Friday, April 6, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

UPDATE 1-Futures fall after Trump proposes $100 billion more in tariffs on China - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 08:53:32 AM

Adds comments from investors Doug Kass and Bob Smith

By Caroline Valetkevitch and Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures fell more than 1 percent late on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had instructed U.S. trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 1.4 percent in trading for the overnight session. Dow futures were down 1.7 percent.

Trump, in a statement, said he proposed the additional tariffs "in light of China's unfair retaliation" against earlier U.S. actions that included $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.

"These potential trade wars are not good for the market," said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. "I don't think the market will perceive them as good for the economy, so therefore they're not good for the market. It doesn't surprise me that as the rhetoric heats up, the market is weak."

Hedge fund manager Doug Kass, who runs Seabreeze Partners Management Inc, said he was shorting the Standard & Poor's 500. "The hastily crafted policy like we have seen from Trump over the last two, three days and now tonight in a world that is flat and ever-more interconnected is dangerous."

The probabilities of a recession in the last half of 2019 and early 2020 are increasing in odds and maybe quite dramatically, Kass added, saying: "The bottom line is that our president is going to make market volatility and economic uncertainty great again."

During the regular session, the Dow and the S&P 500 posted gains for a third day in a row, the longest streak in about a month, as investors' worries of an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China began to ease.

On Wednesday, Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was involved in a "negotiation" with China rather than a trade war.

Bob Smith, president and chief investment officer at Sage Advisory Services Ltd Co in Austin, Texas, said the markets were going to react adversely to Trump's latest statement.

"Anything that's twice as large as the last number is going to elicit a response, and I think that we're just going to be going on this hayride for a while until they get themselves around the table and start talking turkey ... at some point the market's going to get fed up with it."

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Peter Cooney)


WRAPUP 2-China says will fight back "at any cost" against U.S. trade tariffs - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 04:38:25 PM

Adds details on China's counter-measures, Chinese social media reaction

  • Trump threatens additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods
  • Trumps says China's earlier retaliation is "unfair"
  • China to fight back "resolutely" - commerce ministry

By Tom Daly and Steve Holland

BEIJING/WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) - China warned on Friday it would fight back "at any cost" with fresh trade measures if the United States continues on its path of protectionism, hours after President Donald Trump threatened to slap an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.

In light of China's "unfair retaliation" against earlier U.S. trade actions, Trump upped the ante on Thursday by ordering U.S. officials to identify extra tariffs, escalating a high stakes tit-for-tat confrontation with potentially damaging consequences for the world's two biggest economies.

On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 U.S. goods - from soybeans and whiskey to frozen beef and aircraft - targeted for tariffs, in a swift retaliatory move only hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products.

Washington has called for the $50 billion in extra duties after it said a probe determined Chinese government policies are designed to transfer U.S. intellectual property to Chinese companies and allow them to seize leadership in key high-technology industries of the future.

Responding to Trump's latest comments, the Chinese commerce ministry reiterated that China was not afraid of a trade war even though it did not seek one, and accused the United States of provoking the conflict.

"If the United States disregards the objections of China and the international community and persists in unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will follow through to the end, at any cost, and definitely fight back resolutely," a spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement on the ministry's website.

The ministry has called for a media briefing on Friday night, in an unusual move on a public holiday.

Earlier in the day, Chinese state media had slammed Trump's threat of more trade action as "ridiculous".

"This latest intimidation reflects the deep arrogance of some American elites in their attitude towards China," the state-run Global Times said in an editorial.

While Beijing's claims that Washington is the aggressor and is spurring global protectionism, China's trading partners have complained for years that it abuses World Trade Organization rules and propagates unfair policies at home that lock foreign firms out of some sectors as domestic champions are being nurtured.

China has repeatedly vowed that it would open up sectors such as financial services.

President Xi Jinping next week is expected to unveil fresh measures on reform and his country's opening up at the high-profile Boao Forum, China's equivalent of Davos, in the southern island province of Hainan.



While China has projected an image of multilateralism and restraint amid the escalating trade dispute with the United States, Beijing has been swift to respond to Washington's rhetoric and actions.

