Thursday, May 31, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as trade concerns temper Italy optimism - Reuters News

31-May-2018 09:12:47 PM

  • April core PCE up 0.2 pct; Consumer spending up 0.6 pct
  • Sears, Dollar Tree, Dollar General slump after results
  • SoftBank to invest in GM's autonomous vehicle unit
  • Futures up: Dow 6 pts, S&P 1 pt, Nasdaq 7 pts

Adds comment, adds details, updates prices

By Medha Singh

May 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open flat on Thursday as optimism over renewed efforts in Italy to form a government were countered by worries of a looming trade war with the European Union.

Washington is set to announce plans to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports as early as Thursday morning, sources said, while the U.S. commerce secretary said any escalation of their trade dispute would depend on the bloc's reaction.

Shares of Steel Dynamics, AK Steel and US Steel gained between 3.3 percent and 4.4 percent and aluminum maker Alcoa rose 2.3 percent in premarket trading.

Another big gainer was General Motors, which surged 11.3 percent after Japan's SoftBank Group decided to invest $2.25 billion in its autonomous vehicle unit.

Friction between the United States and its trading partners have roiled financial markets, especially after U.S. President Donald Trump in March decided to impose 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

"If it (tariffs) happens, eventually that could be a problem because we have to see retaliation. For now, it's already in the markets," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

"Basically there is a sense of relief that Italian situation is not going to lead to a major euro crisis."

Markets rebounded on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 recovering its losses from the previous session, helped by renewed efforts to form a government and avoid new elections.

At 8:56 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.02 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 1 points, or 0.04 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.1 percent.

Data showed that U.S. consumer spending jumped 0.6 percent in April, the biggest gain in five months and above Reuters' estimate of 0.4 percent rise, in the latest sign that economic growth was regaining momentum early in the second quarter.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the Federal Reserve's favored measure of inflation which excludes the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.2 percent in April.

That left the year-on-year increase in the so-called core PCE price index at 1.8 percent, below the central bank's 2 percent target.

Among other stocks, Micron slipped 2.9 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to "equal-weight".

Struggling department store operator Sears Holdings slid 7.2 percent after its quarterly profit slumped nearly 30 percent.

Dollar General declined about 7 percent and Dollar General dropped 8.3 percent after both discount retailers missed Wall Street estimates for their quarterly same-store sales.


(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)




PRECIOUS-Gold gains on weaker dollar, capped by fading Italy tensions - Reuters News

31-May-2018 07:59:46 PM

  • Gold headed for second straight monthly decline
  • Silver, platinum, palladium set for monthly gains

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged up on Thursday as a dollar rally came off the boil, though upside momentum in the precious metal, seen as a safe haven asset, was capped by an easing of political tensions in Italy.

Italy's two anti-establishment parties have renewed attempts to form a government and avoid snap elections that investors fear would serve as a quasi-referendum on Rome's membership of the euro zone.

Italian bonds and European equities posted a second day of gains, while the dollar fell for a second day versus the euro, making dollar priced gold cheaper for non-U.S. investors.

The euro's rise came as two polls in Italy showed 60-72 percent of respondents wanted the country to remain part of the euro zone.

"The dollar should remain in the driving seat for gold," said Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer.

"We have a euro dollar target of $1.10 in three months' time which should keep a lid on gold, assuming this political uncertainty doesn't escalate into a wider discussion about the existence of the euro zone or the euro."

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,305.28 per ounce at 1156 GMT, but was down 0.7 percent for the month, in what could be its second straight monthly decline.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery were 0.3 percent higher at $1,304.80 per ounce.

Helping gold were escalating trade tensions.

Washington will announce plans to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports on Thursday, sources said. The EU has said it does not want a trade war but will respond if Washington imposes tariffs.

China said on Wednesday it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war, days ahead of a planned visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), New York's SPDR Gold Trust GLD, were unchanged on Wednesday from Tuesday, while the largest silver-backed ETF, New York's iShares Silver Trust SLV, rose 0.65 percent.

Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $16.57 an ounce and platinum gained 0.8 percent to $913.20 an ounce.

