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Oil near one-week high

Oil prices gained on Friday as the dollar slipped to a three-year low and global stocks headed for their biggest weekly gain in six years.

US West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLc1 was up 6 cents at $61.40 a barrel by 1110 GMT, after touching a one-week high of $61.89. Activity was subdued as many Asian markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

For the week, the US crude contract has risen about 4 percent after losing nearly 10 percent last week.

London Brent crude LCOc1 was up 15 cents at $64.48. Brent is up nearly 3 percent for the week after falling more than 8 percent last week.

Also supporting oil prices was a statement from the United Arab Emirates energy minister late on Thursday saying oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia aimed to draft an agreement on a long-term alliance by the year-end.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers including Russia have been restraining production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices. The arrangement expires at the end of 2018.

However, surging US production is offsetting those efforts. U.S. crude output hit a record 10.27 million bpd last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, making it a bigger producer than Saudi Arabia.

Spot gold climbs 3.2pc

Gold rose to a three-week high on Friday as the dollar index slid to a three-year low and stronger-than-expected inflation data this week boosted interest in the metal as a hedge against price pressures.

Gold is holding on track for its biggest weekly gain in nearly two years, snapping two straight weeks of losses that pulled it back from last month’s 1-1/2 year peak

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,358.83 an ounce at 1030 GMT, while US gold futures for April delivery were up $6.40 an ounce at $1,361.70.

Spot gold has risen 3.2 percent so far this week, putting it on track for its biggest weekly rise since April 2016. Gold has fared less well in other currencies, rising 1 percent in euro terms and 1.5 percent in sterling.

On the physical side of the market, demand in Asia was muted by the Lunar New Year holiday, closing markets in major consumer China, as well as in South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

In India, physical gold was sold at a discount for the first time in three weeks as demand slumped due to a jump in local rates. Gold in rupee terms hit a 15-month high of 30,836 rupees on Friday.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.1 percent at $16.89.

Soymeal rally lifts soybean futures

US soybean futures rose to a 10-week high on Tuesday, lifted by a surging soymeal market as dry weather in Argentina threatened to reduce crop yields from that key South American supplier, traders said. Wheat futures dropped as a rally fizzled after prices hit six-month highs. Corn futures, which traded both sides of unchanged during the session, closed slightly lower.

The most-active corn contract peaked at its highest since mid-August. Soymeal futures jumped 1.7 percent, in a sixth straight day of gains, setting contract highs across the board. The most-active contract peaked at its highest since July 2016.

 

Global thermal coal market to grow in 2018

The global thermal coal market will grow by about 48 million tonnes this year, 5 percent more than last year, the chief coal analyst at Noble Resources said on Tuesday, adding that imports to India will rise after falling in the last two years.

“Current seaborne volumes require imports from swing suppliers, such as the United States,” Rodrigo Echeverri, the head of hard commodities research at Noble, told the Coaltrans India conference in Goa. Coal demand in major coal consuming countries rose and prices gained in 2017, after a downturn spanning over half a decade put many small thermal coal producers out of business.

US wheat hits 6-mth high

US wheat futures rose on Tuesday to hit a six-month high as dry weather across a major producing region stoked concerns about potential shortfalls in output.

Corn edged lower, retreating after posting gains of more than 1 percent in the previous session, while soybean prices extended their two-day advance to 2 percent. The most active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.6 percent at $4.66-3/4 a bushel at 0350 GMT, after earlier touching their highest since Aug. 8 at $4.67-1/4 a bushel. Wheat closed up 3.3 percent on Monday.

Copper up from two-month low

Copper prices rose on Monday from a two-month low last week, helped by a weaker dollar and more stable global markets that encouraged a return to riskier assets. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for users of other currencies and can spur demand. Industrial metals prices have fallen this year but remain near multi-year highs. There’s a good argument for buying the dips and still being generally positive for metals.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 1.1 percent at $6,831 a ton after touching $6,733 on Friday, the lowest since Dec. 14.

Raw sugar, coffee climb

Raw sugar futures edged higher on Monday, extending gains on a weaker dollar and expectations for tighter nearby supplies, while arabica coffee also rose. March raw sugar was up 0.10 cents, or 0.7 percent, at 13.77 cents per lb by 1111 GMT.

Prices were supported by a weaker US dollar and more upbeat technicals after a positive close on Friday. Focus was also on the March-May spread with the spot premium matching Friday’s five-week high, indicating nearby demand as the spot contract nears expiry. Dealers said there was less available raw sugar for delivery against the futures because of reduced supplies from top grower Brazil and increased flows of Central American sugar to China. March white sugar rose $2.20, or 0.6 percent, to $356.90 a ton.

Palm oil climbs to one-month peak

Malaysian palm oil futures rose to their highest in a month on Monday evening, charting a fourth day of gains after supportive export data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange surged 1.2 percent to 2,543 ringgit ($645.92) a ton at the close of trade, its strongest daily gain in two weeks. It had earlier touched 2,555 ringgit, the highest level since Jan. 15. Trading volumes stood at 38,579 lots of 25 tons each at the end of the trading day. Malaysian exports in January unexpectedly surged past output levels, rising 6 percent from the previous month to 1.5 million tons, the data showed. This reduced stockpiles by nearly 7 percent month on month to 2.5 million tons. Production, meanwhile, was down 13.5 percent at 1.6 million tons. In related edible oils, the March soybean oil contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 1 percent, while May soybean oil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange gained 0.1 percent.

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