So far, U.S. information technology products from mobile phones to personal computers have largely escaped the ire of Beijing, as well as telecoms equipment and aircraft larger than the equivalent of a Boeing 737.

Among the most affected by a trade war could be the U.S. technology sector, particularly chipmakers. The U.S. semiconductor sector relies on China for about a quarter of its revenue.

It also remains to be seen if the trade dispute would trigger a nationalistic travel backlash. When ties between Beijing and Seoul chilled, Chinese tourism to South Korea plummeted and Made-in-South Korea products were shunned by consumers in China.

On Chinese social media on Friday, among the most searched phrases were "China hasn't grown up afraid" and "China will follow through to the end."



Analysts at Oxford Economics warned that a full-blown trade war will have damaging consequences.

"Importantly, these threatened tariffs will be subject to negotiation, and therefore shouldn't be considered as final," the analysts wrote in a note to client.

"A (full-blown) trade war meanwhile would have a more pronounced effect. The U.S. and China would suffer significant slowdown in real GDP growth – a cumulative loss around 1.0 percentage point," and cut global economic growth to 2.5 percent in 2019 from 3.0 percent in Oxford's baseline scenario.

The escalating tit-for-tat trade actions between the two economic superpowers have roiled global financial markets, as investors worried about the impact on world trade and growth, hitting equities, the dollar and a range of riskier assets such as copper and boosting safe-havens such as the Japanese yen and gold.

The dollar fell in Friday's trade, while U.S. stock futures and most of Asia's stock markets were in the red.

"This is what a trade war looks like, and what we have warned against from the start," said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.

"We are on a dangerous downward spiral and American families will be on the losing end," Shay added in a statement, urging Trump "to stop playing a game of chicken with the U.S. economy."


(Reporting by Tom Daly and Min Zhang in BEIJING and Steve Holland and David Lawder in WASHINGTON
Additional Writing by Ryan Woo
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)




UPDATE 3-Oil moves lower on Trump's latest China trade threats - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 04:29:50 PM

  • Trump threatens tariffs on $100 bln more of China trade
  • Lower inventories provide some support, analysts say
  • Qatar oil min says OPEC should keep cuts going
  • Saudi Arabia raises crude prices

Updates prices, adds analyst quote, changes dateline to London

By Shadia Nasralla

- Oil prices fell on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of new tariffs on China reignited fears of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

President Trump said on Thursday he had ordered U.S. trade officials to consider tariffs on $100 billion more of imports from China, escalating tensions with Beijing.

Brent crude for June delivery was down 36 cents, or 0.53 percent, at $67.97 per barrel at 0807 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery was down 35 cents, or 0.55 percent, at 63.19 a barrel.

Both are headed for their biggest weekly fall since early March.

"It is obvious that this stand-off between the United States (and) China is quite serious and navigating these waters will be tricky for traders," JBC said in a note.

"Any meaningful change to the perception regarding future trade issues will most likely trump the potential effects of short-term variations to oil fundamentals."

But some oil market watchers do not expect to see steep falls because of signs of tightening supplies.

"We view the oil market as the best sector in which to wait out the volatility," analysts at ANZ bank said in a note. "Supply-side issues amid a backdrop of falling inventories should override any concern over weaker economic growth."

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 4.6 million-barrel draw in U.S. crude inventories last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 246,000 barrels, providing some support to prices.

Meanwhile, Asian oil traders were struggling to understand how Saudi Arabia derived its official selling prices for May after it unexpectedly raised the price for its flagship Arab Light crude sold to Asian refiners.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including Russia are committed to cutting output by around 1.8 million barrels per day through the end of 2018 in a bid to clear a global overhang and support prices.

Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the oil cartel, has said production cuts could be extended in one form or another.

OPEC and its allies should keep the cuts to ensure healthy price levels as a way to boost investment in the industry and avoid a supply and price shock in the long run, Qatar's Energy Minister said.

Shanghai crude futures trading will resume on Monday after public holidays in China.


