US Crude Oil Closes Just Shy of Key $100 Level as Bleak Weather Continues

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Commodities Trading

: 14 February 2014

Speculation that the rally in crude oil has been overdone was counterbalanced by news that freezing temperatures are continuing to spread over the southern United States.

The relative equilibrium kept US crude prices in a tight range, with the trading session finishing just $0.10 higher at $100.32 per barrel.

The gold market has tested and successfully crossed above the psychologically important $1,300 mark for the first time since November last year.

With the last few US employment reports having been on the weaker side, yesterday's disappointing retail sales helped sparked renewed appetite for safe haven assets, pushing gold $12.1 higher to $1,303.3.

Commodities Trading

: 13 February 2014

WTI crude prices reached an intraday high of $101.35 yesterday but retraced towards the close, ending $0.16 down at $100.28, on speculation that the latest rally was a tad overdone.

At the same time, the US Department of Energy released its weekly oil inventories report showing a bigger than anticipated rise in supplies of 3.3 million vs 2.5 million expected.

As equity markets stopped for a breather, so did gold prices yesterday, with the market closing flat at $1,291.5 after reaching a 3 month high.

The fact the Fed signalled it is not in a hurry to end the stimulus appears to be positive for the precious metal which has also found support in the latest emerging markets turmoil.

Commodities Trading

: 12 February 2014

An US energy sector report indicating that oil stockpiles at Cushing slumped during last week, drove the WTI prices higher last night to $100.54, 54 cents up for the day.

Although crude inventories are estimated to rise by 2.5 million barrels according to the US Department of Energy, cold weather and seasonal maintenance for refineries could easily overturn that.

Gold investors found in Yellen's comments a piece which supported their case, 'the recovery in the labour market is far from complete'.

That should keep the alternative assets on the table and so pushed gold prices closer to the $1,300 mark, with the metal surging $16.8 higher to $1,291.6.

Commodities Trading

: 11 February 2014

After breaking above the psychologically important $100 mark, US crude oil retraced during afternoon trading as profit taking saw the market close $0.13 down at $99.90 per barrel.

However, the US National Weather Service has forecast that the winter storm may spread across the country's southern region, meaning that support for energies is likely to remain in place.

Gold extended its gains yesterday, rising $9.2 to $1,274.9, as Chinese buyers started returning to the precious metals market after their holiday.

The yellow metal has seen a firm rebound since the start of 2014 after dropping more than 30% last year and could test the $1,300 level in the near future.

Commodities Trading

: 10 February 2014

The weakness in the US jobs figures was explained by ongoing bad weather which should also keep the demand for heating at high levels, pushing the crude prices higher.

As a result, WTI surged sharply, rising $2.04 to $99.94 per barrel, even testing the triple digits area during overnight trading.

As it became clear that the pace of US tapering might not be linear, introducing an element of the unknown into the equation, investors rushed back into precious metals.

So, true to its form as a hedge against uncertainty, gold prices moved higher $9.0 to $1,267.4.

By Jonathan Sudaria, 14 February 2014

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