Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans rally on soymeal gains; corn, wheat firm - Reuters News

27-Apr-2018 11:27:20 PM

Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, details, changes byline, dateline; pvs LONDON

By Mark Weinraub

- Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose on Friday on expectations that the United States will increase its share of the soymeal export market due to harvest shortfalls in Argentina, traders said.

Corn futures firmed, hitting a nine-month high for the third day in a row as traders scrambled to cover short positions ahead of the weekend.

Winter wheat also was supported by short-covering as traders squared positions ahead of a tour through Kansas next week that will allow crop scouts to get a first-hand look at damage caused by a drought.

At 9:58 a.m. CDT (1458 GMT), CBOT July soybean futures were up 8-1/2 cents at $10.48 a bushel. Soymeal futures were 1.9 percent higher and hit their highest since April 9.

"Soybean prices continue to steer clear of modestly lower price levels where a dangerous minefield of momentum triggers await," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

On the cash market, bids for soymeal shipped by barge to exporters at the U.S. Gulf firmed early on Friday. Premiums for soymeal loaded on ocean-going vessels also were strong.

"It is the meal leading the rally," said Dan Cekander, president of DC Analysis. "There is just a feeling that the drought in Argentina will cut back on their meal processing. That tightness has not been resolved."

CBOT July soft red winter wheat futures were 5-1/4 cents higher at $4.94-3/4 a bushel while K.C. hard red winter wheat for July delivery gained 3-1/2 cents to $5.24-1/2 a bushel.

But spring wheat was weaker after a Statistics Canada report showed that Canadian farmers planned to seed a bigger-than-expected 25.259 million acres of wheat.

MGEX July spring wheat was off 5-1/4 cents at $5.98-3/4 a bushel.

Gains in the corn market were kept in check by forecasts for warmer weather in the U.S. Midwest that should allow farmers to make headway in their much delayed planting tasks in the coming days.

CBOT July corn was 1-3/4 cents higher at $3.97 a bushel. Prices peaked at $3.98-3/4, the highest for the most-active contract since July 21.

"Temperatures will gradually rise across the core U.S. crop regions through the end of the month under high pressure dominance," Ed Whalen of Thomson Reuters Weather Research said in a report issued on Thursday.

He said rainfall would be "rather limited" in that region.

(Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Nigel Hunt in London, Editing by Andrea Ricci)




UPDATE 6-Oil prices slip but supported by Iran concerns - Reuters News

27-Apr-2018 11:54:35 PM

  • Brent on course for third straight weekly rise
  • WTI set for weekly drop of 0.7 pct, but up this month
  • Strong dollar, U.S. supplies hold back prices
  • Coming up: Baker Hughes rig count data at 1 p.m. EDT

Updates market activity, prices, adds commentary; changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON

By Stephanie Kelly

- Oil prices slipped on Friday, with Brent on track for its third week of gains amid supply concerns should the United States reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Brent crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $74.54 a barrel by 11:48 a.m. EDT (1548 GMT). This month, the global benchmark hit highs above $75, a level last seen in late 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 30 cents to $67.89 a barrel, a 0.4 percent loss.

Brent was on track for a weekly gain of about 0.7 percent, while WTI was set for a weekly loss of about 0.7 percent.

U.S. President Donald Trump will decide by May 12 whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of an agreement with six other world powers over Tehran's nuclear program. The renewed sanctions would likely dampen Iranian oil exports, disrupting global oil supply.

"That's an issue that is more political in nature that could have a shock in the market," said Mark Watkins, a regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Park City, Utah." "It's one of those wildcards that's out there because if the sanctions do happen, there's going to be oil that comes off the market."

Brent has risen by around 5 percent this month. The gains came despite a higher dollar, which is at its strongest since Jan. 11 against a basket of currencies.

A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Concerns about market tightness have also been fueled by the deteriorating political and economic situation in Venezuela that has led to a 40 percent decline in crude output in the past two years.

Price increases have been capped by rising U.S. production as shale drillers ramp up activity, underpinning a widening discount between Brent and WTI. U.S. crude's discount to Brent hit its widest since Dec. 28 at $6.74 a barrel.

Surging U.S. production, which rose to 10.59 million barrels per day last week, has encouraged record-high U.S. exports.

Market analysts were awaiting U.S. rig count data from General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm, due to be released later on Friday.

Weak refining margins hurt two of the world's largest integrated energy companies for the second consecutive quarter, although Chevron Corp's oil production gains in the first quarter outshone its larger rival Exxon Mobil Corp

(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in London and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)




US STOCKS-Amazon, Microsoft boost Nasdaq; Exxon drags on S&P - Reuters News

27-Apr-2018 10:29:32 PM

  • Amazon opens at record high after Q1 profit doubles
  • Microsoft, Intel also gain after results
  • U.S. Q1 GDP rises 2.3 pct vs est 2 pct
  • Dow off 0.05 pct, S&P up 0.15 pct, Nasdaq up 0.41 pct

Updates to open

By Sruthi Shankar

- Amazon and Microsoft pushed the Nasdaq higher on Friday, but weak reports from Exxon and other energy companies capped gains on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial index. Inc surged 7.9 percent to a record high of $1,638.10 after the world's largest online retailer more than doubled its profit and forecast strong spring results.