(Additional reporting by Jane Chung in SEOUL and Koustav Samanta in SINGAPORE. Editing by Jane Merriman)



PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near $1,325/oz before U.S. payrolls data - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 06:00:26 PM

  • Markets await Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report
  • Trump proposes $100 bln in new tariffs on China

 (Updates throughout, adds LONDON dateline)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Friday ahead of U.S. payrolls data that is being closely watched for its implications for interest rate policy, though concerns over a China-U.S. trade standoff kept prices underpinned.

The metal rose in Asian trading hours after U.S. President Donald Trump reignited trade-war fears by proposing $100 billion in new tariffs on China, but bullion could not maintain those gains as caution set in before the payrolls report.

Spot gold was at $1,325.46 an ounce at 0934 GMT, down 0.1 percent and off an earlier high of $1,333.28. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were little changed at $1,329.

"The key to gold's direction remains the dollar, and we expect the dollar to recover a bit more," ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

The non-farm payrolls data and the U.S.-China trade dispute had the power to drive a move, she said, though for the time being gold and the dollar were rangebound.

The dollar held on track for a second week of gains as investors cut bets against the currency ahead of the monthly U.S. payrolls figures due at 1230 GMT.

The report is expected to show U.S. job growth slowed in March, a Reuters poll showed. Analysts are closely watching wage growth, with a faster-than-expected rise expected to boost bets on more U.S. rate hikes than currently forecast.

Gold prices were little changed for the week, having risen on Monday on concerns over the prospect of a China-U.S. trade war, before dropping to a one-week low on Thursday after both countries signalled a willingness to negotiate.

However, Trump late on Thursday said he had instructed U.S. trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, fuelling an already heated dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

A holiday in China kept trading volumes thin.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.24 percent to 854.09 tonnes on Thursday.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2 percent at $16.31 an ounce, while platinum was 0.2 percent higher at $911.50 an ounce.

Palladium was up 0.2 percent at $905.40 an ounce, after 10 successive sessions of losses. The autocatalyst metal is on track to end the week down more than 5 percent.

"Last year's uptrend has reversed and palladium prices are down more than 20 percent from their January high," Julius Baer said in a note. "We see them better aligned with a softer global car market and shift our view to neutral."

(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Dale Hudson)



RPT-COLUMN-U.S. may still hit soy export target even if China eases buying –Braun - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 07:30:00 PM

Repeats for wider distribution with no changes. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters.

By Karen Braun

- Record amounts of soybeans must leave U.S. ports in the next several months in order to keep the government export outlook intact. While it seems like a daunting task given escalating trade tensions with China and a record Brazilian crop on the docket, it might not be out of the question.

When China announced its plans on Wednesday to place tariffs on U.S. soybeans amid the trade spat between the world's largest economies, Chicago-traded futures sank by 2 percent as market participants feared U.S. soy exporters would suffer a major blow.

Soy futures climbed more than 1 percent on Thursday as trade
war fears began to ease. But the potential for $100 billion in additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods announced late on Thursday sent both financial and commodity markets plunging again as the overnight markets opened for trade.

China, the world's top buyer, accounts for about 60 percent of annual U.S. soybean exports. The United States is the second-largest supplier behind Brazil, which is currently harvesting its crop and is China's main bean source over the next several months.

Also during this time, U.S. soy merchants still typically draw some Chinese business and it would be particularly disappointing to lose it this year, though China likely cannot shun U.S. beans completely based on the sheer quantities its crushers require.

But if the United States were to reach the record shipment pace it needs over the next several months, it must receive extra support from buyers other than China. And at the moment, that may be easier than usual given that premiums for the Brazilian product over Chicago prices have gone through the roof in response to the Chinese tariffs.


The United States must ship a record volume of soybeans in the second half of the 2017-18 marketing year - which ends Aug. 31 - in order to meet USDA's annual target of 2.065 billion bushels (56.2 million tonnes).

The agency's latest forecast is already lighter than prior outlooks. USDA maintained its highest current-year export peg of 2.25 billion bushels late last year, which would top 2016-17's record of 2.174 billion.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau published Thursday, the country exported 39.5 million tonnes (1.45 billion bushels) of soybeans between September and February - the first half of 2017-18.

This means that 16.7 million tonnes must leave U.S. ports between March and August in order to hit USDA's current forecast. More specifically, some 2.78 million tonnes will need to ship per month, on average.

