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World oil prices dip but post second week of gains

Oil prices fell on Friday but posted their second straight week of gains ahead of trade talks between the US and Chinese presidents this weekend, and on widely expected production cuts from OPEC on Monday.

The most active September Brent crude futures LCOU9 fell 93 cents to settle at $64.74 a barrel. Brent August crude LCOc1 futures settled unchanged at $66.55 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures lost 96 cents to settle at $58.47 a barrel. Brent posted a gain of more than 20% in the first half of 2019, while WTI marked a gain of more than 25%. Both contracts also notched their second straight weekly gain.

Oil futures fell just ahead of settlement as investors sized up positions before meetings this weekend and next week that could lend direction for the market.

The leaders of the G20 countries meet on Friday and Saturday in Osaka, Japan, but the most anticipated meeting is between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday.

A trade war between the world’s two biggest economies has weighed on prices, fanning fears that slowing economic growth could dent demand for oil.

Trump said he hoped for productive talks with the Chinese president, but said he had not made any promises about a reprieve from escalating tariffs.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-members including Russia, known as OPEC+, will hold meetings on July 1-2 in Vienna to decide whether to extend their supply cuts.

Gold remains steady as Us-China talks eyed

Gold prices held steady on Friday as investors waited to see if a crucial round of US-China trade talks over the weekend would resolve the bilateral dispute, while platinum surged more than 3%.

However, bullion was on track to mark its best month in three years, up 8% in June alone, on the back of expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would ease monetary policy. Prices were up 9.1% in the quarter, its biggest percentage gain since the first quarter of 2016.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,409.33 per ounce as of 1:35 p.m. EDT(1735 GMT). Prices surpassed the key psychological $1,400 level earlier this week to reach $1,438.63 for the first time in six years. US gold futures settled 0.1% higher to $1,413.70 per ounce.

US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping will meet during a Group of 20 summit this weekend in Osaka, Japan, for talks that could help resolve a year-long trade war between the two nations.

Silver rose 0.3% to $15.30 per ounce. It has gained 5% in June alone, its biggest monthly gain so far in the year. Palladium was down 0.5% to $1,543.01. Platinum gained more than 3% to $839.76, its highest since May 16.

Copper touches 5-week high

Copper prices hit five-week highs on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said a US-China trade deal was 90 percent complete, but gains were capped by a higher dollar and concern about demand in top consumer China. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1 percent at $6,036 a tonne at 1003 GMT. Prices of the metal used widely in the power and construction industries earlier touched $6,063.50, the highest since May 21. U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet this week at the G20 summit in Japan hoping to calm their 11-month trade war.


India’s may steel exports drop to lowest in 3 years

India’s finished steel exports in May fell to their lowest in three years as shipments to traditional markets in the European Union (EU) and Nepal shrank, preliminary government data reviewed by Reuters showed.

India exported 319,000 tonnes of finished steel in May, down 28percent from the same month last year and the lowest level since April 2016, the data showed. Steel exports to the EU dropped 55percent in May, led by fewer shipments to Italy, Belgium and Spain, which together made up about 80percent of India’s overall exports to the region. That comes amid ‘safeguard’ measures by the EU that are designed to limit incoming steel and prevent a surge of imports as a result of Washington’s 25percent import tariffs, which have effectively closed the US market. Indian exports to Italy slumped 65 percent to 23,000 tonnes, according to the data. Exports to Spain fell 41 percent to 13,000 tonnes, while shipments to Belgium were down 42 percent at 25,000 tonnes. India, which typically ships cold-rolled coil, galvanized steel and some long products such as bars and rods to the EU, saw a decline in these shipments by as much as 30 percent. Meanwhile, India’s exports to Nepal, the top destination last year, were down 22 percent at 63,000 tonnes.

Softs-Arabica coffee retreats

Arabica coffee futures on ICE dipped on Wednesday after hitting a three week high earlier in the session as overall weakness in the dollar this week discouraged producer selling. September arabica coffee was down 0.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $1.0700 per lb at 1515 GMT, after rising to a peak of $1.0820, its highest since early June. The contract surged 4.3 percent on Tuesday and has closed higher in four of the past five sessions.

Malaysian palm tumbles

Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Wednesday, charting a fifth straight session of declines, as poor exports data kept the market subdued. The benchmark palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.8 percent at 1,966 ringgit ($474.31) per tonne at the close. It earlier fell to its lowest since Nov. 27.

Exports data from Tuesday continued to weigh on traders’ mood, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said. On Tuesday, cargo surveyors Societe Generale de Surveillance and Intertek Testing Services said exports of Malaysian palm oil products for June 1-25 fell 15.3 percent and 17.8 percent month-on-month, respectively. Independent inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia said exports fell 14 percent month-on-month for the same period. The most-active Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soyoil futures , which was down for most of the session, weighing on palm, was last up 0.1percent, while China’s Dalian soybean oil prices for the September contract fell 0.5percent.

Milk production up 2.4 percent

Milk production for the New Zealand dairy season just ended was up by more than 2.4 percent on the season prior. Figures from the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand shows national production from 1 June 2018 to 30 May 2019 lifted to 1,883,559 tonnes of milk solids. An analyst from the dairy insight group of NZX, Robert Gibson, said it was up about 1.5 percent compared to the five-year average. Gibson said the so far outlook for the 2019/2020 season was looking positive.

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