monday. The October contract settled lower by 0.36% at USD108.21 per barrel on Friday. 

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD106.44 a barrel, the low from September 10 and resistance at USD110.44 a barrel, the high from September 9. Last week, Nymex oil futures lost 2.45%, the biggest weekly decline since the week ended July 26. 

Oil futures were pressured last Friday after after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.2% in in August, below expectations for a 0.4% increase. 

A separate report showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to a five month low of 76.8, from a final reading of 82.1 in August. 

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed on a framework for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by the middle of 2014. Under the agreement, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be required to declare his country’s stockpiles of chemical weapons by September 20. 

Oil had climbed higher on speculation the U.S. could attack Syria on its own, but now that more diplomatic options are being used, some of the air is coming out of the long oil trade. 

Meanwhile, Spanish oil giant Repsol has told investment bankers it would like to purchase a Canadian or U.S. oil and gas production firm for $5 billion to $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer behind the U.S., will spend USD13.07 billion this year on oil and gas exploration and production activity, according to state media. 

Elsewhere, Brent futures for October delivery fell 0.85% to USD110.78 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. - Investing.com

Gold Traders Uneasy – Spark Temporary Rally

  

                         Gold reacted quickly to Mr. Summer’s withdrawal of his nomination to head the FOMC. Gold climbed by $22.00 in the early morning session to trade at 1331.00. Exactly why a possible nomination is having such a huge market effect is an indication of the frayed nerves of commodity traders ahead of this week’s FOMC meet and possible taping. Syria weighed heavily on the markets over the last two weeks exhausting traders. Gold gained as the dollar dropped to the lowest level in a month after Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration. Silver rallied from its worst week since June.
The U.S. and Russia held talks on a plan for Syria to surrender chemical weapons to avert a strike that could stoke Middle East tensions and announced a successful conclusion and a plan to move forward easing market tensions. The Federal Reserve is expected to announce its first move to taper its $85 billion in monthly bond buying when its two-day meeting ends Wednesday. While the Fed is seen curbing bond purchases by an initial $10 to $15 billion — a relative baby step compared to the massive amount of stimulus applied — it sends an important message that the Fed is moving toward a normalization of rates and expecting a more normal economy. While the Fed meeting in the week ahead tops the list, Congressional budget maneuvering and any developments on Syria will also get attention. The United Nations is expected to receive a report Monday which should show if Syria used chemical weapons on its citizens.
Silver is trading at 22.193 gaining 47 cents as the US dollar weakened to trade at 81.26 down by 42 points following cues from gold. The tonnage of silver bullion bars held by the US silver ETF increased around 30 tons or. 0.3 percent to 10,536.70 tons. Precious metals are expected to trade with a mixed note on the back of ease in concerns in QE tapering from Federal Reserve in its meeting during the week. The base metals pack on the LME traded on a negative note in the last week due to concerns regarding QE taper which could be announced in the FOMC meeting this week and mixed economic data from the advanced economies. However, weakness in the DX and decline in inventories prevented sharp decline in the base metals on the LME. Copper gained this morning as the US dollar tumbled. Copper prices on the LME slipped around 1.3 percent in last week and touched a low of $7024/ton on Friday. Prices declined during the later part of the week on the back of favorable economic data from US increased concerns of QE tapering from the Federal Reserve.
Further, decline in industrial production data from Euro Zone exerted downside pressure on prices. In the early part of the week, prices rose on account of positive economic data from Chinese economy. - Fxempire