The largest volume of soybeans that the United States has ever exported during the second half of a marketing year was 14.1 million tonnes in 2016-17. Elevated shipments in July and August were of particular importance during the previous two seasons in order to achieve consecutive record annual volumes.



China will be busy with Brazilian beans over the next few months, meaning that other buyers will play a big role in boosting U.S. exports. Last year 70 percent of soy shipments between March and August were to destinations other than China.

U.S. soybean exports to non-China customers reached a 34-year high of 9.75 million tonnes in the second half of the 2016-17 marketing year, significantly more than in other recent years. In the first half of 2017-18, non-China shipments hit the highest levels in 16 years.

Usually about 70 percent of Brazil's annual soy exports go to China, although last year that share was closer to three-quarters. Like the United States, Brazil has other buyers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

But these buyers are probably not excited about the huge Brazilian premiums and could very well opt to purchase the U.S. alternative, especially if those premiums remain elevated. All of these countries take in Brazilian beans mainly between March and July, immediately after the harvest wraps up.

Market-watchers should remain on alert over the next several weeks for an increase in U.S. purchases, especially from Brazil's primary customers, as this could be an indication of price deterrence.

After China, the top buyers of Brazilian product are Spain, Thailand and the Netherlands. The leading non-China importers of U.S. beans which are not heavy Brazilian consumers include Mexico, Japan and Indonesia.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)



VEGOILS-Palm jumps to 5-week top on extension of export duty suspension - Reuters News

06-Apr-2018 07:25:56 PM

  • Palm hits high of 2,510 rgt/T in evening trade
  • Market supported by weekend covering, technical buying - trader
  • Palm gains 3.2 percent on the week

Updates with closing prices, quotes, background

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures surged over 1 percent in evening trade on Friday following Malaysia's announcement that it would extend tax exemptions on crude palm oil (CPO) exports to a fourth straight month in April.

The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.3 percent at 2,505 ringgit ($647.62) a tonne by the end of the trading day.

Palm earlier rose to 2,510 ringgit a tonne, its highest since March 2. It has gained 3.2 percent this week, its strongest weekly gain so far this year.

Trading volumes stood at 58,732 lots of 25 tonnes each on Friday evening.

"The market ran up in the evening on the news," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader, referring to Malaysia's move to extend its CPO export tax suspension.

"There is also some weekend covering and technical buying."

Malaysia had first suspended export taxes at the start of the year for three months to support CPO prices by boosting demand and reducing stockpiles.

It was expected to have ended on Saturday and the Malaysian government said last month that it was setting its April CPO export tax at 5 percent.

Malaysia then said on Friday it would extend its CPO export tax suspension until the end of April or if palm oil end-stocks fell to 1.6 million tonnes. Traders saw the move as aimed at boosting prices and shoring up support from oil palm farmers ahead of a national election.

End-stocks in Malaysia stood at 2.48 million tonnes at the end of February, down 2.9 percent from the previous month and are forecast to have slipped further to 2.27 million tonnes at the end of March, the lowest in five months.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the industry regulator, will release the next inventory data on April 10.

In related oils, the Chicago Board of Trade's May soybean oil contract declined 0.2 percent, in line with soybean futures losses on market fears that a U.S.-China trade war could hit demand for U.S. soy.

China's Dalian Commodity Exchange is closed on Friday for a national holiday.

Palm oil prices are 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 Amrutha Gayathri and Dale Hudson)



Soybean farmers favored Trump, but not a trade war - The Washington Post

06-Apr-2018 04:00:19 PM

Aggressive tariffs on Chinese goods could risk

crop's viability in U.S.

Bret Davis voted for Donald Trump in 2016, as did many of his fellow farmers in central Ohio. But as a brewing Chinese trade war begins to threaten U.S. exports, Davis fears his fifth-generation farm will suffer.

The farm, where Davis and his stepson grow 1,300 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat for Ritz crackers, may not withstand the long-term drop in crop prices a trade war could bring, Davis said. Although he supports President Trump's goal of making foreign trade more "balanced," he's increasingly concerned that Trump's methods could harm the rural Americans who helped put him in office.

