World oil prices move higher
Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by expectations that sanctions on Iran would tighten global supplies, but futures posted a weekly drop as a slump in stock markets and concerns about trade wars clouded the fuel demand outlook.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 73 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $77.62 a barrel. The global benchmark marked a weekly loss of about 2.7 percent and is down about $10 in three weeks.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, to end at $67.59 a barrel. It posted a weekly loss of about 2.3 percent.
Prices got some support when two sources said on Friday Iraq will stop trucking crude oil from its northern Kirkuk oil field to Iran in November to comply with U.S. sanctions.
Washington has said it wants to reduce Iranian oil sales to zero, although this looks unlikely. Still, many buyers, including Iran’s biggest customer, China, appear to be falling in line, forcing Tehran to store unsold oil on tankers.
Gold jumps to 3-month peak
Gold rose on Friday to a more than three-month peak as investors rushed to the safety of bullion as stock markets around the globe plunged, putting the metal on track for its fourth week of gains.
Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,234.35 an ounce in New York trading close, having earlier gained nearly 1 percent to $1,243.32, its highest since mid-July. US gold futures settled up $3.40, or 0.28 percent, at $1,235.80.
Spot gold was on course for a fourth weekly gain, its longest winning streak since January.
Gold demand in India this week was muted as a recent rally in domestic prices prompted buyers to postpone purchases despite the approaching festival and wedding season.
Gold prices are up more than 6 percent after falling to $1,159.96 an ounce in mid-August, the lowest since January 2017.
Among other precious metals, palladium was up 0.5 percent at $1,105.22 an ounce, after reaching a record high of $1,150.50 an ounce earlier this week. Silver was up 0.1 percent at $14.63 per ounce, and platinum 1.2 percent higher at $832.50 an ounce.
Malaysian palm oil falls to one-week low
Malaysian palm oil futures fell to their lowest level in more than a week with a second consecutive day of losses on Wednesday, tracking US soyoil losses on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). The benchmark palm oil contract for January delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.8 percent at 2,200 ringgit ($528.15) a tonne at the close.
It earlier fell as much as 1.3 percent to 2,189 ringgit, its lowest since Oct. 15. Trading volumes stood at 28,065 lots of 25 tonnes each at the close of trade. Malaysian palm oil production is forecast to rise in the last quarter of the year in line with the seasonal trend before tapering off early next year. September inventories rose to their highest in eight months as production came in higher than exports. September production rose 14.4 percent from August to its strongest in 10 months at 1.85 million tonnes.
US wheat futures fall on export worries
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures closed below $5 a bushel on Wednesday, the first time in nearly six weeks, amid technical selling and concern about dwindling US export demand, traders said.
Traders said wheat contracts were also pressured by the US dollar, which rose more than 1/2-percent against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, reaching its highest point since August. CBOT December soft red winter wheat closed down 9-1/2 cents at $4.99-1/2 a bushel on Wednesday. K.C. December hard red winter wheat settled down 10-1/2 cents at $4.97 a bushel and MGEX December spring wheat closed the day down 6-1/2 cents at $5.78-1/2 a bushel. Russia’s agriculture ministry this week raised its forecast for the country’s 2018 grain crop by 3 million tonnes to 109 million tonnes. Analysts polled ahead of Thursday’s weekly USDA export sales report expect net wheat sales of 200,000 to 500,000 tonnes last week, compared with 475,998 tonnes in sales the previous week.
Raw sugar hits 9-1/2-months high
Raw sugar futures rose to a 9-1/2-month high on Wednesday, breaking through key resistance levels, as sugar output from top grower Brazil declined, while cocoa and coffee prices fell. March raw sugar settled up 0.2 cent, or 1.5 percent, at 14.01 cents per lb., after rising to 14.24 cents, its highest since January.
Prices broke out above a double top pattern, after having peaked twice in recent sessions at 13.95 cents. The break out of that pattern, and the break above psychological resistance at 14 cents, were bullish signals, dealers said. Reduced sugar output from top-grower Brazil and an early end to the harvest there have boosted sentiment and supported prices, dealers said.
CBOT soybean futures drop as bumper US harvest accelerates
Chicago Board of Trade soybean contracts ended Wednesday on a negative note, as US harvest pressures continued to weigh on the market and soymeal futures weakened, traders said.
CBOT November soybeans, the most-active contract, settled down 7-1/4 cents at $8.50-1/4 a bushel. The contract dipped to $8.50 a bushel in midday trading, its lowest point since Oct. 11. CBOT December soymeal ended down $4.60 at $306.10 per short ton and December soyoil fell 0.15 cent to 28.61 cents per pound. Traders said the increasing pace of the harvest in the Midwest has revealed that there is some weather-related crop damage to corn and soybeans.
Coffee futures rise
Coffee futures on ICE rose on Tuesday, largely erasing the previous session’s losses on short covering, traders said, while cocoa slipped as dealers awaited further indications on the quality and quantity of the main crop in West Africa.
December arabica coffee settled up 3.45 cent, or 2.9 percent, at $1.211 per lb. Arabica recovered after losing 3.6 percent on Monday, its worst day in over two months. Prices rose on short covering, dealers said, and climbed despite weakness in the currency of top grower Brazil. A weaker currency can encourage producer selling. Total open interest fell for the 17th straight session to 285,967 lots, the lowest since July 2, ICE data show.
Supply fears propel zinc to three-week highs
Zinc prices touched a three-week peak on Wednesday, helped by concerns over supply shortages while an improving technical picture provided encouragement for buyers.
Benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) did not trade but was bid up 1.2 percent at $2,700 a tonne in official rings after reaching its highest since Oct. 2. The metal used to galvanise steel has risen 18 percent from a 22-month low in August, outperforming other industrial metals.