Friday, May 11, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Futures tick higher; auto, health stocks in focus - Reuters News

11-May-2018 09:07:12 PM

  • Symantec slides on probe after ex-employee raises concern
  • Nvidia drops after results on crypto worries
  • Trump to discuss fuel efficiency standards with automakers
  • Dow up 0.15 pct, S&P up 0.16 pct, Nasdaq off 0.05 pct

By Sruthi Shankar

May 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly higher on Friday, with auto and healthcare stocks to be in focus as President Donald Trump is set to address issues related to the two sectors.

Trump will meet 10 major automakers, including the heads of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, at the White House to discuss the fate of landmark fuel efficiency standards and a looming confrontation with California and other major states.

The president is also expected to renew his focus on controlling prescription drug prices in a highly anticipated speech at 2:00 p.m. ET that could lead to volatility in healthcare stocks.

"It's relatively quiet in terms of drivers today. Trump's speech really hasn't had much of an impact on pharma or biotech thus far," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.

"Three of the four drivers that we had yesterday are still with us, benign 10-year (Treasury yields), oil and dollar, and technically breaking above the 100-day and 50-day on S&P was significant."

The S&P 500 reclaimed its 100-day moving average on Thursday, suggesting to some traders that the market may move higher. A day earlier it had topped its 50-day moving average, an indicator of short-term momentum.

"When you have a breakout, it tends to have a follow through, but early indications look like we maybe a little bit behind on yesterday's rally."

At 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 37 points, or 0.15 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 3.25 points, or 0.05 percent.

The tech sector could be under pressure from a set of disappointing results, though Apple could give it some boost.

The stock was marginally up in premarket trading, putting it on course to extend a nine-day rally that has sent it to a record high.

Nvidia, the best performing chipmaker this year, fell 2.1 percent after revenue from its closely-watched data center business missed analysts' estimates.

The results could pressure shares of other chipmakers. Advanced Micro Devices was down 1.3 percent.

Symantec Corp slumped 29.7 percent after the Norton Antivirus maker said it was investigating concerns raised by a former employee and reported full-year results below analysts' estimates.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)




UPDATE 6-Oil near multi-year highs as Iran sanctions tighten supply outlook - Reuters News

11-May-2018 07:57:16 PM

  • U.S. plans reintroduction of sanctions against Iran
  • Iran oil exports expected to drop as sanctions bite
  • Other producers could increase output to meet shortfall

Updates prices in paragraphs 4-5

By Christopher Johnson

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied near 3-1/2 year highs on Friday as the prospect of new U.S. sanctions on Iran tightened the outlook for Middle East supply at a time when global crude production is only just keeping pace with rising demand.

The United States plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran, which pumps about 4 percent of the world's oil, after abandoning a deal reached in late 2015 that limited Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for the removal of U.S. and European sanctions.

The global oil market is finely balanced, with top exporter Saudi Arabia and No.1 producer Russia having led efforts to curb oil supply to prop up prices.

Benchmark Brent crude was down 20 cents at $77.27 a barrel by 1155 GMT. On Thursday Brent hit $78, its highest since November 2014.

U.S. light crude was unchanged at $71.36, having touched a 3-1/2 year high of $71.89 on Thursday.

Many analysts expect oil prices to rise as Iran's exports fall.

"The up-trend remains strong and intact," said Robin Bieber, technical chart analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Rainer Seele, chief executive of Austrian oil and gas company OMV, told German daily Handelsblatt that he expects prices to rise as the United States moves to reimpose sanctions.

"It is not yet clear which concrete sanctions the U.S. will impose. But I expect the price of North Sea Brent to be closer to $80 than $70 a barrel," Seele said in an interview.

U.S. investment bank Jefferies said in a note on Friday that it expects Iranian crude oil exports to start falling in the next few months.

"We expect that around October Iranian exports will be down by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) and eventually fall by 1 million bpd," the bank said.

There are signs, however, that other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will raise output to counter the Iran disruption.

Jefferies said that OPEC has the capacity "to replace the Iranian losses" but added: "Even if physical supply is held constant ... the market will still be faced with a precariously low level of spare capacity."

Outside OPEC, soaring U.S. crude oil production could help to fill Iran's supply gap. U.S. oil output reached another record high last week, hitting 10.7 million bpd.