Both metals were headed for a monthly rise of about 1 percent, their biggest since January.

Palladium was 0.3 percent higher at $986 an ounce and was headed for its biggest monthly gain since December, climbing over 2 percent.


(Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)



METALS-Zinc, copper dip as inventories rise; China data lifts others - Reuters News

31-May-2018 08:30:00 PM

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Copper and zinc slipped on Thursday after inventories rose, indicating supplies were healthy, while other metals were supported by strong manufacturing data in top metals consumer China.

Zinc inventories in warehouses certified by the London Metal Exchange jumped 7 percent in one day to 245,750 tonnes, the highest since November. They have also surged 84 percent since late February.

"There's certainly inventory out there and with a more restrained import appetite into China so far this year, it's not surprising that you've see some metal showing up in LME warehouses," said Nicholas Snowdon, metals analyst at Deutsche Bank in London.

"Overall, however, the trends in the zinc market have been quite encouraging in China over the past few weeks, namely stock draws and the import arb opening up," he added.

Other metals gained after data in China showed its vast manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in eight months in May, blowing past expectations and easing concerns about an economic slowdown.

"The macro and metals data we've seen out of China over the course of May has been on the positive side, providing a clear balance to the negative macro risks that have developed ex-China," Snowdon added.


* ZINC: LME benchmark zinc failed to trade in official open outcry activity and was bid down 0.7 percent at $3,107 a tonne, pulling back from a one-month high of $3,189.50 after the LME stocks data was released.

* COPPER STOCKS: LME copper on-warrant inventories - those stocks not earmarked for delivery - jumped 19 percent in one day to 226,675 tonnes.

* COPPER: LME copper eased 0.1 percent to trade at$6,823 a tonne in official rings, off an intraday peak of $6,895.50.

* COPPER SPREADS: LME time spreads in copper had been tightening, with the discount of the cash contract to three-month futures moving to $9.50 a tonne by Wednesday's close from a $34.75 discount on May 21.

The move was a result of investors covering short spread positions, Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

* NICKEL: LME nickel, the best performing LME metal this year, was bid up 0.5 percent at $15,205 a tonne, the highest since April 19.

The most-traded July nickel contract in Shanghai closed up 2.5 percent at 114,820 yuan ($17,933.62) a tonne, having earlier touched 114,870 yuan, its highest level since May 2015.

"Nickel in particular has returned to favour with investors, as the dynamics of weak supply growth amid signs of stronger demand from the (electric vehicle) market has spurred buying," ANZ wrote in a note.

* PRICES: LME aluminium traded up 0.7 percent at $2,285 a tonne in official activity, lead gained 1 percent to trade at $2,458 and tin was bid up 0.6 percent to $20,700.

 (Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing
Editing by Edmund Blair)




VEGOILS-Palm benchmark falls on weak demand outlook - Reuters News

31-May-2018 07:26:25 PM

  • Palm down 0.45 percent on weak demand
  • Malaysia's May exports down 8.8 pct - AmSpec

Updates with closing prices

By Fransiska Nangoy

JAKARTA, May 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil benchmark futures fell on Thursday as a weak demand outlook continued to put pressure on prices of the vegetable oil.

The palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.45 percent to 2,429 ringgit ($610.61) a tonne by the close.

Traded volume stood at 32,308 lots of 25 tonnes each.

The contract erased some of its 0.91 percent gain from a day earlier after it rebounded from a three-week low.

"Weakness in demand is putting a lid on the prices," a Kuala Lumpur-based palm trader said.

Malaysia's palm oil exports in May were lower at around 1.2 million tonnes, down 8.8 percent from April's shipments, independent inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) said the country's May palm oil exports fell 9.9 percent.

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, the world's largest palm oil planter by land holdings, estimated crude palm oil prices to be within a range of 2,400 to 2,500 ringgit per tonne next month.

In Indonesia, the world's top palm oil exporter, shipments of palm and palm kernel oils fell 13.6 percent in April, data from the Indonesia Palm Oil Association showed.

