ENERGY– Oil futures jumped more than $1 a barrel on Thursday amid a weaker dollar, recovering ground after concerns that a global economic slowdown would hurt crude demand sparked losses of over 4% in the previous session. Brent crude had rebounded to $57.52 a barrel, up $1.29, or 2.29%, from its last close by 0032 GMT, while U.S. crude futures jumped $1.30, or 2.54%, to $52.39 a barrel. Both contracts hit their lowest levels since January on Wednesday after a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories added to worries that the brewing Sino-U.S. trade war could further dampen demand-growth this year. Bloomberg News reported the Saudis have decided the market slump is intolerable and all options are on the table. Trade war rhetoric will continue to guide markets, but the comments from Saudi Arabia could lead to unprecedented action to stabilise prices.. U.S. natural gas futures for Wednesday slipped close to a 38-month low with a 5% drop in crude prices and forecasts for less gas demand next week than previously expected. With less hot weather expected through late August, Refinitiv forecast demand in the Lower 48 states would slide to 89.8 bcfd next week from 91.7 bcfd this week as power generators burn less gas to keep air conditioners running.
BASE METAL – Base metals may trade on sideways to weaker path. Markets fear an escalation in the trade war could negatively affect metals demand China, the world’s second largest economy. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his tough stance on China’s economic and trade policies would ultimately benefit the American economy, even as Beijing signaled it could strike back by curbing sales of chemicals known as rare earths that are used in everything from iPhones to military equipment. China consumes nearly half of all industrial metals. Copper three-month price was weaker over the afternoon, falling to an intraday low of $5,665 per tonne, before closing at $5,705 per tonne. On the international market, zinc three-month price settled at $2,261 per tonne on Wednesday, its lowest price since October 2016. Nickel three-month price on the London Metal Exchange rallied by around 3% after the close of trading on Wednesday August 7, reaching a year-to-date high of $15,500 per tonne in what market participants labelled a broadly technical move.
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