That is up 27 percent since mid-2016 and means that U.S. output is creeping ever closer to that of top producer Russia, which pumps about 11 million bpd.

(Additional teporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore
Editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely)




PRECIOUS-Soft U.S. inflation pushes gold prices higher - Reuters News

11-May-2018 08:30:08 PM

  • U.S. dollar and bond yields fall
  • Gold up 0.8 percent this week
  • Nudges 100-day moving average
  • Investors brush off Middle East tensions

(Updates prices)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Gold was set for its first weekly gain in four weeks on Friday after soft U.S. inflation data suggested that the Federal Reserve might show caution on the pace of interest rate rises.

The weaker-than-expected April consumer price data on Thursday helped to knock the dollar from 2018 highs and push U.S. bond yields down. Both fell further on Friday.

That benefits gold because a weaker dollar makes bullion cheaper for users of other currencies, while lower bond yields make non-yielding gold more attractive to investors.

"It (gold's rise) was mostly a response to the consumer price data out of the U.S. yesterday," Capital Economics analyst Simona Gambarini said.

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,324.71 an ounce by 1156 GMT after touching its highest since April 26 at $1,325.61, nudging its 100-day moving average of $1,326. It was up 0.8 percent for the week.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery had gained 0.2 percent to $1,325.40.

Gold has traded in a range of about $1,310 to $1,355 since hitting a 1-1/2-year high in January.

Prices appeared to be building positive momentum, ScotiaMocatta technical analysts said.

Consolidation above resistance at the 100-day moving average might be a catalyst for more gains, MKS PAMP trader Tim Brown said.

But with the Fed likely to raise interest rates three more times this year, gold was likely to end 2018 at $1,300, Capital Economics' Gambarini said. Higher interest rates hurt gold because they push up bond yields and tend to boost the dollar.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis head James Bullard will make a speech on Friday, as will European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Gold investors largely brushed off tensions in the Middle East after the United States ditched an accord designed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Two days after this, Israel attacked Iranian military infrastructure in Syria.

"Geopolitical concerns are still a concern but investors aren't paying significant attention," Think Markets chief markets analyst Naeem Aslam said.

"The dollar story is more prominent," he said.

A summit between the United States and North Korea to be held in Singapore on June 12 also eased fears of conflict.

Gold is traditionally seen as a safe asset in times of uncertainty.

In other precious metals, silver was up 0.8 percent at $16.80 an ounce, rising above its technically important 100-day moving average and nearing its 200-day moving average. It was at 2-1/2-week highs and set for a weekly gain of 2 percent.

Platinum was flat at $924, having hit its highest since April 25 at $928.

Palladium advanced by 0.6 percent to $1,004.70, holding above its technically important 200-day moving average after reaching its highest since April 23.

(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in BENGALURU Editing by Louise Ireland)



CBOT Trends-Wheat down 4-5 cents, corn down 2-3, soybeans down 7-9 - Reuters News

11-May-2018 09:27:21 PM

CHICAGO, May 11 (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 Friday.


WHEAT - Down 4 to 5 cents per bushel

  • Wheat heading lower for a third straight session on technical selling and pressure from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's larger-than-expected U.S. wheat production forecast. CBOT July wheat is testing psychological support at the $5-per-bushel mark.
  • Statistics Canada reported Canadian all-wheat stocks as of March 31 at 16.4 million tonnes, below an average of trade expectations for 16.9 million.
  • The CBOT reported 41 May wheat deliveries, the first of the cycle, and no K.C. May wheat deliveries. The MGEX reported no May spring wheat deliveries.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last down 5-1/2 cents at $5.01 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat last down 4-3/4 cents at $5.22-1/4 and MGEX July spring wheat was down 2-1/2 cents at $6.06-1/2 a bushel.