Soybean-producing counties went for Trump by a margin of more than 12 percent, according to a Washington Post analysis. And yet on Wednesday, Davis and thousands of other farmers woke to the news that China had proposed retaliatory tariffs on soybeans, corn and other row crops as part of a trade war the president started.

"The way he's going about this is not the way I would've done it," Davis said. "My way would've been talking about it first, rather than just [imposing tariffs]. But Mr. Trump's way to deal with anything is to throw a diversion into a room and then sit down and talk about it.

"It's worked with some things," Davis added.

Like most large-scale soybean farms in the United States, Davis's business relies heavily on foreign markets. China buys 60 percent of all U.S. soybean exports to feed a growing fleet of hogs, fish and chickens.

The high demand has made soybeans a bright spot of profitability for farmers at a time when many other crop prices are down. But Trump's aggressive tariffs against Chinese goods, meant to protect U.S. intellectual property and manufacturing interests, have incited retaliatory actions that farmers say threaten their profits.

On April 1, China announced plans to enact tariffs on 128 U.S. products in response to proposed American tariffs on steel and aluminum. Days later, Trump proposed tariffs on an additional $50 billion of Chinese goods, citing intellectual property theft - and prompting the Chinese to again up the ante with proposed 25 percent tariffs on soybeans and other U.S. products.

In the hours after China floated a levy on soybeans, futures prices dropped 4 percent, or 40 cents, to $9.97 a bushel. That price is approaching the break-even point on many farms, said Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone.

Although soybean prices rallied Thursday morning, they were still down more than 20 cents. And even if prices stabilize, tariffs will erode farmers' Chinese market share, said Wallace Tyner, a Purdue University economist who has modeled the likely effect of the tariffs. Within three to five years, Tyner's model shows, Brazil and Argentina would replace the United States as China's main source of soybeans.

Dave Walton, who tends soybeans, corn and livestock in eastern Iowa, is not sure his farm could take the added stress.

"If this turns into a longer-term thing, we're going to see friends and neighbors go out of business," he said. "If this stretches into years, we ourselves won't be able to sustain it."

Like Davis, Walton voted for Trump. Polling commissioned by the trade site Agri-Pulse suggests that most farmers did: In a March survey of 750 farmers, largely concentrated in the Plains states and the Midwest, 67 percent said they voted for Trump and 45 percent said they would do so again.

But Walton is scrutinizing the president's next steps. His farm - 800 acres of corn and soybeans, plus hay, beef and sheep - has been in his family for 118 years. Like many other farmers, he's coming off several consecutive seasons of falling crop prices, and had hoped that a record drought in Argentina would boost income this year, but the tariffs could cancel those gains.

Walton said he understands why the United States got tough on trade with China: There's a small steel mill in Wilton, Iowa, and the workers there say sanctions have helped them. He just wants the tit-for-tat retaliations to stop and a deal to be negotiated.

"Right now, soybean growers in Iowa and across the nation are encouraging the administration to engage positively with China," Walton said.

And if that doesn't happen, he added: "Iowa leads the nation in many things. The presidential election is one of them."

On Bill Gordon's farm in southwest Minnesota, the anxieties are similar. Gordon farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans in a county that supported Trump by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio. Corn has not been profitable, Gordon said; soybeans were his "shining star."

"The administration needs to understand that the livelihoods of 300,000 soybean farmers are important," said Gordon, who also voted for Trump. "Not that the livelihoods of steelworkers aren't. But how can we justify helping steelworkers at the expense of so many farms?"

How this unease plays out politically remains to be seen. During an appearance in Ohio on Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sought to reassure farmers, calling their anxiety "legitimate."

"I talked to the president as recently as last night," Perdue said. "And he said, 'Sonny, you can assure your farmers out there that we're not going to allow them to be the casualties if this trade dispute escalates. We're going to take care of our American farmers. You can tell them that directly.' "

Farm groups seem unimpressed. The American Soybean Association - which has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans through its political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics - criticized the administration for failing to "address China in a constructive manner."

