Commodities Trading: 21 February 2014
On the one hand, the rally in American stock markets
undoubtedly provided some upside pressure for energy markets as economic growth should require strong oil demand.
But on the other hand, the US Department of Energy's weekly stockpiles report showed a build in overall crude inventories.
The two effects seemingly cancelled each other out, with WTI ending rather flat at $102.88 per barrel.
Despite the slightly stronger US dollar, gold resumed its climb yesterday, closing $11.4 higher at $1,323.
This may have been due to some bargain hunting and the overall feeling that the mixed US economic picture is a catalyst to keep some extra cash in safe haven assets.
Commodities Trading: 20 February 2014
True to their bullish form of late, US crude prices climbed again on falling temperatures in the US and a distinct lack of improvement in the forecast.
The market saw a rise of $0.27 to $102.87 per barrel as energy investors await today's release of the weekly oil inventories, a day later than usual due to the Presidents' Day holiday.
Demand for gold
as a wealth preservations asset was hit yesterday when the Fed indicated the likelihood of more stimulus cuts.
On top of that, the declining fear of inflation across the board does not bode well for the precious metal, with the market losing $10.2 to $1,311.9.
Commodities Trading: 19 February 2014
The cold weather in the US shows no signs of abating, with a second storm in three days now bringing snow to the Northeast region.
As such, the demand for crude products like heating oil and diesel is expected to remain elevated, pushing the April US crude oil futures contract $1.41 higher to $101.53.
At the same time, investors are expecting today's inventory numbers to show a decline in crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma.
After reaching $1,323 in very early trading, gold prices dropped on speculation that the latest sharp rally could hurt the demand for bars and coins.
Signs that the US economy might begin to stutter at some point has pushed gold more than 10% higher this year, but its outlook for the rest of 2014 is by no means clear.
Commodities Trading: 18 February 2014
Ongoing signs of improvement in the US economy continued to spill over into the energy complex, pushing WTI crude $0.52 up to $100.65.
On top of that, a statement released over the weekend suggested that bank lending in China remains strong, which should support further expansion and help demand for energy in the near future.
The gold market rose by $10 to $1,330.0 yesterday, the highest level in more than three months, on fresh safe harbour demand.
It might be that, whilst investors remain confident regarding the real economy, many are now expecting a correction in the equity markets and want to be protected by going back into precious metals.
Commodities Trading: 17 February 2014
Amid some better-than-expected consumer sentiment data, US crude oil remained in triple digits on renewed hopes that oil demand will stay strong.
In addition, falling supplies at Cushing, the delivery point for US crude futures, aided the bullish cause.
As a result, the market closed at $100.30 on Friday, also helped by a fresh snow storm hitting the Eastern United States.
Despite investors' confidence regarding the overall economy, mirrored in the rise of US stock markets
, gold bugs saw things slightly differently.
For them, the current environment is getting riskier and inspired them to keep an eye on safe haven assets.
This meant that the gold market saw further gains on Friday, rising by $16 to $1,318.9.
The information and comments provided herein under no circumstances are to be considered an offer or solicitation to invest and nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. The information provided is believed to be accurate at the date the information is produced.
By Jonathan Sudaria, 21 February 2014