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Oil drops as Us allows Iran sanctions waivers

Oil prices fell about 1 percent on Friday and notched a weekly loss of over 6 percent, as investors worried about oversupply after the United States said it will temporarily spare eight jurisdictions from Iran-related sanctions.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision in a conference call. The waivers could allow top buyers to keep importing Iranian oil after economic penalties come back into effect on Monday. Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 6 cents to settle at $72.83 a barrel. US crude CLc1 declined 55 cents to end the session at $63.14 per barrel, a 0.86 percent loss. Both contracts have fallen more than 15 percent from the near four-year highs touched in early October on worries the looming Iran sanctions could drain supply from global markets.

India, Iraq and South Korea were on the list of waivers, said a source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. Under US law, such exceptions can only be granted for up to 180 days.

Turkey has been told it will receive a waiver on US sanctions against Iranian oil sales, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said.

Iran said on Friday that it had no concerns over the reimposition of sanctions.

Gold prices slip, but on track for fifth week of gains

Gold slipped on Friday as the dollar regained some ground on the back of strong US jobs data, but the metal was still on track for a fifth week of gains.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,232.02 per ounce by 11:56 am EDT (1556 GMT). US gold futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,233.70 per ounce.

Gold is sensitive to higher US interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Gold jumped about 1.5 percent in the previous session as the dollar retreated sharply from a 16-month high.

Among other precious metals, platinum climbed 1.6 percent to $869.80 per ounce, having touched its highest since June 25 at $870.80 earlier in the session. The metal was up over 4 percent for the week so far. Palladium rose 2.2 percent to $1,117.00 per ounce and silver was up 0.5 percent at $14.81 per ounce.

Paris wheat slips to new six-week low on Chicago slide

Euronext wheat futures fell to a new six-week low on Wednesday, pressured by a slide in Chicago prices that outweighed a potential export boost from a weaker euro.

December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext unofficially closed down 0.50 euro, or 0.3 percent, at 198.25 euros ($224.18) a tonne. It earlier fell to 197.75 euros, setting a six-week low for the second day in a row, before recovering slightly as Chicago futures recouped some of their losses. Chicago wheat, the global benchmark, was sapped by a further rally in the dollar that underlined sluggish export shipments. A rare sale of US wheat to Egypt on Friday had fuelled expectations that export demand was about to shift away from leading global supplier Russia due to a declining surplus there.


Aluminium hits near 15-month low on slowing China factory growth

Aluminium fell near a 15-month low on Wednesday, clocking up a 5 percent loss on the month, after data showed China’s manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace since July 2016 and concerns lingered about excess Chinese supply.

Other metals also pulled back, with nickel hitting multi-month lows and zinc and lead dropping to their lowest in weeks. The slowdown in Chinese factory growth in October coincides with escalating Sino-US trade tensions that have raised fears over growth in the world’s second largest economy and top metals consumer. The dollar scaled 16-month highs against a currency basket on the back of further strong US economic data, heading for its biggest monthly winning streak in more than three years. A strong dollar makes dollar-priced metals more expensive for non-US investors.

White sugar dips to 3-week low on follow-through selling

White sugar futures on ICE extended losses to a three-week low on Wednesday as souring chart signals and worries about Indian exports inspired follow-through selling, while arabica coffee also touched a three-week low before closing higher.

December white sugar settled down $3.10, or 0.9 percent, at $355.70 a tonne after falling to $351.80, its weakest since Oct. 10. It closed October nearly 11 percent higher. Dealers said prices continued to correct from a recent Brazilian real-inspired rally, with further speculative selling emerging after the market failed to push above technical resistance levels. Focus shifted back to worries that India may export up to 5 million tonnes of sugar to the world market.

Soyabean, corn futures little changed

Chicago corn and soybean futures were little changed on Wednesday as traders awaited further clues about the outcome of the US harvest and the impact on exports of a trade dispute between the United States and China.

Wheat eased as the market remained under pressure from lagging US exports, which have tempered expectations of a revival later in the season when Russian supplies run low.

The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.3 percent at $3.63-1/2 a bushel by the end of the overnight trading session. CBOT soybean futures edged down a quarter of a cent to $8.46-3/4, consolidating above a one-month low struck this week.

The weather outlook has improved for field work although more showers were expected. The US soybean market was also awaiting more indications about a trade spat with China that has crippled US shipments to the world’s biggest soybean importer. CBOT wheat futures were down 1.0 percent at $4.95 a bushel, falling for a second day to approach last week’s three-month low.

The front month contract turned higher after hitting its lowest price since Sept. 20. CBOT December soymeal ended up $1.30 at $306.40 per ton, and December soyoil rose 0.02 cent to 28.02 cents per pound.

Month-end positioning helped lift soy futures, traders said. Uncertainty about soy exports continued to hang over the market, as China, the world’s top importer of the oilseed, has nearly halted purchases from the United States due to the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Soren Schroder, chief executive officer of global grain merchant Bunge Ltd, said he expected a small cut in China’s year-on-year soy imports due to the trade dispute. China also may not need to revert to buying US soybeans before the next South American crop is available, Schroder said.

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