CORN - Down 2 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Corn lower on technical selling and spillover weakness from soybeans and wheat. CBOT July corn dipped to $3.98-1/4 a bushel, its lowest since April 27.
  • The USDA in Thursday's supply/demand report left its 2017/18 U.S. corn ending stocks forecast unchanged at 2.182 billion bushels and projected 2018/19 ending stocks at 1.682 billion bushels, above the average trade estimate of 1.628 billion.
  • The CBOT reported 33 deliveries against May corn futures.
  • CBOT July corn last down 3-1/4 cents at $3.98-3/4 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Down 7 to 9 cents per bushel

  • Soybeans lower on technical selling ahead of the weekend, with the CBOT July contract falling below its 200-day moving average near $10.16 a bushel. Traders shifting their focus after Thursday's USDA supply/demand reports back to U.S. crop weather.
  • Statistics Canada reported Canadian canola stocks as of March 31 at 9.1 million tonnes, below an average of trade expectations for 9.4 million.
  • Deliveries against CBOT May soybeans totaled 68 contracts. The CBOT reported no May soymeal deliveries and 45 May soyoil deliveries.
  • CBOT July soybeans last down 8-1/2 cents at $10.12-3/4 per bushel.

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)




GRAINS-Wheat slips further as U.S. crop forecast weighs - Reuters News

11-May-2018 09:30:28 PM

  • Wheat down for third day, set for weekly fall
  • Bigger than expected USDA forecast of U.S. crop weighs
  • Soybeans down, slower Chinese demand in focus

Updates with European trading, changes byline/dateline

By Gus Trompiz and Naveen Thukral

PARIS/SINGAPORE, May 11 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat eased for a third consecutive session on Friday to keep the market on course for a weekly fall after a bigger than expected official forecast of U.S. wheat production kept the focus on ample supplies.

Soybeans also eased as attention remained on slowing demand in top importer China, despite a lower than anticipated U.S. government forecast of U.S. soybean stocks next season.

Corn also edged lower.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade slipped 1.1 percent to $5.01 a bushel by the end of the overnight session, but held above the psychological $5 level it had touched on Thursday.

Soybeans were down 0.8 percent at $10.12-3/4 a bushel and corn was 0.8 percent lower at $3.98-3/4.

"Some investors may have decided that without another crop downgrade the rally in wheat prices has come to an end. We agree with that view," said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The USDA is also forecasting a hefty rise in spring, durum and other high protein spring wheat production."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected the total U.S. wheat crop for the 2018-19 marketing year at 1.821 billion bushels, above the average analyst estimate for 1.777 billion and up 5 percent from the prior year.

Winter wheat grown in the southern U.S. Plains has struggled with months of drought, but the USDA said combined production of spring and durum wheat would increase 34 percent from the previous year.

The agency expects global wheat stocks to total around 264.33 million tonnes by the end of 2018-19 marketing year, only 2 percent below an all-time high of 270.46 million expected this season.

Soybean futures eased despite the USDA's outlook calling for a sharp drop in U.S. stocks, supported by increased demand.

"The optimistic USDA forecast of demand for US soybeans was countered by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture reporting that 2018/19 will likely see the country reduce its soybean imports for the first time in 15 years," Commerzbank analysts said.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Elaine Hardcastle)

Stock & Commodities Related News.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks near 3-week high, eyes on upcoming U.S.-Korea summit - Reuters News

11-May-2018 03:07:33 PM

Updates levels throughout, adds Europe futures

  • MSCI ex-Japan climbs 0.9 pct, Nikkei jumps 1 pct
  • U.S. April consumer price index rises slower than expected
  • Traders trim expectations of faster U.S. rate hikes in 2018
  • Risk appetite whetted on U.S.-Korea summit talks in Singapore

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY, May 11 (Reuters) - Asian shares rallied on Friday as investors' appetite for riskier assets got a boost from soft U.S. inflation, which helped alleviate worries of faster rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Markets were also cheered by a further easing in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12 for talks on its nuclear weapons programme.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent to near three-week highs with broad-based gains across all sectors. Japan's Nikkei climbed 1.2 percent.

But spreadbetters indicated the upbeat mood was unlikely to last, with FTSE futures down a bit and E-Minis for the S&P500 a touch softer.

Most emerging Asian currencies were buoyant as the dollar eased after Thursday's slower-than-expected April consumer price gain.

The soft figures followed payrolls numbers last week which pointed to sluggish wage growth.

The two data sets meant "inflation may be rising but not so rapidly that the Fed would have to take aggressive actions to keep the economy from overheating," said James McGlew, analyst at Perth-based stock broker Argonaut.

A recent shakeout in global markets, partly stoked by Sino-U.S. trade tensions, has also eased, while money managers expect the relatively low global rates that have fuelled a 'Goldilocks' boom in stock markets will remain in place for some time.