In related vegetable oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract traded 0.2 percent higher, while the September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 0.3 percent.

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


(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Adrian Croft)




U.S. Natgas futures rise ahead of weekly storage report - Reuters News

31-May-2018 08:32:31 PM

- U.S. natural gas futures edged higher on Thursday on concerns storage builds in coming weeks will not be big enough to offset the massive storage deficit before next winter.

Analysts said utilities likely added 102 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage during the week ended May 25, the biggest injection for that week since 2015.

That compares with increases of 80 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year average build of 97 bcf for the period.

If correct, the latest increase would boost stockpiles to 1.731 trillion cubic feet (tcf), still 22.2 percent below the five-year average of 2.225 tcf for this time of year and the lowest for the week since 2014.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.

Front-month gas futures were up 4.8 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $2.933 per million British thermal units at 8:15 a.m.

For the month, the front-month was on track to rise about 6 percent, which would be its third monthly gain in a row and its biggest monthly increase since August 2017.

Traders noted prices were up despite the latest forecasts for less warm weather and lower air-conditioning demand next week than previously forecast.

Meteorologists forecast temperatures will remain higher than normal through at least the middle of June, just not as hot as previously forecast.

Thomson Reuters analysts cut their forecast for gas demand in the Lower 48 U.S. states to 72.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) next week from the previous forecast of 73.2 bcfd on Wednesday.

That compares with projected usage of 71.5 bcfd this week and 69.5 bcfd last week on expectations LNG exports will start to rise soon.

The amount of gas going to the Sabine Pass and Cove Point LNG export terminals has averaged just 2.8 bcfd since the middle of May because of what traders said were unconfirmed reports of maintenance at Sabine Pass. That was down from a high of around 3.7 bcfd earlier in the month.

Production in the Lower 48 states has averaged a record 79.3 bcfd over the past 30 days. On a daily basis, output increased to an all-time high of 80.1 bcfd on Sunday, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)




POLL-U.S. Natgas stocks seen rising 102 bcf in week ended May 25 - Reuters News

31-May-2018 08:45:00 PM

Repeats item originally published on May 30 with no change to text

- U.S. utilities likely injected a higher-than-normal 102 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas into storage during the week ended May 25, amid record production, a poll of analysts showed on Wednesday.

That compares with a year-earlier build of 80 bcf and a five-year average build of 97 bcf for the corresponding period. In the week ended May 18, utilities added 91 bcf to storage.

If correct, this week's build would boost stockpiles to 1.731 trillion cubic feet (tcf), the lowest for the week since 2014. That would be about 31 percent below the level in the same week a year ago and around 22 percent below the five-year average.

Production in the Lower 48 states has averaged a record 79.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) over the past 30 days. On a daily basis, output increased to an all-time high of 80.1 bcfd on Sunday, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.

The forecast build last week came despite warmer than normal weather that boosted the amount of gas power generators burned to meet higher air conditioning demand.

There were 49 cooling degree days (CDDs) last week compared with 33 CDDs in the same week a year ago and a 30-year normal of 36 CDDs.

CDDs, which measure the number of degrees a day's average temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), are used to estimate demand to cool homes and businesses.

The Reuters poll had 19 participants, with estimates ranging from injections of 88 bcf to 107 bcf, and a median build of 102 bcf.

Early estimates for the week ending June 1 ranged from builds of 75 bcf to 97 bcf, with an average forecast for an increase of 83 bcf.

That compared with a build of 103 bcf for the same week last year and a five-year average increase of 104 bcf.

The following is a list of the poll's participants; all figures are in bcf:



GMP FirstEnergy


Thomson Reuters Supply Chain & Commodities Research (SC&CR)


ARM Energy


Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics


PIRA Energy


Raymond James


Energy Aspects




Schneider Electric


Tradition Energy


Energy Ventures Analysis


Macquarie Group


Price Futures Group


First Enercast




Stephen Smith Energy


Citi Futures


SMC Report


C H Guernsey



(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; editing by Scott DiSavino and Chizu Nomiyama)




UPDATE 4-Brent rallies to trade at largest premium to U.S. crude since 2015 - Reuters News

31-May-2018 08:37:09 PM

  • Brent rises, WTI falls; spread widens to $10/bbl
  • API crude inventories higher, against expectations
  • Ahead of June 22 OPEC meeting, market is cautious

Updates throughout

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Brent crude prices reversed earlier losses to hit their biggest premium against U.S. futures in over three years on Thursday, as the prospect of more inventory increases weighed heavily on West Texas Intermediate prices.