Microsoft Corp rose 1.5 percent after topping Wall Street forecasts for profit, while Intel gained 2.2 percent as strength in its data center business drove a profit beat.

Exxon dropped 3.5 percent after posting a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.

The results come a day after Facebook's impressive earnings beat led a rebound in technology stocks on Thursday and helped the main indexes close above 1 percent.

"The market is a little hesitant after a very strong day in response to some earnings that were taken quite positively," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

At 9:56 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.32 points, or 0.05 percent, at 24,310.02, the S&P 500 was up 4.02 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,670.96 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 29.15 points, or 0.41 percent, at 7,147.82.

More than half the S&P 500 firms have reported first-quarter earnings so far, and 79.4 percent have topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. The latest estimate for earnings growth was 24.6 percent, up from about 18 percent at the start of season.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, the benchmark of global interest rates, retreated further from the 3 percent level, taking some pressure off equities.

Data showed that the U.S. economy's growth slowed in the first quarter to an annual rate of 2.3 percent as consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in nearly five years.

The Jan-March quarter numbers tend to be soft because of a seasonal quirk and Federal Reserve officials are likely to shrug off the weak data.

Sprint surged more than 9 percent after Reuters reported, citing sources, the company and fellow wireless carrier T-Mobile have made progress in negotiating merger terms and are aiming to successfully complete deal talks as early as next week.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 30 new lows.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)


PRECIOUS-Gold gains but remains vulnerable after Korean leaders meet - Reuters News

27-Apr-2018 09:06:07 PM

  • Gold on track for second weekly fall
  • Silver set for biggest weekly fall in nearly three months
  • Platinum hits four-month low

(Updates prices, adds comment on platinum/palladium spread)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Friday but is likely to revisit five-week lows after the prospect of a Korean denuclearisation deal eroded bullion's safe-haven appeal.

The leaders of South and North Korea embraced after pledging on Friday to work for the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,318.52 an ounce by 1245 GMT, not far from a low of $1,315.06 hit in the previous session, its weakest since March 21.

The metal was on track to finish the week down more than 1 percent for its second consecutive weekly decline and the biggest weekly drop in four.

U.S. gold futures added 0.1 percent to $1,319.40.

"We have the pictures from the meeting of the two Korean leaders today, showing geopolitical hotspots have calmed down massively, so there's scant argument to be bullish on gold at the moment," said Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Adding to the pressure on gold, the dollar was firmer, bond yields higher and spot gold slipped below its 100-day moving average, he said.

Activtrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said: "That's a very negative sign for technical oriented investors ... I expect gold to briefly dip below $1,300, but physical buying will kick in to support the price.

"The strength of the U.S. dollar - combined with the weakness of the eurozone currency after (ECB chief) Mario Draghi's speech - is pushing down the yellow metal."

The dollar hit a 3-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on higher U.S. yields while the euro was hampered by a dovish tone from the European Central Bank.

On Wednesday the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest since January 2014 at 3.035 percent.

A rise in U.S. bond yields pressures gold by reducing the attractiveness of non-yielding bullion, which is priced in dollars.

Silver rose 0.3 percent to $16.53 an ounce. It is down more than 3 percent this week, the biggest weekly drop since since the week ending Feb. 2.

Platinum dipped by 0.1 percent to $905.49 an ounce after touching $900.50, its weakest since Dec. 18.

Palladium eased by 0.5 percent to $979.60 an ounce. It has rallied nearly 10 percent since U.S. sanctions were imposed on Russian entities on April 6. Russia is the world's biggest producer of palladium.

The spread between platinum and palladium has widened to $75 from about $50 over the past three days.

"I expect the price gap between platinum and palladium to narrow again because palladium's rise was due to these unjustifed sanctions fears and the price weakness in platinum was exaggerated in the last few days," Fritsch said.


(Additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by Jane Merriman and David Goodman)




FOREX-Dollar on track for best week since 2016 despite slowing growth - Reuters News

27-Apr-2018 11:12:22 PM

  • Dollar has its best week since Nov. 2016
  • U.S. GDP rose 2.3 percent in Q1
  • Sterling at lowest since March 1 on weak GDP data

Updates news, rates and analyst comments

By Kate Duguid

- The dollar held steady on Friday despite a government report showing slower first-quarter economic growth, with the currency on track to end its strongest week since November 2016, having gained 1.6 percent.

On Tuesday, the U.S. benchmark government bond yield broke through the psychologically significant 3 percent level for the first time in more than four years as investors reduced their U.S. bond holdings on worries about rising inflation and growing government debt supply.

