Crude prices were largely unchanged near recent highs in early dealings on Monday, as the market weighed rising U.S. drilling activity against ongoing efforts
Gold Prices Climb to 4-Month High as Dollar Continues Lower – Gold prices started the week on the front-foot on Monday, hitting their highest level since September as the dollar languished at three-year lows against a basket of currencies. Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies. There will be no floor trading on the Comex on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Day holiday in the U.S. All electronic transactions will be booked with Tuesday’s trades for settlement. The Fed’s Beige Book, as well as speeches from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Cleveland Fed Boss Loretta Mester and Fed Governor Randall Quarles, will also be in focus. The majority of economists believe that the Federal Reserve will hike rates in March with a second move higher arriving in June, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Oil Prices Hold Near 3-Year Highs; U.S. Drilling, OPEC Cuts in Focus – Crude prices were largely unchanged near recent highs in early dealings on Monday, as the market weighed rising U.S. drilling activity against ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output to reduce a global glut. There will be no floor trading on the Nymex on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Day holiday in the U.S. All electronic transactions will be booked with Tuesday’s trades for settlement. Oil prices notched a fourth week of gains in a row last week amid ongoing optimism that OPEC-led output cuts would continue to drain the market of excess supplies. Futures have added around 13% since early December, benefiting from production cut efforts 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. However, analysts and traders have warned that the recent rally could encourage U.S. shale oil producers to ramp up production as they look to take advantage of higher prices.
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