Meanwhile, Farmers for Free Trade, a nonpartisan coalition, has begun running ads on TV shows that the president is known to watch, urging the administration to reconsider its policy on China and featuring farmers who supported Trump.

Democrats have also taken advantage of the discontent. In Iowa, a liberal candidate running for state Senate tweeted a chart of plummeting soybean prices juxtaposed with a tweet from Trump saying that "we are not in a trade war with China."

"It's no secret that a lot of rural America voted for President Trump," said Kristin Duncanson, a Minnesota soybean farmer who says she sees growing anxiety among her neighbors and friends. "A lot of them were looking for change. I don't think this is the change they anticipated."

As for Davis, the Ohio farmer, he's waiting and watching the president - for now. He believes the high-stakes brinkmanship is a way to get China to the negotiating table, where Trump will advocate for rural Americans, as he promised on the campaign trail.

That's Davis's current hope, at least.

"We take our whole income from the year before, put it into seed and fertilizer, throw it in the dirt and hope we have a crop next year so we can survive," he said. "If you're not optimistic, you can't be a farmer. You wouldn't make it."


Grains Commodities Related News.

CBOT soybeans up on bargain buying, waning trade war fears - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 02:50:49 AM
CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures climbed on Thursday on bargain buying and waning fears of a trade war with China, one day after the top global soy importer proposed tariffs on imports from the United States, traders said. 
Investors were hopeful Washington and Beijing could negotiate to avoid tariffs on U.S. soy and other agricultural goods.
Soybeans were higher but stayed within the wide trading range established on Wednesday, when prices plunged as much as 5 percent following the tariff announcement.
Soymeal and soyoil futures both were narrowly higher. 
Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 38 million tonnes of soy in the 2017-18 season, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, down from its prior estimate of 39.5 million tonnes. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced weekly soybean export sales of 1.491 million tonnes, topping market expectations for 600,000 to 1.150 million tonnes. 
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)

CBOT corn rallies on technicals, easing trade war fears - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 02:34:54 AM
CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn futures were up more than 2 percent on Thursday, rising on technical buying and easing fears of a trade war with China following a steep in prices on Wednesday, traders said. 
Front-month CBOT May corn finished at its session high of $3.89-1/2 per bushel and surpassed a peak from Wednesday notched before China announced plans to impose import duties on key U.S. commodities including corn and soybeans.
Soybean prices also rallied, with some investors soothed by statements from Washington that the United States and China could negotiate and avoid the tariffs on U.S. agriculture products.
Corn prices were further supported by wet and cold weather in the U.S. Midwest that could delay the start of the spring planting season for farmers in states as Iowa and Illinois that grow a bulk of the corn crop.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said USDA weekly corn export sales totaled 909,300 tonnes, below analysts' estimates that ranged from 1.100 million tonnes to 1.600 million tonnes. 
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer
Editing by James Dalgleish)

U.S. Cash Soymeal-Rail, truck offers steady; futures move higher - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 02:25:31 AM
CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) - Spot basis offers for U.S. soymeal held steady on Thursday, underpinned by adequate movement of supplies and limited demand from livestock producers and feed mixers, dealers said.
* Market participants watched as soymeal futures rose for a second day in a row, led by the turnaround in soybean contracts after digesting Wednesday's news on China traffic.
* China on Wednesday proposed higher duties on a slew of U.S. goods, including corn and soybeans, in response to increased tariffs imposed by Washington on Chinese steel and aluminum. 
(Reporting by Theopolis Waters , editing by G Crosse)

Argentina 2017-18 soy harvest forecast cut to 38 mln tonnes -exchange - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 02:12:38 AM
BUENOS AIRES, April 5 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 38 million tonnes of soy in the 2017-18 season, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, down from its prior estimate of 39.5 million tonnes and 34 percent below the previous crop year.
The estimate marked the latest in a string of reductions to harvest forecasts due to a prolonged drought in the country's central Pampas agricultural belt, which has reduced yields.
(Reporting by Maximilian Heath and Luc Cohen
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

