Crude oil prices continued to climb to multi-year highs on Thursday, amid ongoing tensions in Iran and as traders were eyeing the release of U.S. crude inventory data due later in the day.
Crude Oil Prices Continue to Climb, U.S. Inventory Data Ahead – Crude oil prices continued to climb to multi-year highs on Thursday, amid ongoing tensions in Iran and as traders were eyeing the release of U.S. crude inventory data due later in the day. Oil prices remained supported amid Iranian protests, marking the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical leadership since 2009. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deployed forces to three provinces to put down the anti-government protests. Crude prices are also underpinned by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018. The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.
Gold Prices Lower after Fed Minutes – Gold prices fell on Thursday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed that officials discussed a faster pace of rate increases this year. Prices of the precious metal were pressured lower after the minutes from the Fed’s December meeting showed that officials discussed whether tax cuts could require them to raise interest rates at a faster pace in 2018 after hiking them three times last year. Fed officials have penciled in three rate increases this year and two in 2019. When interest rates rise, gold often struggles to compete against yield-bearing assets like Treasurys. Recent weakness in the dollar had supported gold prices by making the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies. The dollar rebounded on Wednesday, boosted by the minutes and upbeat U.S. manufacturing and construction data, snapping three weeks of losses.
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