Gold traded firm near a five-month peak hit early on Monday, supported by a disappointing U.S. jobs data that fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve may stop raising interest rates sooner than expected. The dollar slipped against the yen and the euro, while stocks extended their slump as worries over U.S.-China trade tensions battered investor sentiment. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs in November, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 200,000 jobs. The U.S. central bank is flagging a turning point in monetary policy, as a Fed policymaker on Friday backed interest rate hikes in the “near term” but nodded to increasingly less certainty ahead.
London copper fluctuated to close slightly higher at $6,149/mt on Friday. Despite a positive start, the SHFE 1902 contract weakened on Friday night, with pressure from the daily moving average. It closed at 49,060 yuan/mt. Open interest for the SHFE copper complex remained below 500,000 lots, suggesting limited confidence among investors. LME copper is expected to trade at $6,120-6,170/mt today with the SHFE 1902 contract at 48,900-49,200 yuan/mt. Spot premiums are seen at 150-420 yuan/mt.
ONGC has sold a cargo of Russian Sokol crude cargo at a similar premium from the previous month, trade sources said on Monday. The cargo, loading on Feb. 10 to 16, was sold to a European trading house at a premium of $4.80 a barrel above Dubai quotes, they said. The deal marked the first February Sokol cargo to trade this month. The premium surprised the sources as they were expecting Sokol premiums to fall in line with other light sour grades sold to Asia and to reflect weaker refining margins.
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