While Friday extended the week's gains, the dollar's move was muted by comparison, up just 0.1 percent at 91.625 against a basket of six currencies, its highest since Jan. 12.

"The market's taking a bit of a breather after some significant moves over the better part of last week," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange Inc, in Washington D.C.

The U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter as consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in nearly five years, the Commerce Department reported. But the setback is likely temporary against the backdrop of a tightening labor market and large fiscal stimulus.

While the dollar has ignored yield differentials for more than a year, with investors preferring to give greater weight to the momentum of economic recovery in other major economies, notably Europe, this week's spike in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields forced investors to acknowledge the widening yield differentials favoring the greenback.

"We're coming to a point now finally where the market is focusing more on the dollar's widening yield advantage over its major rivals, which has been in place for some time but has been largely ignored by investors," said Esiner.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields peaked at 3.03 percent on Wednesday. Short-dated U.S. yields hit a more-than- decade high of 2.51 percent on Wednesday.

Sterling was the biggest loser among major currencies on Friday as weaker-than-expected first-quarter growth numbers further whittled away at the likelihood of a rate hike next month.

The pound fell as low as $1.375 against the dollar, more than 1 percent weaker, after data showed Britain's economy grew at its slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012. Against the euro, the pound dropped as much as 1 percent to 87.85 pence.

The Japanese yen was little changed after the central bank's policy decision to keep its settings unchanged.

The dollar rose to a top of 109.53 yen Friday, the highest level since Feb. 8.

The euro, in which speculators held record long positions, fell to $1.205 on Friday, its lowest since Jan. 12.

(Reporting by Kate Duguid; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

20180426 Soybean Futures Technical View

Soybean Technical: 
Price recovers approaching Middle Bollinger Band. 
Overall, market seen stabilizing and could trade in congestion from here onward. 

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St set for gains as tech earnings impress, yields pull back - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 09:15:59 PM

  • Facebook eyes best day in 2 yrs after Q1 results
  • Chipmakers boosted by strong Qualcomm, AMD results
  • General Motors slips on quarterly profit decline
  • Futures up: Dow 0.19 pct, S&P 0.28 pct, Nasdaq 0.76 pct

Adds comment, details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

April 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a positive start on Thursday, driven by strong earnings from Facebook and a handful of chipmakers, coupled with a slight retreat in bond yields.

The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite index was set to open more than 80 points higher and break its five-day losing streak, its longest since November 2016.

Facebook jumped 7.5 percent in premarket trading after the social networking company reported a 63 percent surge in first-quarter profit and a rise in users. There was no sign that business was hurt by a scandal over the mishandling of personal data, which unfolded in mid-March.

Visa rose 2.7 percent after the world's largest payments network topped Wall Street targets for quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Advanced Micro Devices and Qualcomm were up 10.3 percent and about 0.8 percent after the chipmakers posted quarterly results that beat Wall Street estimates, easing concerns about weak demand for smartphones after some Asian peers warned of slower growth.

Intel, set to report after market closes on Thursday, was up 2.0 percent.

"We are right in the thick of earnings season and some of them have been a bit of a surprise," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Despite strong results from most U.S. firms that have reported so far, investors have been reacting to signs that rising inflation could take a toll on corporate profits.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, crossed the 3 percent level on Tuesday for the first time in four years, on an increase in federal borrowing, inflation concerns and bets on further rate increases by the Federal Reserve.

But the 10-year yield retreated slightly from 3 percent before markets opened.

"A slight pullback in yields is likely to give investors a chance to focus on corporate results," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

At 8:48 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.19 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.28 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 49.5 points, or 0.76 percent.

Of the 154 S&P 500 companies that reported first-quarter earnings as of Wednesday, 81.2 percent topped profit estimates. Analysts now expect earnings growth of 22 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares of the No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford jumped 2.4 percent after it outlined a plan to cut costs and boost profit margins at a faster pace than previously announced.

General Motors fell about 0.6 percent after the company reported a lower quarterly profit.

AT&T fell 4.4 percent after the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier reported a lower-than-expected profit as the company lost subscribers from its pay TV business.

Some of the other heavy-hitters reporting after market close include Amazon and Microsoft.


(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)




UPDATE 4-Oil rises as concern heats up over Iran sanctions, Venezuelan output - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 08:11:21 PM

  • Price gains built on likely U.S. sanctions against Iran
  • Falling Venezuelan output further tightens markets
  • But soaring U.S. crude output, exports hold back market

Updates with comment, refreshes prices

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Thursday, supported by expectations of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, declining output in Venezuela and continuing strong demand.

Brent crude oil futures were last up 90 cents at $74.90 a barrel at 1204 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 66 cents to $68.71 per barrel.

