Tuesday, May 15, 2018

20180515 Gold Futures Technical View

Gold Technical: 
Break of near term support. Bears attack initiated. 
A break below 1290 could see further downside.

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall St opens lower on trade woes, moderate retail sales data - Reuters News

15-May-2018 09:34:44 PM

May 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened lower on Tuesday on concerns over lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and investors assessing U.S. retail sales data that showed moderate gains last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 89.86 points, or 0.36 percent, at the open to 24,809.55.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 11.54 points, or 0.42 percent, at 2,718.59. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.01 points, or 0.67 percent, to 7,361.30 at the opening bell.

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




US STOCKS-Wall Street drops on trade woes, moderate retail sales data - Reuters News

15-May-2018 09:19:02 PM

  • US-China still 'very far apart' on trade-U.S. ambassador
  • Mexico does not sees NAFTA deal coming this week
  • April retail sales up 0.3 pct, vs. 0.8 pct rise in March
  • Home Depot drops as sales misses estimate, drags Lowe's
  • Futures down: Dow 0.59 pct, S&P 0.53 pct, Nasdaq 0.83 pct

By Medha Singh

- U.S. stock index futures dropped on Tuesday as investors were worried about a lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and assessed U.S. retail sales data that showed moderate gains last month.

The United States and China are still "very far apart" on resolving trade frictions, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad said, as a second round of high-level talks were set to begin in Washington.

Adding to the trade woes, Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he does not expect to meet a deadline this Thursday to reach a new North American Free Trade Agreement that could be presented to the U.S. Congress.

U.S. retail sales increased a moderate 0.3 percent in April, compared with an upwardly revised 0.8 percent surge in March, as rising gasoline prices weighed on discretionary spending, the Commerce Department said.

However, the rise in core retail sales, which excluded automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, showed consumer spending appeared on track to accelerate after slowing sharply in the first quarter.

Following the data, benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit 3.037 percent, a key breakout level, before gaining further to 3.043 percent, their highest since July 2011.

"It's a combination of less good news from China trade situation, a bit of a seasonal miss on Home Depot and tick up in the yield on 10-year that conspires to be the story ... and unraveled some of that positive feeling we had yesterday," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.

"The (retail sales) data is impressive, the yield on the 10-year is reflective of that, and that we get further noise on 3 percent and that becomes an issue."

Shares of Home Depot Inc slipped 2.5 percent in premarket trading after the No.1 U.S. home improvement chain missed Wall Street forecasts for sales at established stores as an unusually long winter hit demand for typical spring products.

Smaller rival Lowe's was down 1.7 percent.

At 9:09 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 147 points, or 0.59 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 14.5 points, or 0.53 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 58 points, or 0.83 percent.

Even oil prices, which have helped boost the stock market in recent days, touching a 3-1/2-year high, did not offer succor on the day.

Among stocks, Agilent Technologies dropped 7.0 percent after posting a disappointing quarterly forecast late on Monday.

Ford dipped 0.9 percent after Piper Jaffray cut its rating to "neutral" on the automaker's shares.

Symantec rose 3.0 percent after the anti-virus maker's bullish 2020 forecast eased concerns over the impact of an internal accounting probe.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)




UPDATE 6-Oil hits multi-year high on tight supply, Iran sanctions - Reuters News

15-May-2018 09:53:15 PM

  • Strong global demand has been outstripping production
  • Supply overhang of 2014-2017 virtually eliminated -OPEC
  • China refinery demand at second-highest level on record

Updates prices in paragraphs 2-3

By Christopher Johnson

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices hit a 3-1/2-year high on Tuesday, supported by tight supply and planned U.S. sanctions against Iran that are likely to restrict crude oil exports from one of the biggest producers in the Middle East.

Brent crude oil reached an intraday peak of $79.47 a barrel, up $1.24 and its highest since November 2014, before easing to $78.28, up 5 cents, by 1345 GMT.

U.S. light crude was 15 cents lower at $70.81 a barrel, also not far off its highest since November 2014.

World oil prices have surged by more than 70 percent over the last year as demand has risen sharply but production has been restricted by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, and other producers including Russia.

Now the United States has announced it will impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, raising fears that markets will face shortages later this year when trade restrictions come into effect.

"Oil prices are touching fresh multi-year highs as robust demand prospects coupled with a tense geopolitical backdrop make for a potent bullish cocktail," said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokers PVM Oil Associates.

Norbert Rücker, head of macro and commodity research at private bank Julius Baer, said that at the top of everyone's mind was "the potential impact on Iranian oil exports and thus the risk of another meaningful supply disruption".

In China, the world's biggest oil importer, refinery runs rose nearly 12 percent in April compared with a year earlier, to around 12.06 million barrels per day (bpd), marking the second-highest level on record on a daily basis, data showed.

The tightening market has all but eliminated a global supply overhang which depressed crude prices between late 2014 and early 2017.

