Tuesday, April 24, 2018

20180424 Crude Oil Futures Technical View

Crude Oil Technical: 
Uptrend remained intact. 
The last 4 days candlestick's shadows indicates mixed sentiment.
Crucial support level at $67.00

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Industrial gains set to drive Wall St higher - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 09:05:53 PM

  • Caterpillar among four Dow members to top estimates
  • 3M, Travelers drop after results
  • Google-parent Alphabet dips on worries of rising costs
  • Futures up: Dow 0.55 pct, S&P 0.51 pct, Nasdaq 0.40 pct

Adds comment, details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

April 24 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to open roughly 150 points higher on Tuesday after Caterpillar and United Technologies led a slew of strong earnings reports from members of the blue-chip index.

With U.S Treasury yields easing slightly from the peaks hit on Monday, the results from industrial heavyweights helped reinforce optimism about the pace of U.S. economic growth and a first-quarter earnings season now in full swing.

Shares of Caterpillar jumped 3.6 percent in premarket trading, while Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines-maker United Tech rose 2 percent after the companies topped quarterly profit estimates and raised their full-year earnings forecasts.

The results also run contrary to a 0.4 percent fall in the S&P industrials index this year due to fears of a tit-for-tat trade war with China.

"Two big-cap companies, industrials and global in nature, beating estimates, and the takeaway being that fundamentals remain strong for corporate America," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

About 18 percent of the S&P 500 companies had reported results as of Monday, with 78 percent topping profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

That has pushed up analysts' estimates for earnings growth in the quarter to nearly 20 percent, from 18.6 percent just over than a week back, making it the strongest in seven years.

One dampener was Google-parent Alphabet, which dipped 0.2 percent as investors focused on rising costs rather than the profit beat.

"On balance, the numbers were pretty good and some of the issues related to spending are idiosyncratic to the business. I don't think its going to indict the entire sector," said Luschini.

At 8:47 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 135 points, or 0.55 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.5 points, or 0.51 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.75 points, or 0.4 percent.

Coca-Cola gained 0.7 percent after its revenue beat estimates, helped by higher demand for Coke Zero Sugar and new flavors of Diet Coke. Verizon jumped 3.4 percent after its profit beat expectations.

Still, not all results from industrial companies or Dow components were strong. 3M fell 4.5 percent after it managed to only match profit estimates.

A drop in sales for the screen glass unit of telecoms parts producer Corning Inc may also add to growing market nerves about demand for high-end smartphones.

Ten-year bond yields were at 2.9864 percent, still at four-year highs, but lower than the peak of 2.9980 percent hit on Monday due to a growing supply of government debt and accelerating inflation as commodity prices gained.

Oil rose above $75 a barrel to its highest since November 2014, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.


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




UPDATE 5-Oil tops $75, highest since 2014 OPEC meeting that led to pump war - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 08:05:26 PM

  • Brent hits $75.27, strongest since Nov. 27, 2014
  • OPEC-led supply cuts, strong demand lift prices
  • Oil also buoyed by threat of U.S. sanctions on Iran
  • U.S. crude inventories expected to have fallen

Updates prices

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Oil rose above $75 a barrel on Tuesday to its highest since November 2014 before paring some gains, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose to its highest level since OPEC on Nov. 27, 2014 turned its back on curbing output to support prices, a move that triggered a battle for market share and helped deepen a collapse to $27 in early 2016.

Oil prices began to recover in 2016 as OPEC discussed a return to market management with the help of Russia and other non-members. A supply-cutting deal started in January 2017 and has been deepened by a steep output drop in Venezuela.

"Prices are being driven up by tight supply due to high production outages in Venezuela plus the cuts implemented by OPEC and Russia," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. "What is more, demand appears robust."

Brent traded as high as $75.27, gaining for a sixth day, and was up 1 cent at $74.72 by 1151 GMT. U.S. crude rose 12 cents to $68.76, having hit its highest since Nov. 28, 2014 on Thursday.

The United States has until May 12 to decide whether to quit a nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions against the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, tightening global supplies.

"Currently, all bets are off on the U.S. staying in the nuclear agreement," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, who added this concern was the most significant element of Brent's recent rally.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA, said new sanctions against Tehran "could push oil prices up as much as $5 per barrel".

OPEC's supply curtailments and the threat of new sanctions are occurring as demand in Asia, the biggest oil-consuming region, has risen to a record.

