World oil prices over two-week high
Oil prices rose on Friday to their highest in more than two weeks, supported by the shutdown of the El Feel oilfield in Libya and upbeat comments from Saudi Arabia that an OPEC-led effort to cut stockpiles is working
El Feel produces 70,000 barrels per day of crude. Production in OPEC member Libya has been running at about 1 million bpd, although it remains volatile due to unrest.
Brent crude futures rose 92 cents to settle at $67.31 a barrel, a 1.4 percent gain. The global benchmark’s session high of $67.37 was its highest since Feb. 7. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 78 cents to settle at $63.55 a barrel, trading between $62.33 and $63.73.
Both benchmarks notched their second straight week of gains. Brent was up about 3.7 percent, its largest weekly increase since the end of October. U.S. benchmark WTI posted a weekly rise of about 3 percent.
Prices were buoyed by comments from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih, who said he expected oil market inventories to continue declining.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia have cut output to support prices. They hope to reduce crude inventories held by industrialized nations to their five-year average.
On Thursday, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that US crude inventories unexpectedly fell 1.6 million barrels last week. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. futures fell 2.7 million barrels last week.
Analysts also said prices were following through a more than 1.5 percent rise on Thursday.
US crude exports are rising with output. Thursday’s EIA data showed exports of US crude jumped to just above 2 million bpd, close to a record 2.1 million hit in October.
Gold steadies ahead of fed minutes
Gold steadied on Wednesday after its biggest one-day slide in 2-1/2 months as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting later for clues on the outlook for US interest rates. Fresh gains in the dollar, however, kept prices under pressure, holding the metal near a one-week low.
Spot gold was at $1,328.80 an ounce at 1030 GMT, little changed from late on Tuesday but off an earlier low of $1,325.20. US gold futures for April delivery were down 30 cents an ounce at $1,330.90.
Argentine soy, corn face ‘worst-case’ drought scenario
Argentina’s soy and corn fields were expected to stay mostly dry next month as a four-month-old drought bites deeper into crop yields, analysts said on Wednesday, with one warning of a “worst-case scenario” developing on the Pampas grains belt.
Hot, dry weather in the world’s No. 3 exporter of raw soybeans and top supplier of soy meal livestock feed has pushed up prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in recent weeks, with soybean futures hitting a seven-month peak on Tuesday.
Palm oil drops on slow buying from india, unexpected production fall
Malaysian palm oil futures fell to their lowest in almost two weeks in early trade on Wednesday as subdued buying from India dampened market sentiment and the latest production figures disappointed traders.
The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.24 percent at 2,479 ringgit ($634.02) a tone at noon, potentially charting a second day of falls. Trading volumes were robust, with 28,265 lots of 25 tonnes each during the first half.
EU wheat steadies as euro eases again, cold snap watched
Euronext wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday, holding close to a three-week high with support from an easing euro and a flurry of tenders from importing countries. Traders were monitoring a cold spell setting in across Europe and the Black Sea region, though reaction was limited as snow cover was seen protecting crops for now in areas facing the most severe temperatures.
May milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange settled 0.75 euros, or 0.5 percent, up at 163 euros ($200.69) a tone.
Soybeans, corn rise as drought hurts crops in Argentina
US soybean futures on Wednesday rose for the sixth time in seven sessions while corn futures edged higher on expectations that a drought-reduced crop in Argentina would buoy demand for US supplies. Gains were limited by plentiful global supplies and strong production prospects in Brazil.
Wheat, meanwhile, slipped to a two-week low, pressured by high world supplies and rain relief for parched crops in the US Plains. Speculative investors have shifted to a more bullish view for corn and soybeans after weeks of hot, dry weather in Argentina, the world’s No. 3 exporter of both commodities and top supplier of soymeal and soyoil.
Copper steadies after hitting one-week low
Copper steadied on Wednesday after hitting a one-week low earlier in the session as investors moved into the safety of the dollar before the release of the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting. The dollar hit a one-week high versus a currency basket thanks in part to a buoyant two-year Treasury note yield, which hit a nine-year high as traders awaited the release of the Fed minutes.
The last readings of US wages and inflation came in higher than expected. Investors are now waiting to see if the Fed policy minutes due later on Wednesday will signal a quicker pace of interest rate increases than previously expected.
SA iron ore producer assore profit up
Assore Ltd, a South African base minerals and metals producer, said on Wednesday its interim profit rose about 12 percent from a year earlier, underpinned by improved sales volumes and favourable commodity prices in dollar terms.
Global zinc market deficit narrows
The global zinc market deficit narrowed to 48,600 tons in December from a revised deficit of 65,700 tons in November, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed on Tuesday. In 2017, the zinc market deficit was 495,000 tons compared with a deficit of 122,000 tons in the same period in the prior year.
White sugar slips on ample supplies
White sugar futures fell on Tuesday, pressured by a stronger dollar and a looming global supply glut, while arabica coffee slipped to its lowest in more than two months. May white sugar was down $4 or 1.1 percent, at $357.50 a tonne by 1450 GMT, giving up gains made in the prior session. The market was under pressure from a stronger US dollar and ample supplies due to strong production in India, Thailand and the European Union this season.
NY coffee to test support at $1.1945
SINGAPORE: New York March coffee is expected to test a support at $1.1945 per lb, a break below which could cause a further loss to the next support at $1.1830. These supports are identified respectively as the 76.4 percent and the 86.4 percent projection levels of a presumed wave C, the third wave of a three-wave cycle from $1.3350. Coffee has broken a key support at $1.2110. It has a better chance of extending to $1.1675. A more realistic target could be $1.1830. A break above $1.2110 could lead to a gain to $1.2245.