At 1221 GMT, Brent crude futures were up 6 cents at $77.78 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slid 68 cents to $67.53 a barrel.

That pushed the premium of Brent to WTI beyond $10 a barrel, the largest since March 2015. That spread has doubled in less than a month, as a lack of pipeline capacity in the United States has trapped a lot of output inland.

"The Brent/WTI is blowing out. I think there must be what looks like some capitulation going on in the spread between those two contracts," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

The wider premium makes U.S. crude exports more competitive than those linked to the Brent price, such as North Sea or West African grades of oil.

U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels in the week to May 25, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). Analysts had expected a drop of 525,000 barrels, which dented U.S. futures earlier in the day.

Brent meanwhile slid to a three-week low below $75 a barrel on Monday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its non-OPEC allies including Russia indicated they could adjust their deal to curb supplies and increase production.

Sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia, the effective leader of OPEC, and Russia were discussing boosting output by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to compensate for losses in supply from Venezuela and to address concerns about the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranian output.

"The fact that we saw the Saudi/Russia announcement last week could have attracted some interest in narrowing the spread, given that we were looking for some of the geopolitical risk (in Brent) to be removed, but that's been overtaken by the domestic widening in crude prices in the U.S.," Hansen said.

Prices for physical barrels of U.S. light sweet crude delivered at Midland are at their largest discount to the benchmark U.S. futures price in almost four years.

"U.S. shale is alive and well and growing at an annual rate well in excess of 1 million bpd," consultant JBC Energy said in a report. "Growth is expected to remain in place, but widening crude differentials due to infrastructure bottlenecks do actually speak in favour of a slowdown in growth."

OPEC and non-OPEC producers have committed to cut output by 1.8 million bpd until the end of 2018 but will decide at a meeting in late June whether to prolong this.

"If this is a real correction, then the price should get down to the low $70s or even the mid-$60s," SEB chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said. "The market needs to be cautious ahead of the OPEC meeting."


(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Jane Chung in Seoul
Editing by Edmund Blair and Susan Fenton)



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

31-May-2018 09:27:31 PM

CHICAGO, May 31 (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: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly export sales report is delayed until Friday due to Monday's federal holiday.


WHEAT - Up 2 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Wheat firming in a light recovery bounce after the CBOT July contract dipped to $5.15-1/4 in early moves, its lowest in a week. The U.S. hard red winter wheat harvest is under way in portions of the southern Plains.
  • Ukraine's 2018 winter wheat harvest is likely to fall to 24 million tonnes from 25.4 million tonnes in 2017 due to extremely dry weather this spring, the head of the state weather forecasting department said.
  • Russia is expected to reduce its 2018 crop of winter wheat and rye by around 10 percent from a year ago due to dry weather, a state weather forecaster Hydrometcentre told Reuters.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last up 2-1/4 cents at $5.24-1/4 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat last traded up 2-1/4 cents at $5.43 and MGEX July spring wheat was up 7-1/2 cents at $6.19 a bushel.

CORN - Up 2 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Corn higher in a light recovery bounce a day after the CBOT July contract fell to $3.90-3/4 a bushel, its lowest since April 25, on better-than-expected initial U.S. crop ratings. Traders monitoring forecasts for warm weather in the Midwest next week.
  • China sold 2.4 million tonnes of corn at auction of state reserves, the National Grain Trade Center said.
  • The sales volume represents 61.74 percent of total corn available at the auction.
  • CBOT July corn last traded up 2-3/4 cents at $3.96-1/4 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Up 3 to 4 cents per bushel

  • Soybeans firm in a light rebound after a two-session sell-off tied to worries about U.S. trade relations with China, the world's biggest soy buyer.
  • Market underpinned by soy logistics issues in Brazil in the wake of a truckers' strike.
  • CBOT July soybeans last up 3 cents at $10.26 per bushel.