The supply cut has virtually achieved its stated goal of reducing inventories in developed economies to their five-year average, but OPEC has shown little sign yet of wanting to wind down the deal.

The latest U.S. inventory figures are expected to show a 2.6-million-barrel drop in crude stocks.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, releases its data at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, a day before the government's supply report.

One of the factors limiting the oil rally is rising U.S. production. U.S. output, supported by high prices, has hit record levels.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein
Editing by Dale Hudson and Hugh Lawson)




PRECIOUS-Gold firms after 3-day slide as dollar stabilises - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 07:57:43 PM

  • Dollar index retreats from 3-month peak
  • U.S. 10-y Treasury yield dips from highest in 4 years

 (Updates prices)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Gold firmed after three days of losses on Tuesday as the dollar stabilised off an earlier three-month peak and a rise in U.S. Treasury yields stalled, with lower prices tempting some buyers back to the market.

Gold has slid nearly 2 percent in the last three trading sessions as a rally in U.S. yields towards the 3 percent mark pushed the dollar index to its highest since mid-January, making the metal more attractive to price-sensitive buyers.

It also suffers from rising yields in its own right, as these lift the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing assets like bullion.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,325.81 an ounce at 1142 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery were up $3.70 an ounce at $1,327.70.

"There are still a lot of risks out there that could flare up at any time," Capital Economics analyst Simona Gambarini said. "There might be some investors who hadn't bought insurance before who think now is a good time to get in."

Gold is often seen as a safe store of value in times of elevated geopolitical or financial risk.

It has benefited in recent weeks from concerns over the U.S.-China trade dispute, sanctions on Russia and unrest in the Middle East, but has been kept in check by the prospect of further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

"Based on interest rates, prices should be lower," Gambarini said. "But there are a lot of other factors, and a lot of tensions that have been boosting prices... we think gold will continue to trade in this range between $1,300-1,350 depending on what happens with those risks, and the Fed hiking rates."

The dollar took a breather on Monday after its recent march higher as U.S. yields retreated, while European stocks rose another 0.2 percent.

Autocatalyst metal palladium was down another 1 percent at $968.25 an ounce, having plunged 5 percent on Monday after the U.S. gave American customers of Russia's biggest aluminium producer Rusal more time to comply with sanctions.

Rusal owns a 28 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest palladium producer.

"(Palladium) has followed base metals prices on their downward trajectory now that the United States is considering lifting the sanctions against Rusal and probably will not impose further sanctions against Russia," Commerzbank said in a note.

"In response, the price gap to platinum has narrowed to $50 per troy ounce again."

Platinum was 0.5 percent lower at $916.50 an ounce, while silver was up 0.7 percent at $16.64 an ounce after falling over 3 percent in the previous session.


(Reporting by Jan Harvey; additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Jon Boyle)




CBOT Trends-Wheat down 3-5 cents, soy down 1-3 cents, corn steady-down 2 cents - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 09:06:44 PM

CHICAGO, April 24 (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 Tuesday.


WHEAT - Down 3 to 5 cents per bushel

  • Wheat continues retreat from highs hit last week on forecasts for more rain in U.S. Plains. Light export demand for U.S. supplies remains weak.
  • CBOT May soft red winter wheat contract dropped below its 100-day moving average and fell to its lowest since April 5 during overnight trading. K.C. May hard red winter wheat fell below its 200-day moving average overnight.
  • CBOT May soft red winter wheat last traded down 3-1/4 cents at $4.58-1/4 per bushel. K.C. May hard red winter wheat was last down 4-1/4 cents at $4.79 and MGEX May spring wheat  was 1/2 cent lower at $5.87-1/2 a bushel.

CORN - Steady to down 2 cents per bushel

  • Forecasts for good planting weather in U.S. Midwest weigh on market despite U.S. Agriculture Department report on Monday afternoon that showed only 5 percent of the crop had been planted as of April 22. Technical support noted near 2-1/2 week low hit on Friday.
  • CBOT May corn last traded down 1 cent at $3.77-1/2 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Down 1 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Worries about export demand pressure soybean market, which has fallen for three days in a row. Soybean futures found support near Monday's low during overnight trading.
  • CBOT May soybeans last traded down 1-1/2 cents at $10.19-1/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by Alistair Bell)




GRAINS-Soybeans ease for 4th session on demand concerns, wheat prices fall - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 07:56:00 PM

  • U.S. soybeans lose more ground as China reduces purchases
  • Wheat falls for 3rd day, dryness in U.S. Plains limits losses

Updates prices

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, April 24 (Reuters) - Chicago soybeans futures slid for a fourth straight session on Tuesday as the market came under pressure from slowing Chinese demand for U.S. cargoes.

