GOLD STEADY AHEAD OF US GDP DATA
Gold steadied on Friday after retreating from a more than six-week high hit in the previous session, with investors looking for cues on the health of the US economy from second-quarter gross domestic product data due later in the session.
A recovery in the world’s biggest economy would give the beleaguered dollar some respite from the recent sell-off, and also dent the likelihood for higher interest rates which benefits non-interest yielding and safe-haven gold.
Spot gold were mostly unchanged at $1,259.10 per ounce at 0656 GMT, and was up slightly this week in what could be the precious metal’s longest spell of weekly gains since May.
US gold futures for August delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,258.50 per ounce.
The dollar index was nearly unchanged at 93.816
against a basket of six major currencies. A weaker dollar makes bullion cheaper for non-US investors. Higher interest rates would push yields up and likely boost the dollar.
Meanwhile, holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.45 percent to 791.88 tonnes on Thursday from 795.42 tonnes on Wednesday.
Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.1 percent to $16.54 per ounce, heading for a third weekly gain. Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $924.25 per ounce but was on track for its first weekly decline in three.
Palladium fell 0.1 percent to $871.25 per ounce. In the previous session, palladium hit its highest in over a month.
OIL RISES, ON TRACK FOR BIGGEST WEEKLY GAINS THIS YEAR
Oil prices edged higher on Friday, reaching fresh two-month highs and on track to post the strongest weekly gains this year as investors digested signs of an easing oversupply picture.
US crude and gasoline inventories fell much more steeply than expected this week and the world’s biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia said it would further reduce oil output in August.
Brent crude futures were up 22 cents at $51.71 a barrel at 0931 GMT after reaching a fresh two-month high of $51.75 a barrel. The front of the crude oil curve jumped into backwardation, with the month-ahead trading above the subsequent month, showing investors are not expecting recent gains to last.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were flat at $49.04 a barrel, near a two-month high of $49.24.
US crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week to July 21 due to strong refining activity and an increase in exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Brimming US crude supplies have been a challenge to production cuts to prop up prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meaning weekly US inventory data is closely watched.
INDIA’S DEPENDENCE ON COAL TO CONTINUE BEYOND 2047
India’s dependence on coal will continue even after three decades from now with an estimated share of 42-50 percent of the country’s energy mix, said a report. The report, titled ‘Energising India’, has been jointly prepared by the NITI Aayog and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. The report further said that penetration of renewable energy will increase from 3.7 percent in 2012 to 11-14 percent in 2047. The Aayog, however, pointed out that the research report does not represent the views of the government or that of NITI Aayog.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MOVES AHEAD TO BUILT NEW GAS POWER STATION
Renewable and battery storage will replace gas as South Australia’s main source of electricity within eight years. The state’s energy transition could be a leading case study on managing a power system in transition for other mature markets to follow. It is said that the South Australian government presses ahead with plans to build its own new gas generator and AGL pursues plans to build a new gas power station to replace part of its ageing Torrens Island gas generator. Currently, South Australia’s peak loads are managed by open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plants.
MILK PRODUCTION PASSES 10M LITRE MARK IN PEI
P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island) dairy farmers produced 10.2 million litres of milk in May, passing the 10 million litre mark for the first time since July of 1993. The latest production numbers were released this week by Statistics Canada. Production is expected to continue to grow. Dairy quotas went up five percent on July 1, and dairy farmers are planning expansions to meet that quota.
MALAYSIAN PALM OIL HITS TWO MONTH HIGH
Malaysian palm oil futures hit a two-month high on Thursday, supported by gains in rival oilseed soy on the Chicago Board of Trade and as stock levels remained steady.
End-stocks in the world’s second-largest producer generally rise in the second half of the year, in line with production’s seasonal gains.
Production levels in June had declined as workers went on leave during Ramazan and Eidul-Fitr. July output is expected to raise on-month, but gains so far have not been as strong as expected, lending support to market prices.
RAW SUGAR, ARABICA COFFEE RATES JUMP
Raw sugar on ICE Futures US jumped on Wednesday and arabica coffee notched the biggest one-day rally in more than a month as Brazil’s currency advanced and bullish chart signals propelled further buying.
October raw sugar settled up 0.33 cent, or 2.37 percent, at 14.23 cents per lb after jumping 3.2 percent to a session high of 14.34 cents per lb. The Brazilian real advanced against the greenback, with greater gains later in the session. The currency’s gains support prices of dollar-traded commodities like sugar and coffee, as it reduced exporters’ incentive to sell.
JORDAN MAKES NO PURCHASE IN TENDER FOR 100,000 TON WHEAT
Jordan’s state grain buyer has made no purchase in an international tender to buy 100,000 tons of milling wheat which closed on Wednesday.
Jordan has struggled to make purchases in a series of wheat tenders in recent months, with traders saying uncertainty about new quality controls and payment terms has reduced tender participation by major grain exporting houses.
BANGLADESH TEA RATES DROP FOR 2ND WEEK
Tea prices in Bangladesh fell for a second straight week amid ample supplies but strong demand for quality leaf prevented a steeper decline.
Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 215.35 taka ($2.65) per kg at the weekly auction on Tuesday, down from 217.26 taka in the previous sale. There was tepid demand from local buyers but strong demand for quality leaf. About 23.2 percent of the 2.76 million kg offered at the sole auction centre in Chittagong remained unsold. In the previous auction, 16 percent of the 2.3 million kg on offer was unsold. Bangladesh’s tea output rose nearly 27 percent last year to a record 85 million kg, a harvest that was seen big enough to make imports unnecessary.