The oil price has risen by 15 percent in the last four weeks thanks to expectations that the United States will reimpose sanctions on Iran, a major oil producer and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he expected U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of a deal with Iran reached in 2015 in which the Islamic Republic suspended its nuclear programme in return for Western powers lifting crippling sanctions.

Trump will decide by May 12 whether to restore U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which would probably result in a reduction of Iranian oil exports.

"Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East, together with Venezuela's deteriorating macroeconomic situation, are supporting oil prices. It is widely anticipated that President Trump will pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, which is bullish for prices, said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics.

"However, (the) full impact of the move will not materialise unless it is supported by European allies of the U.S."

Venezuela's crude production has fallen from almost 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2016 to around 1.5 million bpd due to a political and economic crisis.

Plunging Venezuelan output and looming U.S. sanctions against Iran come against a backdrop of strong demand, above all in Asia, the world's biggest oil-consuming region.

However, not all market indicators point towards tighter supplies.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.2 million barrels in the week to April 20 to 429.74 million barrels.

U.S. crude production rose by 46,000 bpd on the previous week, to 10.59 bpd.

Soaring U.S. output has made WTI crude around $6 per barrel cheaper than Brent and drawn exports to record highs.

Dutch bank ING said "the wide discount for WTI to Brent saw exports rising 582,000 bpd week-on-week to a record high of 2.33 million bpd."

With U.S. output and exports surging, some analysts warn that the 20 percent climb in Brent prices since February is starting to look overdone.

"The market does look a little toppish," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Mark Heinrich)




PRECIOUS-Stronger dollar traps gold near five-week lows - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 08:25:31 PM

  • Dollar near 3-1/2 month high
  • U.S. 10-year Treasury yield above 3 pct
  • Market looks to ECB policy meeting, U.S. data

(Updates prices, adds polls)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices hovered near five-week lows on Thursday as higher U.S. bond yields and a stronger dollar dampened interest in bullion.

Worries about growing supply of U.S. government debt and inflationary pressures from rising oil prices this week pushed U.S. 10-year bond yields above 3 percent for the first time in four years.

That has reduced the attraction of non-yielding gold and helped to thrust the dollar to its strongest since January, making bullion more expensive for users of other currencies.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,324.12 an ounce by 1310 GMT. On Wednesday gold touched its lowest since March 21 at $1,318.51.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,325.10.

Interest from physical buyers and technical support at gold's 100-day moving average of $1,319.55 was helping to prevent further falls.

"At these low (price) levels, the market could now attract some physical buying interest," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.

"The market has a very good (physical) support at around $1,310-$1,315."

Gold has been stuck in a trading range between about $1,360 and $1,310 since hitting a 1-1/2 year high of $1,366.07 in January.

It is supported by geopolitical uncertainty, which has fuelled demand for gold as a safe haven, but prevented from moving higher by fears of rising U.S. interest rates that would push up bond yields and strengthen the dollar.

U.S. GDP and inflation data on Friday could give new direction to prices, said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.

Stronger than expected economic growth or inflation would hurt gold by bolstering expectations of more rapid increases to interest rates.

Investors were also watching the European Central Bank on Thursday for clues on when it will signal an end-date for its 2.55 trillion euro ($3.2 trillion) asset-buying programme.

Analysts and traders polled by Reuters this month said that gold would average $1,334 an ounce this year and $1,352 an ounce next year, barely shifting from its current price.

They expected silver, which was up 0.2 percent at $16.55 an ounce on Thursday, to fare better, averaging $17.28 an ounce this year and $18 next year.

In other precious metals, platinum was up 0.3 percent at $906.30 and palladium slipped 0.3 percent to $973.97.

Analysts and traders polled by Reuters expected average prices of both metals to be higher this year and next.


(Additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)



CBOT Trends-Soy up 3-5 cents, wheat down 2-4 cents, corn steady-down 1 cent - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 09:14:01 PM

CHICAGO, April 26 (Reuters) - Following are U.S. trade expectations for the resumption of grain and soy complex trading at the Chicago Board of Trade at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 GMT) on Thursday.

NOTE: Monday is the first notice day for CBOT May contracts.



WHEAT - Down 2 to 4 cents per bushel

  • Profit-taking setback expected for soft red winter wheat and hard red winter wheat contracts after most-active CBOT wheat contract rallied to highest in nearly seven weeks on Wednesday. Rainfall in the U.S. Plains also pressuring wheat market.
  • Spring wheat supported by cold soil temperatures that are delaying planting in northern Plains.
  • The U.S. Agriculture Department said weekly export sales of wheat totaled 577,900 tonnes, above the high end of market expectations.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last traded down 3 cents at $4.96 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat was last down 3-1/4 cents at $5.23-1/4 and MGEX July spring wheat was 1-1/2 cents higher at $6.08 a bushel.