Wheat prices dipped for a third consecutive session on ample global supplies, although worries about patchy rain for the U.S. winter crop kept a floor under the market.

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract had eased 0.2 percent to $10.30-1/2 a bushel by 1127 GMT, having closed down 0.8 percent on Monday when prices hit their weakest since April 6 at $10.29 a bushel.

Wheat fell 0.8 percent to 4.70-3/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.6 percent on Monday. As a result, the market filled a technical gap marked on Wednesday last week.

Corn was 0.2 percent down at $3.86-3/4 a bushel.

"There is uncertainty about China's soybean imports after anti-dumping action on sorghum," said an India-based agricultural commodities analyst.

"But we expect things to be sorted out soon as China needs U.S. beans because of strong demand and profitable crush margins."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not announced any new soybean sales to China since April 10. The last deal to any destination was announced on April 11.

The USDA on Monday said weekly soybean export inspections were 470,817 tonnes, in line with estimates that ranged from 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes.

Corn export inspections were 1.719 million tonnes, topping forecasts that ranged from 1.2 million to 1.7 million tonnes. Wheat export inspections of 619,251 tonnes also beat forecasts, which ranged from 350,000 to 550,000 tonnes.

A slower pace of planting was underpinning the corn market.

The agency said 5 percent of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday, lagging behind market expectations.

It said 2 percent of the soybean crop was planted as of Sunday, matching market forecasts.

The USDA said 31 percent of the U.S. wheat crop was in good-to-excellent condition, lower than analyst forecasts.

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

 (Editing by Joseph Radford/David Evans)




FOREX-Euro licks wounds at 2-month lows as higher costs weigh - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 06:44:03 PM

  • Markets expect a cautious note from ECB on Thursday
  • Citi economic surprise index for eurozone at June 2012 lows

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - The euro nursed losses at a two-month low on Tuesday on growing concerns that firmer U.S. Treasury yields would reduce incremental demand for the region's bonds and stocks at a time when hedge funds have amassed record long bets in the single currency.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest in more than four years at 2.998 percent on Monday before backing off that level and standing at 2.962 percent in Tuesday's Asian trade and near a psychological 3 percent mark.

That has prompted investors to take another look at the widening interest rate differential trends between the United States and Europe which hit the highest in nearly 30 years at 236 basis points last week, and protracted weakness in the greenback.

"For more than six months, dollar-liability flows have outstripped dollar-asset flows but that is now reversing which is helping the dollar," said Hans Redeker, head of global FX strategy at Morgan Stanley based in London.

Some lingering worries that European Central Bank policymakers may signal a more cautious stance at a policy meeting on Thursday also pulled the single currency lower, though some market analysts said it may have fallen too far.

"We think the euro's weakness may be overdone as despite the U.S. Treasury yield spike theme reverberating in the markets over the last 24 hours, the U.S. economy is very much in the late stages of its economic cycle and a cautious ECB meeting is baked into markets," said Christin Tuxen, an FX strategist at Danske Bank in Copenhagen.

The single currency stabilised around $1.22 on Tuesday after having plumbed to a low of $1.2185 in the Asian session, its lowest since March 1. It has fallen 3 percent from a 2018 high above $1.2550 in mid-February.

Euro zone firms ended the first quarter with their weakest expansion since the start of 2017, according to the March Purchasing Managers' surveys. Inflation rose less than estimated last month and investor morale in powerhouse economy Germany has tumbled.



Tuesday's data showed business morale in Germany, France and Italy -- the euro zone's three biggest economies -- deteriorated in April as a stronger currency and capacity constraints limited output.

Despite the recent softness in data -- the Citi economic surprise index for the eurozone is now at its lowest since June 2012 -- markets remain stubbornly bullish on the euro with overall bets still near record highs as longer-term expectations remain optimistic.

"The ECB will have to collect more evidence that the recent data moderation is indeed a soft patch and not the first sign of a more enduring slowdown in the economy," said Luigi Speranza, head of European economics at BNP Paribas in London.

