Monthly Archives: August 2018

Oil Futures End Lower

Crude oil prices eased slightly on Friday after moving in a very tight range, as traders weighed recent oil supply and demand reports and largely stayed wary of building up positions amid escalating trade war tensions.

A report released by Baker Hughes, the oilfield services firm, said U.S. oil drilling rigs count increased by two to 862 this week.

It is widely expected that demand for crude will drop due to U.S.-China trade dispute. However, the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil may significantly reduce global crude supplies and limit crude’s downside.

According to reports, crude oil and condensate exports from Iran may have dropped below 2.25 million barrels a day in August, making it a third straight month of declines.

Crude oil futures for October delivery ended down $0.45, or 0.6%, at $69.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, crude oil futures gained about 1.6% and in the month of August, crude futures gained about 3.2%.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 2.566 million barrels to 405.8 million barrels in the week ended August 24, according to the data released by the Energy Information Administration earlier in the week.

The report from EIA also showed imports fell by about 0.657 million barrels per day, while exports rose by 0.624 million barrels per day. The EIA estimates for US production were unchanged for the week ending August 24,
averaging 11 million bpd again.

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Gold Snaps 3-day Losing Streak, Ends Modestly Higher

Gold prices edged higher on Friday with traders lapping up the yellow metal amid mounting worries about the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, the two largest economies in the world.

Meanwhile, Canadian and U.S. officials are negotiating to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. President Donald Trump, who set a Friday deadline for the three countries (U.S., Mexico and Canada) to reach an in-principle agreement, has warned that if Canada and U.S. could not reach a deal, more tariffs on imports of Canadian cars will be imposed by his administration. Mexico and the U.S. had announced a bilateral deal earlier this week.

According to reports, Canada’s government officials have expressed concern that it may not be possible to work out a final North American Free Trade Agreement pact before the Friday deadline set by Trump.

With trade tensions escalating by the day and the Sino-US dispute threatening to erupt into a full-blown trade war, gold appears to be slowly getting back on track to get back its safe haven status.

Gold futures for December ended up $1.70, or 0.1%, at $1,206.70 an ounce. On Thursday, gold futures ended down $6.50, or 0.5%, at $1,205 an ounce.

Gold futures shed about 0.5% in the week, and 2.2% in August, registering losses for a fifth straight month.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.037, at $14.557 an ounce, while Copper futures settled at $2.6710 per pound, down $0.0465 from previous close.

In an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened that his administration intends to move ahead with plans to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports as early as next week.

Trump’s threat that U.S. would pull out from the World Trade Organization and his remarks that European trade policies were “almost as bad as China,” have raised fresh concerns over souring trade relations.

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Dollar Trading Mixed As Holiday Weekend Approaches

The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Friday afternoon. The buck is up against the Euro and the British pound, but has not fully recovered from its early weakness against the Japanese Yen.

Traders remain focused on trade issues ahead of the long holiday weekend. President Donald Trump warned that he could pull the United States out of the World Trade Organization

Trump claimed he would evacuate the international trading group if it doesn’t treat the U.S. better, making it the latest agreement to be targeted as part of the president’s “America First” trade strategy.

“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump told Bloomberg News in an Oval Office interview on Thursday.

According to Trump, the treaty establishing the trade body was “the single worst trade deal ever made.”

Traders are also in a cautious mood ahead of a deadline for U.S. and Canadian officials to reach a new NAFTA agreement.

Growth in Chicago-area business activity slowed in the month of August, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday. MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer dipped to 63.6 from a revised 65.5 in July, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to fall to 63.0.

The dollar has climbed to around $1.16 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1689.

Eurozone inflation moderated in August from a more than five-year high level, flash data from Eurostat revealed Friday. Inflation eased to 2 percent from 2.1 percent in July. The annual rate was expected to remain at 2.1 percent, which was the highest since December 2012.

The Eurozone unemployment rate remained unchanged in July, at the lowest since late 2008, Eurostat said Friday.

The jobless rate stood at 8.2 percent, the same rate as seen in June, and in line with expectations, but down from 9.1 percent in July 2017. This was the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since November 2008.

Germany’s retail sales growth eased more than expected in July, figures from Destatis showed Friday. Retail sales rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in July, slower than the 2.7 percent increase in June. Sales were expected to grow 1.3 percent. Nonetheless, this was the second consecutive increase.

France’s consumer prices grew at a steady pace in August, provisional estimate from Insee showed Friday. Consumer price inflation came in at 2.3 percent, the same rate as registered in July. Inflation was forecast to ease to 2.2 percent. Final data is due on September 13.