European feeds-Soymeal higher on strong Brazilian markets - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 01:36:27 AM
ROTTERDAM, April 5 (Reuters) - Soymeal on the European meals and feeds market was offered well up from Tuesday on very strong fob markets in Brazil on hopes that China's plan to impose a 25 percent import duty on U.S. soybeans will increase exports.
Sellers did not offer soymeal on Wednesday as they decided to sit out the implosion in the CBOT soy complex, which saw futures fall sharply on the China news, as they believed it was overdone.
"It is questionable if there will be a large shift in the Chinese buying pattern as around now they shift from the U.S. to South America anyway," one broker said. 
South American soymeal was quoted around $8 up from Tuesday. 
Rapemeal was offered between one and four euros per tonne up, tracking gains in soymeal and due to firmer rapeseed futures on hopes that the Chinese import duty plan would increase demand for rapeseed. 
(Reporting by Karel Luimes
Editing by Alexanda Hudson)

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-S&P 500 eyes best three-day gain since Trump's election - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 12:16:27 AM
Facebook up after CEO says no "meaningful impact" on ad sales
Industrials lead gains on Dow 
U.S. trade deficit rises to near 9-1/2-year high
Indexes up: Dow 1.46 pct, S&P 1.03 pct, Nasdaq 0.92 pct
Changes comment, adds details, updates prices
By Sruthi Shankar
April 5 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 on Thursday headed for its best three-day rise since President Donald Trump's election as technology and industrial shares bolstered a recovery on easing trade war concerns.
Shares of Boeing and Caterpillar, among the worst hit on Wednesday after China retaliated with $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods such as soybeans, autos, and some types of aircraft, rose 1.7 percent and 3 percent.
"There is a lot of bad news on the trade front built into the market. So the ability of the equity markets to push significantly lower is going to be limited," said John Brady, senior vice president at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago.
"We're going to need brand new, bad news on trade for the equity markets to push lower." 
Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix - collectively known as the "FANG" group - were up between 1.2 percent and 2.6 percent.
At 12:02 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.46 percent at 24,617.39. The S&P 500 gained 1.03 percent to 2,671.85 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.92 percent to 7,106.54.
If current gains for S&P 500 hold, it would be the best three-day run since Trump's election victory in November 2016.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.2 percent gain on the material and the energy indexes.
The S&P 500 index showed four new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 47 new highs and 24 new lows. 
Facebook shares gained after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company had not seen "any meaningful impact" on usage or ad sales since the data privacy scandal.
"Zuckerberg is going to testify the Congress next week on the Facebook issues, so probably there's some bargain hunting in FANG space," said Brady.
On Wednesday, the Dow bounced back from a 500 point fall earlier to close up about 230 points after President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was involved in a "negotiation" with China rather than a trade war.
Economic data on Thursday showed the U.S. trade deficit increased to a near 9-1/2-year high in February, but the shortfall with China narrowed sharply. While exports to China were unchanged in February, imports from the country declined 14.7 percent.
Advanced Micro Devices jumped 3.2 percent after Stifel upgraded to "buy", while Micron Technology fell 5.3 percent after UBS started with a "sell" rating.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 2.76-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq for a 1.90-to-1 ratio.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

