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Pakistan seeks Belarusian technologies for dairy sector

Pakistan on Wednesday sought Belarusian technologies to improve milk processing and dairy production as a next step to the bilateral agreements signed three-year back to initiate agriculture technology projects.

Pakistan and Belarus signed memoranda of understanding and intention were signed in 2015. The basic purpose was to promote mutual cooperation in the field of agro technology and research in areas identified mutually by both the governments: scientific cooperation and research, exchange of agro machinery and research in the field of cattle farming.

Oil prices jump on OPEC-led cuts

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Friday as Saudi Arabia and other producers in OPEC, as well as allies like Russia, agreed to reduce output to drain global fuel inventories and support the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies, referred to as “OPEC+,” agreed to slash production by a combined 1.2 million barrels per day from 2019. This was larger than the minimum 1 million bpd that the market had expected, despite pressure from US President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude.

OPEC will curb output by 800,000 bpd from January while non-OPEC allies contribute an additional 400,000 bpd of cuts, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said after the organization concluded two days of talks in Vienna.

Brent crude rose $1.64, or 2.9 percent, to $61.70 a barrel. In early trading, the global benchmark had dropped below $60 when it looked as if oil exporters might leave output targets unchanged. It then rallied to a session high of $63.73 on news of the agreement.

US crude rose $1.10 to $52.59 a barrel, after earlier reaching a session high of $54.22. US crude was on track to end the week up 3.7 percent and Brent was 5.4 percent higher on the week so far.

Gold hits 5-month peak

Gold hit a five-month peak on Friday as the dollar slid following weaker-than-expected US jobs data, which added to expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may go slow on interest rate hikes next year.

Spot gold gained 0.7 percent to $1,245.74 per ounce having hit $1,246.72 per ounce earlier, its highest since July 13. With a rise of nearly 2 percent this week, gold looked set to post its best gain since the week of March 23.

US gold futures were also 0.6 percent higher at $1,251.30 per ounce. Silver gained 0.7 percent to $14.57 per ounce and was headed for a weekly rise of more than 2 percent. Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $788.50. The metal earlier hit a three-month low of $779 and extended losses for a fifth successive week.

CBOT soybeans may contract fall

CBOT soybean January contract may break a support at $9.05-1/2 per bushel and fall into the range of $8.91-3/4 to$8.99-3/4. The correction from the Dec. 3 high of $9.23-3/4 consists of three waves. So far, only two have unfolded.

The third wave labeled c is traveling towards the target range which is formed by the 61.8 percent and the 76.4 percent projection levels of a bigger wave C from $8.57. On the daily chart, a retracement analysis on the downtrend from $10.63-1/4 to $8.26-1/4 reveals a strong resistance at $9.16-3/4, which stopped the wave C.

Earlier US soybean futures inched higher for a fourth straight session on Wednesday in light trading as investors sought clues as to whether a truce between Washington and Beijing in their trade dispute would revive US soybean sales to China. Corn, which could also benefit from renewed Chinese demand, also firmed. But wheat retreated for the first time in four sessions, pressured by concerns about weak demand for US shipments.


Shanghai steel dips as glut concerns return

China’s steel prices eased on Thursday after surging nearly 2.5 percent in the previous session, as worries about oversupply and weak demand resurfaced. Earlier market talks on potential production restriction in top steelmaking city Tangshan were proved to be inaccurate, according to reports on industrial websites, citing managers who attended a meeting summoned by the local government.

The most-active construction steel rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1 percent to 3,375 yuan ($489.85) a tonne when market closed at 0700 GMT, after hitting their highest since Nov. 19 earlier in the session at 3,473 yuan. On Wednesday, it jumped as much as 4.1 percent before closing 2.4 percent higher.

Copper, other metals drop

Prices of non-ferrous metals extended losses on Thursday, as worries over weak demand caused by Sino-US trade tensions persisted. China and the United States agreed to a truce in their months-long trade war on Saturday, with US President Donald Trump agreeing to refrain from raising tariffs on Jan. 1. But he has also warned that the US will revert to tariffs if the two sides cannot resolve their differences before the stipulated 90 days.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.6 percent to $6,139.5 a tonne by 0726 GMT, extending losses from the previous session. The most-traded copper contract for February delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.9 percent lower to 48,980 yuan ($7,111.02) a tonne.

Palladium outshines gold for first time in 16 years

Palladium is more valuable than gold for the first time since 2002, with prices soaring by around 50 percent in less than four months to record levels — just as gold failed to capitalize on some seemingly bullish scenarios.

A sustained supply deficit coupled with robust demand and rising interest from speculators have pushed prices of palladium – used mainly in emissions-reducing catalysts for vehicles – from around $832 an ounce in mid-August to a high of $1,263.56 per ounce on Wednesday. Palladium was trading at a premium of more than $25 an ounce to gold on Wednesday, in striking contrast to about two years ago when bullion was twice as expensive. Gold is meanwhile stuck in the doldrums around $1,235, having largely lost out to the dollar this year as a U.S.-China trade row escalated against a backdrop of rising interest rates. Expectations that investors might turn to gold as a safe haven asset at a time of rising economic uncertainty and protectionism have been dented.

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