CORN - Steady to down 1 cent per bushel

  • Easing after hitting nine-month high on Wednesday but declines kept in check after benchmark CBOT July contract found technical support at 20-day moving average overnight. Concerns about slow pace of planting underpinning prices.
  • USDA reported weekly corn export sales of 620,500 tonnes. Analyst forecasts had ranged from 1 million to 1.6 million tonnes.
  • CBOT July corn last traded down 1/2 cent at $3.95-1/4 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Up 3 to 5 cents per bushel

  • Technical buying expected after prices broke through weekly high overnight. Concerns about export demand limit buying in soybean futures. Resistance for CBOT July soybean futures noted at 30-day moving average.
  • USDA report showed weekly soybean export sales of 537,800 tonnes, well below forecasts that ranged from 800,000 to 1.4 million tonnes. A week ago, soybean export sales totaled 2.13 million tonnes.
  • CBOT July soybeans last traded up 4 cents at $10.43-1/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Mark Weinraubd; editing by Jonathan Oatis)




VEGOILS-Palm oil drops to one-week low on slowing demand - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 07:16:59 PM

  • Palm hits one-week low of 2,387 rgt/T
  • Lack of bullish news weighs on market - trader
  • Palm oil neutral in 2,392-2,415 rgt/T range

Updates with closing prices, quotes

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended lower on Thursday evening, having slipped to the bottom of their recent trading range, as weakening demand kept the tone bearish.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.3 percent at 2,389 ringgit ($610.22) a tonne at the close of trade. Earlier in the session, it dropped to 2,387 ringgit, its lowest since April 18.

Palm saw two consecutive sessions of losses before it ended flat on Wednesday, as it was range-trading on lacklustre export data.

Trading volumes stood at 19,019 lots of 25 tonnes each on Thursday evening.

"There are no bullish factors, hence the market is sluggish," said a Kuala Lumpur based trader, while another added that the market was down on "concerns with poor export demand."

Malaysian palm oil shipments for April 1-25 fell 0.8-2.5 percent compared with the corresponding period last month, according to data from independent inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia and cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance.

Palm oil looks neutral in a range of 2,392-2,415 ringgit per tonne, and an escape could suggest a direction, according to Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

In other related oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract was trading flat, while the September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange declined 0.6 percent.

The Dalian September palm oil contract dipped 0.1 percent.

Palm oil is impacted by movements in rival edible oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.


 (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Elaine Hardcastle)




Euro rallies to day highs as Draghi shrugs aside slowdown, bond yields fall - Reuters News

26-Apr-2018 09:13:24 PM

- The euro rebounded to the day's highs on Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi presented a relatively confident outlook of the eurozone economy, contrary to some expectations that he would take a more cautious stance after recent weak data.

But the currency's gains were largely marginal with core European bond yields dipping after Draghi acknowledged that measures of underlying inflation remained subdued.

After briefly falling to its lowest since mid-January at $1.2145 after the ECB's decision to keep policy unchanged, the single currency rebounded and was trading 0.3 percent up at the day's highs of $1.2210 after Draghi played down concern over recent softness in data.

Euro zone government bond yields dipped after Draghi said there had been an "unexpected decline" in some economic indicators, with Germany's 10-year bond yield down 3 basis points on the day at 0.607 percent.

Euro zone stocks gave back some of their earlier gains, to trade up 0.4 percent as the euro gained. Euro zone banks gave back all their earlier gains to trade flat.

(Reporting by the London Markets Team; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Dow futures erase losses after strong Boeing results - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 09:04:04 PM

  • Boeing jumps after upbeat results, profit raise
  • Comcast shares drop after $31 bln offer for Sky
  • Twitter busiest stock following second profitable quarter
  • Futures: Dow up 10 pts, S&P off 7.25 pts, Nasdaq off 10.75 pts

Adds details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

April 25 (Reuters) - Dow Jones Industrial Average futures erased losses on Wednesday after Boeing reported strong results and forecast, but concerns about rising U.S. bond yields and corporate costs continued to weigh on U.S. stocks.

Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker, rose 2.1 percent after it reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast for earnings and cash flow.

The blue-chip Dow was on track to open 16 points higher, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were on track for slight losses.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, the benchmark for global interest rates, held above 3 percent after crossing the level for the first time in four years on Tuesday, stoking concerns about higher borrowing rates for companies.

Alphabet's shares fell after the company said it expected a surge in costs on Monday, while Caterpillar noted first-quarter earnings would be the "high water mark" for the year and warned of higher material costs.

Investors are watchful about other companies raising such warnings, as inflation is picking up and the Federal Reserve is in no mood to put the brakes on its own rate-hike program.

"The markets are reacting to yields moving higher," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. "The new trading range will continue to cap equities from positively responding to good earnings news."

Reuters data shows that analysts are now estimating 21.1 percent profit growth in the first quarter among the S&P 500 companies, compared with 18.6 percent growth rate at the start of the earnings season.