(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St set to recover after selloff driven by Italy turmoil - Reuters News

30-May-2018 09:17:16 PM

  • Italy renews attempt to form a government
  • U.S. private employers added less-than-expected jobs in May
  • First qtr GDP growth revised to 2.2 pct from prior 2.3 pct
  • HP Inc, gain on strong results
  • Futures up: Dow 0.51 pct, S&P 0.37 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct

Adds comment, adds details, changes prices

By Medha Singh

May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Wednesday, indicating a rebound from the steep selloff driven by a political crisis in Italy that had pushed the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials to their worst day in a month.

A renewed attempt to form a coalition government in Rome by the two anti-establishment parties, the 5-Star Movement and League, raised hopes that Europe's third largest economy could avoid a new election.

A surprise breakthrough to form a hung government would ease uncertainty, but still usher in a coalition planning to ramp up spending in the heavily indebted nation and push for changes to European Union and euro-zone fiscal rules.

Equity index futures pared some gains after the second revision to first-quarter GDP data showed U.S. economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought.

GDP grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said, instead of the previously reported 2.3 percent pace.

"It's a rebound from yesterday on hopes that there may be some agreement on forming a government. But these kind of perceptions are going to bounce back and forth," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg.

"Markets are a little bit fragile because it's a holiday week. That could lead to some sharp moves either way."

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 and the Dow posted their first 1 percent drop in May as investors scurried for safety assets such as U.S. bonds on fears of political instability in Italy.

At 8:58 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 125 points, or 0.51 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.37 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 14.75 points, or 0.21 percent.

ADP National Employment report showed U.S. private employers added 178,000 private sector jobs in May, below Reuters consensus view of 190,000.

Investors also kept a wary eye on the developments around tariffs and trade. In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said late on Tuesday it could still impose tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

China said on Wednesday it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war, days ahead of a planned visit by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Shares of big U.S. banks rose about 1 percent in premarket trading. The Federal Reserve is set to consider a proposal to modify the "Volcker Rule" at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The proposal, which marks another step by Trump administration regulators to ease banking rules, is aimed at preventing lenders from making market bets while accepting taxpayer-insured deposits.

Among stocks, cloud-based business software maker rose 4.9 percent, while computer and printer maker HP Inc jumped 4.2 percent after raising full-year profit forecasts.

Michael Kors slipped 5.0 percent after a disappointing yearly earnings forecast.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)




UPDATE 5-Oil rises to $76 as tight current supply in focus - Reuters News

30-May-2018 09:22:41 PM

  • Saudi, UAE, Kuwait ministers to meet this weekend-source
  • OPEC-led output curbs have pushed down inventories
  • U.S. crude stocks expected to show fall in weekly reports
  • OPEC meets on June 22

Updates prices

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Oil climbed to $76 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by tight supplies despite expectations OPEC and its allies will pump more in the second half of 2018 and helped by forecasts U.S. inventories fell.

Global benchmark Brent crude has dropped more than $4 from a 3 1/2-year high of $80.50 a barrel on May 17, after reports that OPEC and Russia may increase supply at a June meeting, reversing policy after 17 months of supply curbs.

Brent rose 83 cents to $76.22 a barrel by 1315 GMT, after trading as low as $74.81 earlier. U.S. crude was up 40 cents at $67.13.

"Fundamentally, not much has changed. Oil remains well supported, although the sweetspot has entered a mature phase," said Konstantinos Venetis, senior economist at TS Lombard.

"Some air is fizzling out of the market and position-squaring raises the likelihood of an overshooting to the downside in the run-up to OPEC's June meeting."

Political turmoil in Italy has sent the euro to a 10-month low against the dollar on concern a snap election would lead to a eurosceptic government in Rome. A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

"A dearth of bullish catalysts will make hard work of any recovery," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers led by Russia have had a pact to curb output by about 1.8 million barrels per day since January 2017, driving down inventories and pushing up oil prices.