Elsewhere, the dollar held at a three-month high against a basket of currencies, after having received a boost from U.S. 10-year Treasury yields holding near the key 3 percent level.

The dollar's index against a basket of six major peers rose to as high as 91.076, its strongest since Jan. 12. The dollar index was last steady on the day at 90.989.

The dollar set a two-month high of 108.87 yen and was holding near those levels.

The rise in U.S. bond yields has dented emerging market currencies and bond markets, including those in Asia.

Higher U.S. yields can put pressure on the currencies of emerging market countries that run current account deficits such as Indonesia and India, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.

A stronger dollar also intensified pressure on some commodity-linked currencies such as the New Zealand dollar which tumbled 0.3 percent to 0.7129 per dollar.


(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano in SINGAPORE
Editing by Richard Balmforth)




VEGOILS-Palm hits one-week low on overnight U.S. soyoil losses - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 07:02:28 PM

  • Palm falls to 2,391 rgt/T, lowest since April 18
  • Weaker ringgit seen capping losses - trader
  • Palm may retest resistance at 2,434 rgt/T - technicals

Updates with closing prices

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures dipped on Tuesday evening, hitting their lowest in a week and tracking overnight losses in related edible oils such as soyoil on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade and China's Dalian Commodity Exchange.

A weaker ringgit, however, may curb further declines in palm prices, traders said.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange dropped 0.5 percent to 2,397 ringgit ($614.14) a tonne at the close of trade in a second consecutive day of declines.

Earlier in the session, the palm oil contract touched 2,391 ringgit, its weakest since April 18.

Trading volumes stood at 30,698 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.

"Weakness in competing edible oils is weighing on the market," said a Kuala Lumpur-based futures trader.

"Depreciation in the local currency, however, may provide support and cushion selling interest," he said, referring to the Malaysian ringgit, palm's currency of trade.

The ringgit has steadily weakened in the past two weeks and shed 1 percent of its value against the dollar since April 11. It was down 0.2 percent at 3.9030 per dollar on Tuesday evening.

A weaker ringgit makes palm oil cheaper for holders of foreign currencies.

Palm oil may retest a resistance at 2,434 ringgit per tonne, a break above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance at 2,476 ringgit, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals.

In other related oils, Chicago's July soybean oil contract posted a decline of 0.8 percent in the previous session, and edged up 0.1 percent on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange slid as much as 1.1 percent, while the Dalian September palm oil contract fell up to 0.8 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/David Evans)

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as tech stocks, bond yields weigh - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 03:13:54 AM

  • 10-year Treasury yields hit four-year high
  • Aluminum stocks drop as U.S. weighs sanctions relief
  • Alphabet results expected after the bell
  • Dow down 0.47 pct, S&P 500 down 0.40 pct, Nasdaq down 0.67 pct

Updates to late afternoon, changes byline

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street fell into negative territory on Monday as signs of soft smartphone demand took a toll on tech stocks and a rise in bond yields dented demand for equities, offsetting optimism on earnings.

Tech stocks were a drag on all three major U.S. indexes ahead of a big week of earnings for the sector. Chipmaker shares fell after the world's largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, cut its full-year revenue target due to softer demand for smartphones.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries rose to their highest level since January 2014 amid concerns over the growing supply of government debt and accelerating inflation.

While rising yields can lead investors away from equities, the robust earnings season gave reason for confidence.

"Earnings continue to be healthy and in many respects exceed market expectations. It continues to suggest an overall strength in the economy, and we're seeing more and more above-trend growth," said Steven Baffico, chief executive officer at Four Wood Capital Partners in New York.

"One good quarter does not a year make, but I think you can look at overall strength in earnings as a good leading indicator for the equity market," said Baffico.

Analysts expect earnings growth at S&P 500 companies of nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, the strongest showing in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Quarterly results are expected this week from 181 S&P 500 companies, including technology heavy-hitters Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Intel Corp. Alphabet Inc reports after the market closes on Monday.

Alphabet is expected to post first-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.28. Heightened options activity ahead of Alphabet's report implied a 4.9 percent stock price swing in either direction by Friday.

At 3:13PM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58.33 points, or 0.24 percent, to 24,404.61, the S&P 500 lost 4.48 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,665.66, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 27.71 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,118.42.

Of the 11 major S&P sectors only telecom and healthcare were in positive territory.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index was down 1.2 percent and was on track for its fourth straight session of declines on concerns of slowing smartphone demand.

