Crude prices were higher in early dealings on Wednesday, bouncing back from the prior session’s losses amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the day
Oil Prices Bounce Back on Bets for Big Drop in U.S. Crude Supplies – Crude prices were higher in early dealings on Wednesday, bouncing back from the prior session’s losses amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the day will show a sizable decline in U.S. oil supplies. There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA. Britain’s biggest pipeline from its North Sea oil and gas fields is likely to be shut for several weeks for repairs, its operator said on Tuesday. The pipeline, which carries about 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Forties crude, was shut after cracks were found. It has particular significance to global markets because Forties is the largest out of the five crude oil streams that underpin the dated Brent benchmark.
Gold Holds Near 5-Month Lows as Traders Gear Up for Fed Rate Hike – Gold prices inched higher in early dealings on Wednesday, but stayed near their lowest level in five months as investors awaited the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s meeting, at which it is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise the fed funds target range by a quarter point at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (1900GMT) on Wednesday, which would put it in a range between 1.25%-1.50%. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to hold what will be a closely-watched press conference 30 minutes after the release of the Fed’s statement, as investors look for fresh clues on the likely trajectory of monetary policy in the months ahead. The U.S. central bank will also release its latest forecasts for economic growth and interest rates, known as the “dot-plot”. The Fed has forecast three rate rises for next year, and it is expected to keep its outlook about the same even though the market has been skeptical it will hike as much as it expects. Wednesday’s meeting will be the last under the leadership of Janet Yellen, whose term ends in February, when she will be replaced by Fed Governor Jerome Powell.
Price Collapse Tied to Expectations of Another Warm Winter – Other than a possible “dead-cat bounce” due to oversold technical conditions, the current downside momentum suggests prices could head lower. Expectations of another warm winter this season triggered a collapse in natural gas prices on Tuesday. The move was so severe that it caused natural gas futures traders to drive a full calendar strip to its lowest level on record, according to analysts and Reuters data going back two years. Reuters also said that those declines boosted the premium of calendar 2019 over 2018 to its highest since April 2016. Fundamentally, low demand due to weather concerns and rising production are two bearish issues.
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