"While inflation is continuing to trend up, it's only happening slowly. So Goldilocks continues," Shane Oliver, chief investment manager at AMP, said in a note.

Indeed, a key measure of expected market swings, the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, has fallen very close to levels last seen in early January when stock markets were buoyant.



While North Korea has come off the boil for now, geopolitical concerns still remain as the U.S. and China continue skirmishing over trade and tensions rise in the Middle East.

"Trump still needs President Xi (Jinping) and China's support in dealing with North Korea and this will be his priority in the short term," economists at JPMorgan wrote in a note to clients.

"Once the meeting is finished, trade may return to the fore."

The United States and China have locked horns over import tariffs after Trump announced hefty duties on Chinese goods, provoking a tit-for-tat response from Beijing.

"It is notable that in line with this view, the U.S. has extended hearings over China tariffs, drawing out the process," they added.

U.S. and Chinese officials will meet in Washington for a second round of trade talks next week, after apparently making little progress in discussions in Beijing earlier this month.

Currency markets were largely muted during Asian trading.

The dollar index was up 0.2 percent after falling the most since late March on Thursday.

Investors trimmed their expectations for four Fed rate hikes after inflation data showed U.S. price pressures remained weak. The Fed has already raised rates once this year and is widely expected to go two more times in 2018.

The British pound inched above a four-month low of $1.3457 touched on Thursday after the BoE held key borrowing costs. It was last at $1.3505.

The recent slowing in price growth in major economies has boosted expectations that most central banks except the Fed will continue their massive bond-buying programmes to keep policy stimulatory.

The euro was a tad lower at $1.1893. The Japanese yen gained mildly to be last at 109.29 per dollar.

Malaysian markets were closed Friday but its newly appointed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad emerged with key election pledges including repealing an unpopular goods and services tax and restoring a petrol subsidy.

Ratings agency Moody's said some campaign promises would be "credit negative" for Malaysia.

Such concerns pushed up the cost of insuring against a Malaysia default, with the country's 5-year credit default swap price at its highest since early June 2017 at 95.090 basis points.

In commodities markets, spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,319.33 an ounce.

Oil prices eased but stayed near multi-year peaks amid supply concerns after Trump withdrew from an Iranian nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions.

U.S. crude futures were last down 10 cents at $71.26 a barrel. Brent crude futures fell 18 cents to $77.29 a barrel, after hitting $78 earlier in the day, their highest since November 2014.

(Editing by Sam Holmes, Shri Navaratnam & Kim Coghill)




European shares head for longest winning streak in three years, M&A in focus - Reuters News

11-May-2018 03:28:27 PM

For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - European stocks edged higher in early trading on Friday, set to seal their longest winning streak in over three years as fresh deal-making stole the spotlight from the tail-end of a busy earnings season.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent by 0724 GMT, set for its seventh straight week of gains - its longest winning streak since March 2015. Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE 100 were both flat in percentage terms.

Though moves at the index level were muted, M&A news livened up early trading. Shares in Sika soared nearly 11 percent to the top of the STOXX after the Swiss chemicals company reached an agreement with French building materials firm Saint-Gobain to end a long-standing legal dispute.

Saint-Gobain, whose shares rose 2.2 percent, is to take a large stake in Sika, but not majority control.

Shares in Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) were also big movers, up nearly 9 percent, after U.S.-based private equity firm Silver Lake Management Company agreed to acquire ZPG, the owner of British property websites Zoopla and PrimeLocation, for 2.2 billion pounds ($3 billion).

DMGT is the biggest shareholder in ZPG, whose shares rocketed around 30 percent to a record high. Shares in fellow British classifieds websites Rightmove and Auto Trader both gained around 4.5 percent.

While the first quarter earnings was winding down in Europe, basic resources was the best-performing sector after shares in ArcelorMittal rose 3.6 percent. The world's biggest steelmaker beat earnings forecasts and gave an upbeat outlook for 2018.

So far blended year-on-year earnings growth for the first quarter has come in at 16 percent for MSCI EMU, in dollar terms, compared with 26 percent for the S&P 500, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by Helen Reid)




FOREX-Dollar steps back from 2018 peak on softer US inflation - Reuters News

11-May-2018 11:17:11 AM

  • U.S. inflation falls short of expectations
  • Pound weak after BoE revises down economic outlook
  • Weaker dollar blessing for some emerging market currencies

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered below a 4-1/2-month high against a basket of major currencies on Friday after tepid U.S. inflation data prompted traders to pare bets of faster rate hikes.