Merck & Co Inc helped lift the healthcare sector, up 2.3 percent following a Goldman Sachs upgrade to "buy."

Aluminum company stocks dropped as the United States opened the door to sanctions relief for Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal Plc. Alcoa tumbled 13.9 percent and Arconic fell 4.8 percent, making it the biggest percentage loser on the S&P.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.88-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.81-to-1 ratio favored decliners.


(Reporting by Stephen Culp
Editing by Leslie Adler)




UPDATE 9-Oil settles higher; fears of Iran sanctions end early slide - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 04:06:48 AM

  • WTI-Brent spread is at widest since January
  • Strong demand, OPEC cuts still support prices overall

New throughout, updates prices and market activity to post-settlement trading

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices rebounded from an early slide to finish higher and strengthen further in post-settlement trade, as investors feared U.S. sanctions could dampen Iran's output.

"It's tweet by tweet," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group, saying the market is swinging in response to posturing from the United States and OPEC members.

Oil prices tumbled early on fears that oversupply could return. Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said there would be no need to extend a pact between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers if oil prices strengthened, the ministry's official website SHANA reported.

Flynn said the market recovered on conviction U.S. sanctions could dampen Iran's output, even if the nation produces above its OPEC quota.

Also supporting prices, energy information provider Genscape showed a decline in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub for U.S. crude.

Brent crude futures settled up 65 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $74.71 a barrel, after falling as low as $73.13. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 24 cents to $68.64 a barrel, rebounding from a session low of $67.14. The difference between the two benchmarks was at its widest since Jan. 8..

In post-settlement trading, Brent kept edging higher to $75.08 a barrel.

Since early 2017, OPEC, Russia and other non-OPEC crude producers have curbed output to reduce a global oil glut. The pact runs until the end of 2018.

"We continue to watch whether the fundamental picture continues to tighten," said Gene McGillian, vice president of research at Tradition Energy.

In early trade, oil fell along with other raw materials after the United States gave American customers of Russia's biggest aluminum producer Rusal more time to comply with sanctions.

This month, oil has risen to its highest since late 2014. Prices have been supported by U.S. sanctions on Russian companies and individuals and by fears Washington may take new measures against struggling Venezuela and especially OPEC member Iran.

"Added price pressure comes from U.S. sanctions against the key oil exporting nations of Venezuela, Russia and Iran," said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

"Stay long oil," JPMorgan said in a separate note.

The United States has until May 12 to decide whether it will leave a nuclear deal with Iran and impose new sanctions against Tehran.

"The uncertainty of the administration makes things very difficult," McGillian said, cautioning that sanctions against Iran or Venezuela could also cause market swings.


(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE and Amanda Cooper in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)




UPDATE 5-U.S. extends deadline for Rusal sanctions, aluminum prices dive - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 02:06:37 AM

  • U.S. says Rusal could see relief if Deripaska ends control
  • Europe pressing Trump over Russia sanctions
  • Aluminum prices had rallied on sanctions last week

Recasts first paragraph, adds context on aluminum market

By Susan Heavey and Polina Devitt

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) - The United States on Monday gave American customers of Russia's biggest aluminum producer more time to comply with sanctions, and said it would consider lifting them if United Company Rusal Plc's major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company.

Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange tumbled more than 8 percent after the U.S. Treasury Department announcement, which gives Rusal longer to sell off large quantities of aluminum it had been stockpiling in the wake of sanctions.

Last week, aluminum prices rallied to their highest in years after Washington, in response to what it called "malign activities" by Russia, imposed the sanctions that will in effect choke off access for Deripaska's businesses to the international financial system.

Treasury gave Americans until Oct. 23 instead of June 5 to wind down business with Rusal. It said it would not impose secondary sanctions on non-U.S. entities engaged with Rusal or its subsidiaries.

Shares in Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum companies, jumped nearly 18 percent on the Moscow Exchange on the announcement. Earlier, Rusal had ended Hong Kong trading down 8.4 percent. Shares of its U.S. rival Alcoa Corp slid more than 13 percent.

"Rusal has felt the impact of U.S. sanctions because of its entanglement with Oleg Deripaska, but the U.S. government is not targeting the hardworking people who depend on Rusal and its subsidiaries," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Workers at one of Russia's biggest aluminium smelters say their Siberian town is doomed unless Moscow mitigates U.S. sanctions against Rusal, a predicament mirrored across the company's sprawling operations.