At 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.04 percent, with 53,518 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were down 7.25 points, or 0.28 percent, with 203,956 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 10.75 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 71,813 contracts.

The CBOE Volatility index, a gauge of short-term stock market volatility jumped to more than 1-week high to 18.56 points.

Comcast fell 1.9 percent after the U.S. cable company submitted a $31 billion offer for pay-TV group Sky, challenging an already agreed but lower takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's Fox.

Viacom rose 1.23 percent after the media company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.)

Twitter jumped 4.2 percent after reporting its second profitable quarter and topping Wall Street estimates for revenue and monthly active users.

Facebook which is set to report after market closes on Wednesday, was edged up 0.5 percent.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)




UPDATE 6-Oil hovers near $74 a barrel, U.S. bonds, crude supply cast a shadow - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 07:42:04 PM

  • Oil prices in April hit highest levels since Q4 2014
  • Brent forward prices are above $70/bbl until end of 2018
  • OPEC-led cuts, political risk, strong demand have lifted oil
  • But rising U.S. supplies dragging on markets

Updates prices

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Oil eased on Wednesday, but held in sight of three-year highs reached the previous day, as rising U.S. fuel inventories and production weighed on an otherwise bullish market.

Overall, the environment for oil is bullish. Supplier cutbacks, steady demand growth, geopolitical tensions and a favourable structure in the futures market have attracted record investment in oil this year.

A rise in U.S. government borrowing costs to their highest since 2013 this week has tempered some investor appetite for risk, but analysts said they believed Brent crude may have another attempt at marking new 2018 highs above $75 a barrel.

Weekly data on Tuesday that showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories also subdued the oil price somewhat.

Brent crude oil futures were down 14 cents at $73.72 a barrel at 1128 GMT, some 2 percent below the November 2014 high of $75.47 reached on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 4 cents at $67.66 a barrel.

"There's a good chance we try again to break $75 again. We still have all the different soundbites on Iran and the May 12 deadline is coming up," Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said, referring to an upcoming date by which the United States has said it will withdraw from a nuclear deal with Iran if the other signatories to the deal do not meet certain conditions.

The prospect of fresh sanctions on Tehran and disruption to the country's oil flows has helped push the oil price to its highest since late 2014 this month.

"Market sentiment is turning increasingly bullish towards the commodity," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at futures brokerage FXTM.

Despite this, Otunga said "the sustainability of the rally is a concern" as it was fuelled largely by political risk in the Middle East.

Money managers hold record positions in Brent crude futures and options, lured in by the hefty premium of the front-month June contract over subsequent months that makes it profitable to invest in crude over the longer term.

Because of the tighter market, the forward curve for Brent  is now above $70 per barrel until the end of 2018, and prices are above $60 per barrel through 2020.

But the rise in Treasury yields above 3 percent has driven the value of the U.S. dollar to three-month highs, which may pose a threat to a more pronounced rally in the crude price.

Although the oil price and the dollar have moved in tandem for the last few weeks, the two generally tend to trade in the opposite direction, as a stronger dollar encourages non-U.S. investors to sell oil and crude-importing countries to curtail their purchases.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by David Evans and Louise Heavens)




PRECIOUS-Gold falls on strong dollar and higher U.S. yields - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 08:32:39 PM

  • Dollar index up 0.2 percent
  • Palladium down for a third straight day

 (Updates prices, adds ETFs)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Gold slumped to a five-week low on Wednesday as the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields jumped on robust U.S. data and signs of an easing in the U.S.-China trade conflict.

The benchmark U.S 10-year Treasury yields rose to 3 percent for the first time in more than four years, reflecting the durability of the U.S. economic expansion after U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April and new home sales increased more than expected in March.

But higher yields on bonds make gold a less attractive investment because it pays no interest.

Meanwhile, there was a decline in political risk after the United States said it would likely reach a trade agreement with China and that officials from both sides would sit down for negotiations in a few days.

"Recently there has been some optimism that the U.S-China trade war isn't going to be as big of an issue," said Natixis precious metals analyst Bernard Dahdah.

"There is a bit more confidence in the U.S. and that negatively affects gold, naturally, in terms of geopolitics."

Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1,319.90 per ounce, as of 1222 GMT, its lowest since March 21. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.8 percent to $1,321.50 per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.4 percent.

World stocks were down for the fifth straight session on Wednesday.

In other geopolitical news, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is due to hold a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Friday, and is expected to meet with Trump in late May or early June.

"As traders put geopolitical and trade risk in the rear-view mirror for the time being, how the dollar flourishes and wilts will be the primary driver of near-term gold sentiment," said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head, OANDA.

Gold is often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

But investor appetite has been climbing as holdings in gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) rose to the highest since 2013. [0#ETFHLD=XAU]

"As the Goldilocks market environment draws to a close, investor interest in gold has picked up," said TS Lombard in a note, referring to an economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession.