U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in April, which would support gradual, rather than more aggressive, rate increases by the Federal Reserve.

"Given recent rises in oil prices, a weaker dollar earlier this year, and U.S. tax cuts, markets were clearly worried more about upside risks in inflation," said Minori Uchida, chief currency strategist at MUFG Bank.

The so-called core CPI, which strips out the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.1 percent from previous month, compared to economists' median forecast of 0.2 percent rise.

It lodged a year-on-year rise of 2.1 percent, matching March's increase.

The dollar's index against a basket of six major currencies, USD stepped back to 92.71 from Wednesday's 4-1/2-month high of 93.42.

On the week, it was up 0.1 percent, the fourth straight week of gains if sustained by the end of the day.

While dollar bulls expect U.S. yield advantages to underpin the dollar in the near term, others say its rally appeared to be running out of steam.

The euro jumped back to $1.1915 from Wednesday's 4- 1/2-month low of $1.1823.

The single currency has so far weathered the impact from rises in Italian bond yields on signs the country's two anti-establishment parties could sweep into power as they made "significant steps" towards forming a government.

While that would end almost 10 weeks of political stalemate after an inconclusive election on March 4, investors cast a wary eye on a coalition of the 5-Star Movement and far-right League, which are hostile to European Union budget restrictions.

Against the yen, the common currency rose to 130.38 yen, extending its recovery from its six-week low of 129.24 yen set on Tuesday.

The dollar eased to 109.40 yen from Thursday's high of 110.02 yen and off its three-month top of 110.05 yen touched on May 2.

The Australian dollar, which had been hit by the loss of its long-cherished status as the highest yielding currency in the developed world as U.S. rates have risen, bounced back to $0.7532 from Wednesday's 11-month low of $0.7413

The New Zealand dollar also bounced back from Thursday's five-month low of $0.6903 following a dovish tone from the country's central bank. It last stood at $0.6962.

The British pound had less luck, falling to $1.3460 on Thursday, its lowest levels in four months, after the Bank of England reduced its growth and inflation outlook for 2018 and 2019 while keeping rates steady as expected.

It was last fetching $1.3528.

The dollar's retreat should take the heat off some of emerging market currencies, which have been hit by worries about capital outflows to U.S, where yields are increasingly becoming attractive.

The Turkish lira stood at 4.2360 to the dollar, off its record low of 4.3780 hit on Wednesday.

The Malaysian ringgit steadied at around 4.0600 per dollar in the offshore forward market, off a near six-month low of 4.1350 touched on Thursday.

The initial ringgit losses came amid some uncertainty after Mahathir Mohamad scored a stunning election win, defeating the coalition that has ruled the nation for six decades since independence from Britain.

The Argentine peso, the most battered currency among all, as the country seeks financial help from International Monetary Fund, also stablised on Thursday.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam & Kim Coghill)




UPDATE 3-Oil dips from recent highs on hopes of alternatives to Iran supply - Reuters News

11-May-2018 03:18:04 PM

  • U.S. this week announced re-introduction of Iran sanctions
  • Iran oil exports expected to drop amid new sanctions
  • But other producers may step up output to meet shortfall

Updates prices

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, May 11 (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Friday, easing from multi-year highs in the previous session on hopes that alternative supplies could replace a looming drop in Iranian exports from U.S. sanctions.

The United States plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran, which produces around 4 percent of global oil supplies, after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 that limited Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing U.S.-Europe sanctions.

The sanctions come amid an oil market that has been tightening due to strong demand, especially in Asia, and as top exporter Saudi Arabia and No.1 producer Russia have led efforts since 2017 to withhold oil supplies to prop up prices.

Brent crude futures were at $77.23 per barrel at 0705 GMT, down 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. Brent the previous day hit its highest since November 2014 at $78 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $71.21 a barrel after hitting a November 2014 high of $71.89 per barrel on Thursday.

Many analysts expect oil prices to rise significantly, as the market adjusts to looming U.S. sanctions and Iran's exports sink amid strong demand.