Deripaska owns a 48 percent stake in Rusal "and controls the company via his shareholder agreement with other owners," said Oleg Petropavlovsky, a senior analyst at BCS Global Markets. "It is not clear whether potential cancellation of this shareholder agreement would be enough" to satisfy U.S. officials, he said.

Rusal declined to comment on the Treasury Department announcement. The Kremlin and Deripaska did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



European leaders have worked to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to ease sanctions on Russia, with the president of France poised to visit the White House this week.

Mnuchin said "impact on our partners and allies" factored into the reprieve. French sources said initial feedback had been "constructive."

Rusal now has more time to sell off its supply. Even if sanctions are not ultimately lifted, buyers also have more time to seek other suppliers.

Last week, aluminum rallied to its highest since mid-2011 on fears the global market could face shortages as a result of the U.S. sanctions. It remains up more than 16 percent this month.

Wood Mackenzie analysts said Treasury's announcement provides "much-needed breathing space" for the aluminum market, adding "We expect near-term correction and volatility" in prices.

Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone, said there is potential for Rusal to survive and that "the 5 mln (million) tons of Rusal production that a week ago was arguably radioactive, will no longer be so."


(Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington, Polina Devitt in Moscow, Pratima Desai in London; Writing by David Gregorio; Editing by Marguerita Choy)



·         24-Apr-2018 04:00:34 AM - US CORN - 5 PCT PLANTED VS 3 PCT WK AGO (14 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

·         24-Apr-2018 04:00:34 AM - US SOYBEANS - 2 PCT PLANTED (5 PCT YR) (2 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

·         24-Apr-2018 04:00:34 AM - US SPRING WHEAT - 3 PCT PLANTED VS 3 PCT WK AGO (25 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

·         24-Apr-2018 04:00:34 AM - US WINTER WHEAT - 13 PCT HEADED VS 9 PCT WK AGO (19 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA


CBOT soybeans close lower for third straight day - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 02:36:26 AM

- Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures fell for the third session in a row on Monday on fears of a slowdown in purchases from China due to harsh trade rhetoric between Beijing and Washington.

·         The U.S. Agriculture Department has not reported a new soybean deal with China since April 10.

·         Technical support for the CBOT May soybean futures contract was noted near its 100-day moving average.

·         Soymeal and soyoil futures also fell on Monday.

·         USDA reported weekly soybean export inspections of 470,817 tonnes in the latest week. Analysts forecasts for corn export inspections ranged from 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes.

·         Analysts were expecting a USDA report on Monday afternoon to show that 2 percent of the U.S. soybean crop had been planted as of April 23.


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(Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by James Dalgleish)




CBOT soft red winter wheat eases, K.C. wheat firm - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 02:33:33 AM

- U.S. wheat futures ended mixed on Monday, with Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat contracts easing on technical selling while K.C. hard red winter wheat offerings firmed on concerns about crop conditions.

·         CBOT May soft red winter wheat hit resistance at its five-day moving average and fell to its lowest since April 5.

·         MGEX spring wheat also fell, dropping 2 percent on forecasts for improving planting weather in the northern U.S. Plains.

·         K.C. hard red winter wheat contracts received support as weekend rains fell below expectations in key growing areas of the U.S. Plains.

·         The U.S. Agriculture Department reported weekly wheat export inspections of 619,251 tonnes in the latest week. Analysts forecasts for wheat export inspections ranged from 350,000 tonnes to 550,000 tonnes.

·         Analysts were expecting a USDA report on Monday afternoon to show that good-to-excellent ratings for the U.S. wheat crop improved to 32 percent as of April 22, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier.


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(Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)




CBOT corn ends higher; planting in focus - Reuters News

24-Apr-2018 02:25:26 AM

- Chicago Board of Trade corn futures closed firm on Monday, with a slow pace of planting underpinning prices despite forecasts for warmer weather in the U.S. Midwest.

·         Technical buying at the benchmark CBOT May contract's 200-day moving averages pushed prices higher after early weakness.

·         The U.S. Agriculture Department report weekly corn export inspections of 1.719 million tonnes in the latest week. Analysts forecasts for corn export inspections ranged from 1.2 million to 1.7 million tonnes.

·         Analysts were expecting a USDA report on Monday afternoon to show that 7 percent of the U.S. corn crop had been seeded as of April 22, up from 3 percent last week.



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(Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)