The buck slid to an early low of $1.3028 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since bounced back to around $1.2965.

UK house prices decreased at the fastest pace since mid-2012 in August, the Nationwide Building Society said Friday. House prices fell 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in August, in contrast to a 0.7 percent rise in July. This was the first drop in three months and the biggest monthly fall since July 2012.

The greenback dropped to a low of Y110.684 against the Japanese Yen Friday morning, but has since rebounded to around Y110.925.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in July, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That exceeded expectations for 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the June reading.

Industrial production in Japan dipped a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday’s preliminary reading. That missed forecasts for a gain of 0.2 percent following the 1.8 percent drop in June.

Japan’s housing starts declined for the second straight month in July, though at a slower-than-expected rate, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism revealed Friday.

Housing starts dropped 0.7 percent annually in July, well below the 7.1 percent sharp decrease in June. Economists had expected a 4.3 percent fall for the month.

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Canadian Dollar Weakens As NAFTA Talks Turn Sour

The Canadian dollar slipped against its major counterparts in New York deals on Friday, as talks between the US and Canada over NAFTA failed to meet the Friday deadline set by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both the nations were at loggerheads regarding Chapter 19, which would allow Canada to dispute punitive American tariffs on imports before binational panels.

Talks between the U.S. and Canadian negotiators reached a crucial phase this week, after the US and Mexico announced a bilateral deal on Monday.

Sentiment soured after a report from Bloomberg said President Donald Trump intends to move ahead with plans to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports as early as next week.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said Trump intends to impose the tariffs after a public comment period ends next Thursday, September 6th.

Bloomberg noted some of the people cautioned that Trump hasn’t made his final decision and may enact the tariffs in installments.

The loonie dropped to 84.72 against the yen, its lowest since August 22. If the loonie continues its fall, 83.00 is possibly seen as its next support level.

Data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed that overall consumer prices in the Tokyo region climbed 1.2 percent on year in August.

That beat forecasts for 1.0 percent and was up from 0.9 percent in July.

The loonie weakened to a weekly low of 1.3072 against the greenback from yesterday’s closing value of 1.2980. The loonie is seen challenging support around the 1.32 area.

The loonie retreated to 0.9433 against the aussie, from an early more than a 2-year high of 0.9396. On the downside, 0.97 is likely seen as the next support level for the loonie.

Data from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed that Australia’s private sector credit increased more than expected in July.

Private sector credit climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent month-over-month in July, following a 0.3 percent rise in June. Economists had expected the same 0.3 percent increase for the month.

The loonie fell back to 1.5203 against the euro, not far from more than a 4-week low of 1.5214 hit at 3:30 am ET. Next key support for the loonie is likely seen around the 1.54 level.

Flash data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone inflation moderated in August from a more than five-year high level.

Inflation eased to 2 percent from 2.1 percent in July. The annual rate was expected to remain at 2.1 percent, which was the highest since December 2012.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Chicago Business Barometer Indicates Slower Growth In August

Growth in Chicago-area business activity slowed in the month of August, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer dipped to 63.6 from a revised 65.5 in July, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to fall to 63.0.

The report said the drop by the business barometer reflected a softening in supplier deliveries, order backlogs and employment, which offset gains in production and new orders,

“The MNI Chicago Business Barometer continues to signal solid business sentiment, despite easing for the first time in five months, with growth in output and demand holding up well,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

MNI Indicators said the prices paid indicator eased in August, but remained above the 80-mark for just the second time since late-2008.

Satchi said, “Inflationary pressures look set to continue, potentially bleeding into consumer prices, with over 60% of firms reporting that they have passed on higher input costs to customers in recent months, and others foreseeing doing so in the near future.”

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Dollar Little Changed After U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index

At 10 am ET Friday, the University of Michigan has published its final report on consumer sentiment in the month of August.

After the data, the greenback changed little against its major rivals.

The greenback was worth 110.83 against the yen, 0.9688 against the franc, 1.2968 against the pound and 1.1637 against the euro around 10:01 am ET.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Dollar Climbs Vs Most Majors Ahead Of U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index

At 10 am ET Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its final report on consumer sentiment in the month of August. The consumer sentiment index for August is expected to be upwardly revised to 95.5 from the preliminary reading of 95.3, which was down from 97.9 in July.

Ahead of the data, the greenback climbed against the franc, the euro and the pound but held steady against the yen.

The greenback was worth 110.83 against the yen, 0.9688 against the franc, 1.2966 against the pound and 1.1632 against the euro as of 9:55 am ET.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com