UPDATE 5-Oil gains with equities as U.S.-China tensions ease - Reuters News
05-Apr-2018 11:39:52 PM
Investors hope for U.S., China trade negotiations
U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 4.6 mln barrels -EIA
Qatar says OPEC supply cuts should continue
Updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON
By Ayenat Mersie
NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices were modestly higher on Thursday, helped by gains in U.S. equities markets as trade tensions between China and the United States eased, but the advance was limited by strength in the dollar. 
Brent crude futures were up 29 cents to $68.31 a barrel at 11:27 a.m. EDT (1527 GMT), and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents to $63.50 a barrel.
After a day of concern over tit-for-tat responses between the United States and China over tariffs on various products, market nerves were calmed as U.S. officials said the countries could negotiate.
"Oil prices are profiting from the general brightening of sentiment on the markets as signs emerge that the trade dispute is easing between the U.S. and China," analysts at Commerzbank said in a note.
The strength of the U.S. dollar was a headwind for oil, said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago. 
The U.S. dollar rose to a more than one-month high against a basket of major currencies. Because oil is dollar-priced, a stronger greenback makes purchases in other currencies more expensive and exerts downward pressure on oil. 
Oil prices have moved in tandem with the U.S. stock market throughout the year, though that relationship has broken down somewhat in the last few weeks. All three major U.S. stock indexes were higher on Thursday, after the United States said it could negotiate with China on trade issues.
Oil was also supported by an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories Wednesday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said inventories fell by 4.6 million barrels in the most recent week, compared with expectations for an increase of 246,000 barrels. 
U.S. crude production hit a new high, but that was not enough to change the overall bullishness of the report, said Baruch. 
The extent to which U.S. production increases counterbalances output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be critical, said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford. 
The energy minister of OPEC member Qatar told Reuters that organization and its allies should maintain supply cuts.
OPEC and its allies are collectively curbing 1.8 million barrels per day of crude output to help eliminate a global oil glut. The cuts run until the end of 2018 but Saudi Arabia has said they could be extended in some form into 2019. 
(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Gold Prices Gain Amid Weaker Dollar - MIST
05-Apr-2018 11:26:49 PM
Gold prices gained on Wednesday as dollar weakened after the U.S. slapped tariffs on $50 billion worth imports from China.
Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.70, or 0.13%, to $1,339.0 a troy ounce by 12:24AM ET (04:24 GMT).
Trading tensions were cited as a catalyst for the buying as investors stayed away from risk assets. The Trump administration proposed on Tuesday to impose 25%tariffs on nearly $50 billion worth of made-in-China products - around 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products to be particular.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies last stood at 89.76, down 0.10%. %. It dropped from an overnight high at 89.92 to below the 89.80 level.
Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – a fall in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus increases demand for the precious metal.
More directional drivers for the dollar this week will be the U.S. payrolls data and comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
In other precious metal trade, silver futures gained 0.20% to $16.425 a troy ounce, while platinum futures slipped 0.20% to $927.50 an ounce.
Copyright (c) 2018 Sourced by MIST all rights reserved

GRAINS-Soybeans edge up as market digests Chinese tariff threat - Reuters News
06-Apr-2018 01:04:03 AM
Updates prices, adds comments; changes byline, dateline, previous PARIS/SYDNEY
By Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, April 5 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures  rallied more than 1 percent on Thursday as investors played down the immediate impact of proposed Chinese tariffs on U.S. supplies, a move that had sent prices plunging a day earlier.
U.S. winter wheat futures jumped as much as 2 percent, lifted by worries that cold temperatures could stress crops in the southern Plains. Corn futures  also gained as spring sowings could get off to a slow start due to soggy weather.
Prices for both soybeans and corn stayed within ranges established during Wednesday's session, when China proposed imposing tariffs on U.S. soybeans. China buys about two-thirds of globally traded soybeans.
"We're bouncing off the lows from yesterday and the higher stock market is probably helping," said Highground Trading broker Scott Capinegro.
Chicago Board of Trade May soybeans were up 16 cents to $10.31-1/4 per bushel, recovering a portion of the declines notched in the previous session. CBOT May corn was up 7 cents at $3.88 per bushel as of 11:58 a.m. CDT (1658 GMT).
Traders doubted whether China could shun U.S. soybeans given its huge import requirements, while investors more widely saw signs the two sides may choose to negotiate. 
"At second glance ... it becomes clear that U.S. soybeans are exported to China predominantly between October and March - that is to say during and shortly after the U.S. harvest – so most of the soybeans should already have been shipped by now," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.
However, the uncertainty created by the Chinese-U.S. trade row could still weigh on U.S. prices, some analysts said.
"It is going to mean surplus soybeans, and lower soybean prices in the U.S.," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
CBOT May wheat was up 8-1/2 cents to $4.64-1/4 per bushel and K.C. May wheat was 11 cents higher at $4.97.
Sub-freezing temperatures forecast on Friday night in the Plains would add to wheat crop stress in a region already suffering from dry weather, the Commodity Weather Group said in a note.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that only 32 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop was in good to excellent condition, the lowest rating for this point in the crop year since 2002.
(Additional reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney and Gus Trompiz in Paris
Editing by James Dalgleish)