Commodities Trading: 14 March 2014
Yesterday's recovery in US crude was rather anaemic as it gained a mere $0.12 to $98.24 after falling from just shy of $103 for three consecutive days.
The declines were encouraged by a sale from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to the crisis in Ukraine, but the slowdown in China has definitely not helped either.
Heading into a tense weekend in Crimea, financial spread trading
investors continued to rush into gold, pushing the metal another $3 higher to $1,370.7.
On top of that, the market was supported by speculation that we are likely to see more corporate defaults from China.
If the row between Russia and the West does start to escalate, then a challenge of the $1,400 level might just be around the corner.
Commodities Trading: 13 March 2014
For the third straight session, US crude prices moved south, losing $1.29 to $98.13 per barrel as the US Department of Energy announced a 6 million barrel rise in inventories.
The larger than expected build reinforces the strong levels of oil production outpacing economic growth and is considered a bearish feature for the short-term.
True to its bullish form, gold
touched a fresh recent high again, gaining $18 to $1,367.1 yesterday.
It appears that geopolitical tensions around the world and whispered discussions of a renewed cold war were a breath of fresh air for gold bugs and they intend to squeeze the life out of it.
Commodities Trading: 12 March 2014
US crude prices crossed below the $100 level yesterday, finishing $1.58 lower at $99.40, as investors speculated that US oil stockpiles increased last week.
At the same time, Brent crude rallied on fears of escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
The standoff in Crimea continues to put a floor under gold prices, pushing up demand for an asset which acts as a hedge in case of conflict.
The precious metal gained $9.4 to reach $1,349.1 and its bullish momentum gathered speed in overnight trading
as it rallied again to $1,360, a new recent high.
Commodities Trading: 11 March 2014
The culprit behind yesterday's sharp fall in crude prices was undoubtedly the tumble in Chinese exports, bolstering fears that the world's second largest economy is in for a hard landing.
Consequently, WTI crude
lost $1.72 to $100.98 per barrel with the energy market now contemplating a test into the double digits area.
Due to safe haven demand, gold prices remained reasonably supported, yesterday gaining $1.5 to $1,339.7.
With tensions over Crimea not likely to end any time soon but rather escalate investors would probably keep a close eye on gold's perceived feature of a hedge against turmoil.
Commodities Trading: 10 March 2014
The outlook for US economic growth remained strong, as indicated by the better than anticipated employment data, which in turn also boosted sentiment in the energy complex.
The price of US crude oil surged by $0.59 to $102.55, although the market under pressure this morning on concerns over shrinking Chinese exports.
Gold prices tumbled on Friday, losing $11.8 to $1,339.1 as US employers added more jobs than initially projected.
It was one of those sessions when the fear trade was clearly overshadowed by a resilient US economy.
After touching fresh recent highs earlier in the week, it seems that the rally might have lost some steam.
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By Jonathan Sudaria, 14 March 2014