In other precious metals, spot silver dropped 1 percent to $16.54 an ounce, and platinum eased 0.8 percent to $918.90 an ounce.

Palladium fell for a third straight session, down 0.9 percent at $966.10 an ounce.


(Additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by Hugh Lawson and Alexandra Hudson)




CBOT Trends-Soybeans up 2-4 cents; corn, wheat up 1-3 cents - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 09:17:29 PM

CHICAGO, April 25 (Reuters) - Following are U.S. trade expectations for the resumption of grain and soy complex trading at the Chicago Board of Trade at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 GMT) on Wednesday.


WHEAT - Up 1 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Technical buying expected to underpin wheat prices after CBOT May soft red winter wheat contract found support overnight at 200-day moving average. Gains kept in check by strong dollar, weak export demand.
  • CBOT May soft red winter wheat last traded up 1-1/2 cents at $4.74 per bushel. K.C. May hard red winter wheat was last up 3 cents at $4.95-1/2 and MGEX May spring wheat  was 1/4 cent higher at $5.93 a bushel.

CORN - Up 1 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Follow-through buying from Tuesday's gains expected after market closed near session highs. CBOT May corn futures rose through 30-day and 50-day averages during overnight trading. Expectations for a speedy planting pace in the coming weeks seen limiting strength.
  • CBOT May corn last traded up 1-3/4 cents at $3.83 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Up 2 to 4 cents per bushel

  • Bargain buying seen pushing soybean futures higher after market hit 2-1/2 week low on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Tuesday that the United States would likely reach a trade agreement with China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, lent further support.
  • CBOT May soybeans last traded up 3-1/2 cents at $10.25-3/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Mark Weinraub; editing by Jonathan Oatis)




VEGOILS-Palm closes flat after range-trading on weak export data - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 07:09:02 PM

  • Market previously declined for two consecutive sessions
  • Malaysia April 1-25 exports down 0.8-2.5 pct - AmSpec Malaysia, SGS
  • Palm prices seen under pressure ahead of data releases - trader

Updates with closing prices

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures ended flat on Wednesday evening, previously charting two earlier sessions of declines, as it traded in a tight range due to lacklustre export data.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange edged up slightly at the midday break, but eased gains to close flat at 2,397 ringgit ($613.04) a tonne at the end of the trading day.

Trading volumes stood at 34,768 lots of 25 tonnes each at the close of trade.

"The market is waiting for leads... But as data starts coming in, palm will be under pressure," said a Kuala Lumpur-based trader.

"The export figures are not encouraging," another trader said.

The traders were referring to export data from independent inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia and cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS), which was posted earlier in the day.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil products for April 1-25 fell 0.8 percent compared with the corresponding period last month, according to AmSpec.

Meanwhile, SGS reported a 2.5 percent decline for the same duration.

In other related oils, Chicago's July soybean oil contract slipped 0.03 percent, while September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange edged up 0.4 percent.

The Dalian September palm oil contract rose 0.04 percent.

Palm oil is impacted by movements in rival edible oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.

 (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Louise Heavens)




UPDATE 1-China 2018 corn acreage seen down at least 333,000 hectares - Agriculture ministry - Reuters

25-Apr-2018 11:19:57 AM

  • Corn acreage to fall almost 1 percent
  • Rice planting in north-east also down
  • Coarse grains, beans area expanding
  • Recent rainfall benefits wheat crop

Adds context, industry details

BEIJING, April 25 (Reuters) - China's 2018 corn planting acreage will fall by more than 5 million mu, or 333,000 hectares, an agriculture ministry official said in a briefing on Wednesday, even as officials have forecast an increase in output for the upcoming crop.

The production decline represents less than 1 percent of China's estimated corn acreage last year, or around 35.4 million hectares.

The decline is part of a push by Beijing to reduce excess stocks of its key grains like corn and rice. In 2016 it said it wanted to reduce corn acreage in areas covering 13 provinces and regions extending from the frozen far northeast, the parched northwest and the desertified southwest by about 3.3 million hectares by 2020.

But many expect corn output will still increase in the coming year, as supportive prices encourage farmers to plant more.

Last week experts forecast a 1 percent increase in output to 218 million tonnes.

Rice planting in the north-east will also fall by 1.4 million mu, or 93,333 hectares, while planted area of coarse grains and legumes will increase by around 1 million mu, or 66,600 hectares, said Pan Wenbo, deputy director of the planting department under Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Overall, planting of summer grain crops is progressing smoothly, Pan told reporters, according to an online broadcast of the briefing.

Growth of winter wheat is also seen as "near normal", said Pan, with plentiful rainfall since April boosting soil moisture ahead of the summer harvest.


