BULLION – Bullion counter may remain on firm path as gold prices rose on Friday, holding above the key $1,500 per ounce pivot, as fresh concerns about the U.S.-China trade dispute and worries over global economic slowdown lifted demand for the safe-haven metal. Trade tensions between the United States and China further escalated after a report that Washington is delaying a decision about licenses for U.S. firms to restart trade with Huawei Technologies. Meanwhile, U.S. economic data pointed to a robust labor market as the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, allaying some worries about the potential for a recession and helping U.S. Treasury yields rise. Central banks in New Zealand, Thailand and India stunned financial markets on Wednesday with a series of surprising interest rate cuts and pointing to policymakers dwindling ammunition to fight off a downturn.
ENERGY– Crude oil may trade with positive path as oil prices rose on Friday, supported by expectations of more production cuts by OPEC amid fears the U.S.-China trade row could lead to a global slowdown, curbing demand for crude. Both contracts jumped more than 2% on Thursday to recover from January lows, buoyed by reports that Saudi Arabia, the world biggest oil exporter, had called other producers to discuss the recent slide in crude prices. Oil prices have still lost more than 20% from their peaks reached in April, putting them in bear territory. Global financial markets were rocked over the past week after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese goods starting September and a fall in the Chinese yuan sparked fears of a currency war. Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), planned to maintain its crude oil exports below 7 million barrels per day in August and September to bring the market back to balance and help absorb global oil inventories, a Saudi oil official said on Wednesday. U.S. natural gas demand is at an all-time high and expected to keep rising – and yet, prices are falling. U.S. gas futures this week collapsed to a three-year low, while spot prices were on track to post their weakest summer in over 20 years. In other markets, such lackluster pricing would cause investment to retrench and supply to contract.
BASE METAL – Base metals may trade on sideways to weaker path. Anti-mining protests in Peru have held up about $400 million in copper exports from some of the country’s top mines and blocked supplies from reaching their operations for nearly three weeks, port operator Tisur said. Copper production in Democratic Republic of Congo rose 12.5% in the first half of the year from a year earlier to 672,272 tonnes, according to Central Bank figures. London nickel prices eased in early trade on Friday, slipping from a 16-month high struck in the previous session, after Indonesia’s nickel miners association said it had urged the government not to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports. Russian aluminium giant Rusal said on Friday lifting the share of high value-added products in its sales might prove to be tough in coming months due to the weaker market for the metal, which caused a 38% slump in its first-half net profit.
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