Amid concerns the price rally has gone too far, Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil output by around 1 million bpd, sources told Reuters on May 25. OPEC meets in Vienna on June 22.

Still, some analysts remain cautious as the details have yet to be worked out. Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates meet this weekend, a source said.

"Clarity will likely take some time to emerge," said JBC Energy.

Lending some support to prices were expectations that U.S. crude inventories probably fell by 1.8 million barrels last week according to a Reuters poll.

Industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) releases its weekly supply report at 2030 GMT on Wednesday, followed by the official government data on Thursday.


(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh and Rania El Gamal
Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexandra Hudson)




PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady in face of robust dollar due to Italy crisis - Reuters News

30-May-2018 07:27:21 PM

  • Dollar near 6-1/2 month peak
  • Italy crisis sparks stock sell-off
  • China ready to fight back if U.S. ignites trade war

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Wednesday as concerns about political turmoil in Italy and over a trade conflict between China and the United States outweighed strength in the dollar.

Italy kept the dollar at 10-month highs versus the euro amid concerns that repeat elections may become a de-facto referendum on Italian membership of the currency bloc.

The turbulence underpinned gold due to its appeal as a store of value during political and financial uncertainty.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hovered near its 6-1/2 month peak from the previous session. A stronger dollar makes assets such as gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, curbing demand.

"There has been a little bit of support from what has been happening in Italy and the potential implications for the Eurozone from the Italian crisis," Capital Economics commodities economist Simona Gambarini said.

"But it doesn't seem like the worries are big enough to warrant an increase in prices," she said, adding that price support was slightly eroded by the potential for an interest rate increase in June by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields on Tuesday registered their largest one-day drop since Brexit nearly two years ago. Higher rates could dent demand for non-interest-paying gold.

Spot gold was barely changed at $1,297 per ounce by 1120 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,297 per ounce.

China on Wednesday lashed out at Washington's unexpected statement that it still holds the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, saying Beijing was ready to fight back in any trade war.

But Capital Economics' Gambarini said the potential trade war between China and the United States was mostly priced into gold, which would need an escalation or resolution to become a catalyst to prices again.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.35 percent to 851.45 tonnes on Tuesday.

In other precious metals, spot silver was steady at $16.40 an ounce.

Platinum fell 0.3 percent to $901.24 an ounce, while palladium was 0.2-percent higher at $981.


(Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru Editing by Alexander Smith/David Evans)




METALS-Copper slips as Italy crisis, U.S.-China trade row feed risk aversion - Reuters News

30-May-2018 08:11:17 PM

Updates with official prices

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Copper fell to a three-week low on Wednesday as a retreat in stock markets on worries over political turmoil in Italy kept up pressure on cyclical assets, offsetting a weaker dollar.

Concerns over the prospect of a U.S.-China trade war also simmered, weighing on appetite for stocks and industrial metals.

China warned on Wednesday that it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war. That came after the United States, in a change of tone, said it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China.

Given those pressures, copper is sliding towards the bottom of its recent range, Saxo Bank's head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen said.

"The U.S.-China trade spat seems to be hotting up again after yesterday's announcement from the White House," he said. "The global growth and demand outlook does not need a new political/financial crisis in Europe and a potential trade war between the world's two biggest economies."


* COPPER PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.6 percent at $6,815 a tonne in official trading, having earlier touched $6,727, its weakest since May 8.

* FINANCIAL MARKETS: Italy's political crisis and renewed trade war fears sent world stocks lower for the sixth day in a row on Wednesday.

* COPPER INVENTORIES: On-warrant copper stocks in London Metal Exchange warehouses - representing metal not earmarked for delivery - eased to 191,200 tonnes, data showed on Wednesday. That was the lowest level since January.

* INDIA SMELTER: Vedanta Resources is working on a legal challenge to an Indian state's closure of one of its copper smelters but will not proceed until tensions have eased over the deaths of 13 people during protests last week.

