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OIL EDGES UP ON FALL IN US CRUDE STOCKS

Oil prices edged up on Thursday, clawing back some ground after losses in the previous session. It is said the market was range-bound as falling crude inventories provided price support while high output was capping gains. Brent crude futures were at $50.44 per barrel at 0543 GMT, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.84 a barrel, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent. The slight gains followed a more than 1 percent fall in the

GOLD SOARS AS DOLLAR DIPS AFTER FED MINUTES

Gold rose about 1 percent on Wednesday, shaking off two days of losses, as the dollar edged lower after the release of the minutes from Federal Reserve’s July meeting at which policymakers voted unanimously to keep US interest rates unchanged. Fed policymakers appeared increasingly wary about recent weak inflation data and some called for a halt to further rate hikes until it was clear the trend was transitory.

Spot gold was up 0.8 percent to $1,281.15 per ounce by 2:49 p.m. EDT (1849 GMT), after rising as much as 1 percent to a session high of $1,283.90. US gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,282.90 an ounce.

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ZIMBABWE’S RAW MILK PRODUCTION MARGINALLY DECLINES

Zimbabwe’s raw milk production during the seven months to July declined a marginal 0.84 percent to 37 million litres compared to 37.32 million litres over the same period in 2016. According to figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Dairy Services Department, production dipped during the first quarter of the year where it was affected mainly by incessant rainfall. Agricultural experts contend that high rainfall affects animal health, reducing milk production.

TUNISIA PURCHASES 100,000 TONS OF WHEAT

Tunisia’s state grains agency bought 100,000 tons of milling wheat on Wednesday, more than the 92,000 tons it had sought in an international tender. The agency bought four consignments of 25,000 tons, paying $190.99, $193.00, $193.25 and $193.74 per ton on a cost and freight (C&F) basis. Shipment would be in several periods in September and October.

The tender had initially called for three consignments of 25,000 tons and one of 17,000 tons. Tunisia made no purchase in a separate tender seeking 50,000 tons of animal feed barley, with prices seen as too high.

SUGAR PRICES DECLINE ON STRONGER DOLLAR, AMPLE SUPPLIES

Raw sugar futures fell to the lowest level in almost seven weeks on Wednesday while arabica coffee dipped to a three-week low as a strong dollar contributed to weakness in both markets. October raw sugar was off 0.07 of a cent, or 0.53 percent, at 13.06 cents per lb at 1348 GMT, the weakest for the front month since June 29. It is said that the recent decline had been driven partly by global economic concerns and a strong dollar.

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MALAYSIAN PALM OIL GAINS

Malaysian palm oil futures were in line for their first gain in four sessions in early trade on Thursday, tracking stronger edible oils and on tighter supplies.

The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.4 percent to 2,648 ringgit ($617.11) at the midday break. It reversed losses made in the previous trading session, when it fell to a low of 2,608 ringgit, its weakest since Aug. 8. Traded volumes stood at 12,347 lots of 25 tones each at noon. There is some buying going on in the market, it could pick up more later in the month. Palm oil output in July saw a stronger-than-expected surge, up 20.7 percent to 1.83 million tones from the previous month.

ZINC PRICES HIGHEST IN A DECADE

Zinc prices surged to their highest level in almost a decade on Wednesday while aluminium and copper prices were at their highest since 2014 as rises across most industrial metals triggered pre-set buy orders and a wave of speculative buying.

Momentum funds are buying the strength, piling in as the price rises. However, forward selling by producers keen to lock in a high price was limiting gains.

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