"We expect that Iranian exports will fall well before the 180-day period until oil sanctions will be in effect, similar to the 2012 sanctions. We expect that around October Iranian exports will be down by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) and eventually fall by 1 million bpd in 1H19," U.S. investment bank Jefferies said in a note on Friday.

There are, however, signs that other suppliers from within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will step up output to counter the Iran disruption.

"The market is now focused on OPEC and other producers' ability to react to this potential supply disruption," ANZ bank said on Friday.

"Investors are increasingly viewing Kuwait and Iraq as the producers with the best ability to raise output quickly in response to any fall in Iranian exports," it added.

Jefferies said OPEC "has the capacity to replace the Iranian losses" but warned that "even if physical supply is held constant... the market will still be faced with a precariously low level of spare capacity."

Outside OPEC, soaring U.S. crude oil production may help fill Iran's supply gap, hitting another record last week by climbing to 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

That's up 27 percent since mid-2016 and means U.S. output is creeping ever closer to that of top producer Russia, which pumps around 11 million bpd.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin)




PRECIOUS-Gold eases on firmer dollar; but eyes first weekly gain in four - Reuters News

11-May-2018 03:16:10 PM

  • Spot gold up about 0.4 percent for the week
  • Silver, platinum and palladium back off 2-wk highs

(Updates prices)

By Apeksha Nair

BENGALURU, May 11 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped in range-bound trading on Friday as the dollar firmed slightly, with investors mostly brushing off a potential broadening of conflict in the Middle East.

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,319.61 per ounce as of 0656 GMT, after rising to the highest since end-April at $1,322.76 in the previous session. The metal was, however, still on track to register a first weekly rise in four.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery were nearly 0.2 percent lower at $1,320.20 per ounce.

"I think geopolitical concerns (with respect to recent attacks on Syria) are still a concern but investors aren't paying significant attention to these," said Naeem Aslam, chief markets analyst, Think Markets.

"The dollar story is more prominent."

Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday, after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries.

Gold is traditionally seen as a safe place to park assets in times of uncertainty or conflict.

Meanwhile, the dollar index on Friday edged slightly higher, but still held below a 4-1/2-month high hit on Wednesday, with tepid U.S. inflation data for April prompting traders to pare bets of faster rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Fed funds futures, however, rose on Thursday, indicating some traders continued to expect the U.S. central bank to raise key interest rates at its next policy meeting in June.

A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, while higher U.S. rates tend to boost the greenback.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England held its interest rates steady on Thursday, while European Central Bank Governing Council member Philip Lane said interest rates are unlikely to move dramatically in the coming years.

"Obviously we have to be cognizant to dollar risk but (tensions) in the Middle East doesn't look like it's going to settle anytime soon so I feel confident buying gold on the dips," said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA said.

Asian shares rose on Friday as risk appetite got a boost after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had hopes of "doing something very meaningful" to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions at a summit in Singapore next month.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.1 percent to $16.70 an ounce, having hit its highest in more than two weeks at $16.75 in the previous session.

Platinum fell 0.5 percent at $919 per ounce, having hit its highest since April 25 at $927.20 on Thursday.

Palladium was 0.5 percent lower at $994 an ounce, having marked a more than two-week high at $1,002.10 in the previous session.

(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Hogue and Subhranshu Sahu)



TECHNICALS-CBOT soybeans may revisit May 7 low of $10.10-3/4 - Reuters News

11-May-2018 02:09:56 PM

SINGAPORE, May 11 (Reuters) - The CBOT soybeans July contract may revisit its May 7 low of $10.10-3/4 per bushel, as it has completed a bounce from this level.

The completion has been confirmed by the three-wave structure of the bounce and a long-shadowed shooting star. Further indication is given by the failure of the contract to break a falling trendline.

Wave pattern shows that the downtrend is driven by a wave C, which was disrupted by the support at $10.09-3/4, its 114.6 percent projection level.

A drop to $10.10-3/4 could confirm the extension of the wave c towards $9.98. A further bounce may be limited to $10.24.

** Wang Tao is a Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals. The views expressed are his own.

No information in this analysis should be considered as being business, financial or legal advice. Each reader should consult his or her own professional or other advisers for business, financial or legal advice regarding the products mentioned in the analyses. **


(Reporting by Wang Tao; Editing by Vyas Mohan)