* TARIFFS: European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said she would seek a full exemption from new U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs when she meets her U.S. counterparts on Wednesday.

* ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium was 0.1 percent lower at $2,272 a tonne in official trading.

* ZINC STOCKS: On-warrant zinc stocks in LME warehouses eased to 195,225 tonnes, their lowest in a month. The proportion of cancelled warrants - metal earmarked for delivery and therefore not available to the market - rose to nearly 15 percent from 6 percent last week.

* ZINC SPREADS: Cash zinc held in a 25 cent premium over the three-month contract, versus a discount of $6.50 a tonne a week ago, indicating near-term market tightness.

* ZINC PRICES: LME zinc was untraded in official rings, but was last bid up 0.7 percent at $3,110 a tonne.

* OTHER METALS: LME lead was 0.5 percent lower in official trading at $2,433 a tonne, while tin was down 0.1 percent at $20,405. Nickel, also untraded in official rings, was last bid at $14,910, little changed from Tuesday's close.


(Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. in Manila
Editing by David Goodman and Susan Fenton)




VEGOILS-Palm rebounds from three-week low, tracking related oils - Reuters News

30-May-2018 07:15:47 PM

  • Palm edged lower for a third straight session
  • Weak demand, overnight commodity markets hit sentiment - trader

Updates quote, closing prices

By Fransiska Nangoy

JAKARTA, May 30 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures closed higher on Wednesday, rebounding from their weakest levels in over three weeks, as they tracked related oil prices in the Chinese market.

The palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.9 percent to 2,440 ringgit ($611.99) per tonne by the end of the session.

Earlier in the day, it hit 2,395 ringgit, its lowest since May 8. The benchmark fell nearly 3 percent in the previous two sessions to Monday. The Malaysian market was closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.

Trade volume stood at 32,864 lots of 25 tonnes each on Wednesday.

"Market was tracking Dalian closely in the afternoon, even when we are hearing that exports may be underperforming," said a palm trader in Kuala Lumpur.

September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange jumped as much as 3 percent, while the Dalian September palm oil contract closed 0.6 percent higher.

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

Meanwhile, shipping surveyors are due to release May export data on Thursday.

Palm prices may be "adjusted accordingly" in Thursday's session if the data came in below expectations, the trader said.

Palm, soy and crude oil prices, as of 1105 GMT

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy, Editing by Adrian Croft)




CBOT Trends-Wheat down 8-10 cents, corn down 2-3, soybeans down 4-6 - Reuters News

30-May-2018 09:29:22 PM


CHICAGO, May 30 (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 - Down 8 to 10 cents per bushel

  • Wheat lower on technical selling after Tuesday's technical reversal to the downside, improving U.S. winter wheat crop ratings and beneficial rains expected in the northern U.S. Plains and Canada.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture late Tuesday rated 38 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, up from 36 percent the previous week. Analysts on average had expected no change.
  • The USDA also said the U.S. spring wheat crop was 91 percent planted, ahead of the five-year average of 89 percent.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last down 8 cents at $5.28-1/2 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat last traded down 8-3/4 cents at $5.47-3/4 and MGEX July spring wheat was down 4 cents at $6.24 a bushel.

CORN - Down 2 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Corn lower on better-than-expected initial U.S. crop condition ratings, favorable U.S. weather forecasts and follow-through selling after Tuesday's technical reversal to the downside.
  • The USDA late Tuesday rated 79 percent of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent, above a range of trade expectations.
  • The USDA also said the crop was 92 percent planted, ahead of the five-year average of 90 percent.
  • CBOT July corn last traded down 2-3/4 cents at $3.97-1/4 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Down 4 to 6 cents per bushel


  • Soybeans lower on increasing tension over U.S. trade relations with China, the world's biggest soy importer, and technical selling.
  • Market underpinned by soy logistics problems in Brazil due to a truckers' strike.
  • The USDA late Tuesday said the U.S. soybean crop was 77 percent planted, above an average of trade expectations for 73 percent and the five-year average of 62 percent.
  • CBOT July soybeans last down 5-3/4 cents at $10.24-3/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)