(Reporting by Dominique Patton
Editing by Eric Meijer and Kenneth Maxwell)




GRAINS-Wheat extends gains, prices of soybean, corn face pressure from U.S. weather - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 07:16:53 PM

  • Wheat up for second day after Tuesday's one-week low
  • Soybeans, corn up but prices seen facing weather pressure

Updates prices, adds quote

By Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide

SINGAPORE/PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat futures rose for a second session on Wednesday as investors covered short positions and looked for bargains, although plentiful world supplies capped gains.

Soybean and corn prices also gained ground, but both markets expected to remain under pressure as crop-friendly warm weather boosts planting across the U.S. Midwest.

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract was up 0.7 percent at $4.87-1/2 a bushel by 1100 GMT. In the previous session, it closed 2 percent higher after hitting a one-week low of $4.67-3/4 a bushel during the trade.

Soybeans added 0.5 percent to $10.39 a bushel and corn gained 0.4 percent at $3.91-1/2 a bushel.

"There is some short-covering and bargain-buying in the wheat market," said one India-based commodities analyst. "People are looking to determine the extent of damage to the U.S. winter crop."

The U.S. winter wheat crop has faced dry weather this year although ample global supplies are expected to keep a lid on prices.

The Black Sea region, a key supplier of wheat to top importing countries, is on track for another year of bumper production.

Corn and soybean prices are expected to be weighed down by forecasts for warmer weather that should allow farmers to pick up the pace of planting of spring crops after a slow start.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday that 5 percent of the U.S. corn crop was planted, as of Sunday, well behind the five-year average and lagging market expectations. Soybean planting was 2 percent complete.

"Weather conditions on the Corn Belt will be closely monitored in the coming days and could push the market in case of prolonged delay of spring sowings," French consultancy Agritel said in a note.

Concerns about slowing soybean exports continued to hang over the market amid a trade dispute between the United States and top buyer China.

The USDA said on Tuesday morning that private exporters reported the sale of 130,000 tonnes of soybeans to Argentina. There have been no announcements of deals with China in two weeks.

Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean and soymeal contracts on Tuesday, traders said, but were net sellers of soyoil futures.

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral and Sybille de La Hamaide
Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)




FOREX-Firm bond yields push dollar to 4-month high; euro struggles - Reuters News

25-Apr-2018 08:02:58 PM

  • Dollar rises on U.S. yields, euro falls
  • Investors focus on ECB meeting

Adds quotes, context, updates figures

By Tom Finn

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a four-month high on Wednesday after a rise in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields above 3 percent rattled some currency bears and led investors to consider whether the greenback was breaking out of a prolonged weak spell.

The U.S. 10-year treasury yield has risen to its highest in more than four years, driven by worries about the growing supply of government debt and inflationary pressures from rising oil prices.

That has caused U.S.-Japan and U.S.-German yield differentials to widen further in the dollar's favour, leaving the yen and the euro lower.

The dollar's performance against a basket of major currencies rose to as high as 91.117 in early London trade, its strongest level since Jan. 12. The dollar index last stood at 91.130, up 0.4 percent on the day.

Analysts on Wednesday saw signs the dollar could be breaking higher after months of relative weakness.

"With the impact on risk appetite of a continued tightening of Fed policy and the possibility that the pace of growth in many countries may moderate... there is evidence to suggest the dollar could strengthen," said Rabobank FX strategist Jane Foley in a note.

But other analysts said net long dollar positions had not risen significantly in recent weeks, despite trade tensions waning.

U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product data due on Friday could determine whether the dollar extends its gains further.

In January, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a lower greenback was "good for us" in a break from previous White House administrations' public stance for a stronger U.S. currency.

A weak dollar is seen helping U.S. exporters to compete abroad but could undermine the greenback's status as the world's top reserve currency.



The dollar's gains on Wednesday drove the euro down past the two-month low hit on Tuesday because of concerns that firmer U.S. yields would reduce demand for the region's bonds at a time when hedge funds have amassed record long euro bets.

Investors are focused on whether a European Central Bank monetary policy meeting on Thursday will see the euro-dollar exchange rate break out of its recent tight range.

Analysts say the market needs clarity about the speed of the ECB's monetary tightening cycle before the euro, which rallied at the start of this year before running out of steam in the last two months, breaks higher.

In early 2018 traders bet that synchronised global growth would force the ECB to accelerate monetary policy normalisation.

But the ECB's reluctance so far to signal any shift leaves the "euro's gains against the dollar vulnerable to setbacks", said Commerzbank analyst Thu Lan Nguyen in a note.

Nguyen said the euro-dollar exchange rate continues to be dominated mainly by moves in the U.S. dollar.

The rise in bond yields also weakened Asian emerging market currencies versus the dollar on Wednesday, with the Chinese yuan down and the Indonesian rupiah trading near a two-year low of 13,895 per dollar.

Against the yen, the dollar hit a two-month high of 109.270 yen.

Easing concerns over global political risks weighed on the Japanese currency, market participants said, as the yen tends to attract demand in times of economic uncertainty and market turmoil, and sell off when confidence returns.

(Editing by Gareth Jones)