OPEC figures published on Monday showed that oil inventories in OECD industrialised nations in March fell to 9 million barrels above the five-year average, from 340 million barrels above the average in January 2017.

U.S. crude is trading at a hefty discount to Brent, the international marker, thanks to sharp rises in U.S. production to 10.7 million bpd, which has left the American domestic oil market well supplied.

U.S. shale oil production is expected to rise by about 145,000 bpd to a record 7.18 million bpd in June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

The Permian basin in Texas, the biggest U.S. oil patch, is expected to see output climb 78,000 bpd to a fresh record of 3.28 million bpd.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore;
Editing by Susan Fenton and Dale Hudson)




PRECIOUS-Gold hits fresh 2018 low as rising yields lift dollar - Reuters News

15-May-2018 09:31:59 PM

  • Strong U.S. bond yields underpin dollar
  • SPDR Gold holdings down 0.17 percent on Monday

 (Releads, updates prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Gold slid more than 1 percent on Tuesday, falling for a third day to hit its lowest this year as a rise in U.S. borrowing costs pushed up the dollar and overshadowed the impact of strife in Gaza.

Downward momentum in gold picked up after the metal broke below support at its 200-day moving average at $1,306 an ounce. That had firmly underpinned prices earlier this month.

Spot gold was down 1.2 percent to $1,207.06 an ounce by 1304 GMT, having earlier hit its lowest since late December at $1,296.31. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were down 1.6 percent to $1,296.90 an ounce.

Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday when the high-profile opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem by the Trump administration raised tension to boiling point.

But gold investors were fixated on the dollar, which rose versus a currency basket as 10-year U.S. bond yields shot above 3 percent, sending borrowing costs higher in a number of other countries.

"The market is getting increasingly disappointed about (gold's) inability to react to those (geopolitical) drivers," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

"We're up against bond yields, the dollar and the fact that rising oil prices have at this stage accelerated expectations for rate hikes in the United States, due to the risk of inflation."

A Federal Reserve official this week backed the case for further interest rate hikes in the United States, saying inflation had not yet reached the U.S. central bank's 2 percent goal in a sustained way.

Higher U.S. interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push up bond yields, making greenback-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies and denting the appeal of non-yielding assets such as gold.

"The market's been waiting for the next rate hike by the Fed ... and I think gold prices are going to remain under pressure till we get through that hike," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said in a note.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.17 percent to 856.17 tonnes on Monday.

Silver was down 1.5 percent at $16.25 an ounce, having hit its lowest in nearly two weeks in earlier trade at $16.22 an ounce.

Platinum was down 0.9 percent at $896.49 per ounce, while palladium was 3 percent lower at $965.25 an ounce having broken below support at its 200-day moving average, currently at $988 an ounce.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority said on Tuesday it would examine whether a takeover of miner Lonmin by South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater would lessen competition.


(Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru
Editing by Dale Hudson/Keith Weir)




METALS-Copper dips as dollar and inventories climb - Reuters News

15-May-2018 08:03:30 PM

  • Funds still short copper
  • Copper support at $6,840, near the 200-day moving average

Recasts, adds comment, changes dateline from Singapore

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Copper eased on Tuesday under pressure from negative sentiment fuelled by a higher dollar and rising inventories, though upbeat industrial production data from China limited losses.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3 percent at $6,885 a tonne by 1240 GMT, with subdued activity that traders said was because of an industry gathering in Hong Kong for LME Week Asia.

"A lot of what is going on in base (metals) is related to the dollar," said Peter Fertig, analyst at Quantitative Commodity Research.

"China's economy is in good shape, industrial production is strong and its lending figures are a positive for the construction and housing market."


DOLLAR: A higher U.S. currency dollar makes dollar-denominated metals more expensive for holders of other currencies, which could dent demand.

INDUSTRY: China's industrial output rose 7 percent in April, above forecasts for a 6.3 percent increase and up from a seven-month low of 6 percent in March.

LOANS: Chinese banks extended 1.18 trillion yuan ($185.5 billion) in net new yuan loans in April. The forecast was for 1.1 trillion yuan compared with March's 1.12 trillion yuan.

PROPERTY: "As China dominates demand for most metals, its monthly update on the economy is watched closely, in particular with regard to the metals-intensive infrastructure and property sectors," Julius Baer analysts said in a note.

TECHNICALS: A sustained break above $6,890, where the 21-day moving average currently sits, could see a move towards $6,970, the 100-day moving average. Support is at $6,840, near the 200-day moving average.

INVENTORIES: Stocks of copper in LME-approved warehouses are at 291,350 tonnes, up nearly 10,000 tonnes since last Thursday. Copper stocks in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange are at nearly 280,000 tonnes, compared with close to 250,000 at the end of April.

POSITIONING: Traders said many funds are still short copper.

"Having registered a net speculative short of 2.7 percent of open interest on the May 8, a level not seen since Sept 2016, positioning in copper is now a net speculative short of 1.8 percent of open interest, or 3,300 lots (of 25 tonnes each)," Marex Spectron said.

