Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.
Gold continues higher as North Korea tensions linger – Gold prices continued higher on Thursday, adding to their biggest one-day gain in three months amid simmering geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. The yellow metal scored its sharpest daily rise since mid-May on Wednesday as investors piled into safe haven assets amid intensifying tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, with Pyongyang saying it is considering plans to attack Guam. A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army said in a statement that it was “carefully examining” plans for a missile attack on the U.S. Pacific territory, which has a large American military base. The comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that any threat to the U.S. would be met with “fire and fury”. Meanwhile, investors looked ahead to a key batch of U.S. economic data to gauge how it will impact the Federal Reserve’s view on monetary policy. Gold has been well-supported in recent weeks as fading expectations for a third Fed rate hike this year due to weak inflation combined with deepening political turmoil in the White House boosted the appeal of the precious metal.
Oil rises as inventory overhang erodes and Saudi cuts exports – Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers. Crude is down nearly 7 percent so far this year, suppressed in large part by concern that OPEC and its partners may not be able to force global oil inventories to drop by cutting production. However, Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would cut supplies to most buyers in Asia – the world’s biggest oil-consuming region – by up to 10 percent in September. In a sign that investors are turning more optimistic about the pace at which oil supply and demand are rebalancing, prices for crude for prompt delivery are trading above those for delivery further in the future. “This is the march toward the flattening of the curve,” said SEB chief commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop. “The major event now going forward is the Middle East and Asian refineries rushing back into operation and consuming more crudejust as Saudi Arabia says it will cut September deliveries to Asia,” he said. The physical market is also showing signs of stronger near-term demand, after having suffered from a persistent overhang of unused crude. Prices for prompt deliveries of North Sea crude oil are at their smallest discount to future prices in nearly two years and a surplus of oil stored on ships is gradually dissipating, having hit two-year highs. “The minute OPEC try to raise prices by cutting production, U.S. producers will react accordingly to fill the void. This results in a tug of war that we have witnessed all year and the final outcome is a range-bound market,” said Matt Stanley, a commodities broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai.
China Aluminum Stocks Continue Growing Sharply, SMM Says – Aluminum stocks in China’s five major markets, including SHFE aluminum stocks, continued growing this week to new record highs, SMM statistics showed. Weiqiao Closes Illegal Aluminum Capacity? Fact Turns Out to Be Ironic! Massive Output Cuts Not Enough to Reverse Oversupply in China Aluminum Market, SMM Says
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