PRICES: Aluminium was down 0.5 percent at $2,307 a tonne, zinc gained 0.6 percent to $3,074, lead fell 0.4 percent to $2,376, tin was down 0.1 percent at $20,920 and nickel added 0.3 percent to $14,545.

($1 = 6.3610 Chinese yuan renminbi)


(Editing by David Goodman)




CBOT Trends-Wheat and corn up 1-2 cents, soybeans mixed - Reuters News

15-May-2018 09:29:19 PM

CHICAGO, May 15 (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 - Up 1 to 2 cents per bushel

  • Wheat higher on a technical bounce after the CBOT July contract dipped to $4.90, a two-week low, in early moves.
  • Trade awaits the results of an international wheat purchase tender from Egypt's main state wheat buyer.
  • The USDA late Monday rated 36 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, up from 34 percent the previous week and above trade expectations for no change.
  • The USDA said the U.S. spring wheat crop was 58 percent seeded, lagging the five-year average of 67 percent.
  • The CBOT reported 16 deliveries against the expired May contract and 10 K.C. May wheat deliveries.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last up 1-1/2 cents at $4.92-3/4 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat last traded unchanged at $5.09-3/4 and MGEX July spring wheat was up 3-1/4 cents at $6.04-3/4 a bushel.

CORN - Up 1 to 2 cents per bushel

  • Corn headed higher on technical buying and worries about dry weather curbing yields in Brazil. Upward momentum limited by a stronger-than-expected U.S. planting pace in the latest week.
  • The USDA late Monday said the U.S. corn crop was 62 percent planted, near the five-year average of 63 percent and above an average of trade expectations for 59 percent.
  • The CBOT reported 103 deliveries against the expired May corn contract.
  • CBOT July corn last up 2 cents at $3.98-1/2 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Mixed, down 1 cent per bushel to up 1 cent


  • Soybeans turning mixed, paring early advances as pressure from a stronger-than-expected U.S. planting pace last week offset support from optimism about a resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute.
  • Some traders drew hope from U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge on Sunday to help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp as signaling an attempt to ease trade tensions between the two countries.
  • The USDA late Monday said the U.S. soybean crop was 35 percent planted, ahead of the five-year average of 26 percent and above an average of trade expectations for 30 percent.
  • Ahead of the National Oilseed Processors Association's monthly crush report later on Tuesday, analysts on average expected the trade group to report that is member crushed 160.966 million bushels of soybeans in April.
  • Deliveries against the expired CBOT May soybean contract totaled 68 contracts. The CBOT reported 61 May soymeal deliveries and 31 May soyoil deliveries.
  • CBOT July soybeans last down 1/2 cent at $10.17-1/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)




VEGOILS-Palm oil extends gains on weaker ringgit - Reuters News

15-May-2018 07:13:19 PM

  • Palm posts second day of gains
  • Slight strength in U.S. soyoil also supports -trader
  • Palm could test resistance at 2,466 rgt/T -technicals

Updates with closing prices

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Tuesday evening for a second straight session of gains, supported by a weaker ringgit and slight strength in CBOT soyoil futures.

Weakness in the ringgit typically boosts demand by making the tropical oil cheaper for holders of foreign currencies. The ringgit weakened by 0.15 percent to 3.9540 per dollar at the end of the trading day.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.7 percent at 2,432 ringgit ($615.07) a tonne at the close of trade.

Palm oil jumped nearly 3 percent to a one-month high in intraday trade on Monday, the first session of trade since the stunning election defeat of a coalition that ruled the country for six decades. It closed with a gain of 1.5 percent.

Trading volume stood at 49,160 lots of 25 tonnes each on Tuesday evening.

"The ringgit was still weak and a positive CBOT soyoil also lent a helping hand," said a futures trader in Kuala Lumpur.

The market rose despite reports of weaker exports of Malaysian palm oil products on Tuesday, traders said.

Exports for May 1-15 fell 14.9 percent from a month earlier, said inspection company AmSpec Agri Malaysia.

Cargo surveyor Societe Generale de Surveillance, meanwhile, reported a 13.7 percent drop for the same period.

Palm oil could retest resistance at 2,466 ringgit a tonne, a break above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance at 2,475 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst for commodities and energy technicals, Wang Tao.

In related oils, the Chicago July soybean oil contract edged up by 0.1 percent while September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 0.7 percent.

The Dalian September palm oil contract slipped by 0.2 percent.

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


Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1103 GMT







































































Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne

CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound

Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne

India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg

Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel


($1 = 3.9540 ringgit)

($1 = 67.8900 Indian rupees)

($1 = 6.3555 Chinese yuan)


(Reporting by Emily Chow
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and David Goodman)


Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St climbs on easing U.S.-China trade tensions - Reuters News

14-May-2018 11:47:54 PM

  • NXP jumps on China's Qualcomm deal review; boosts chipmakers
  • Optical components makers rise after Trump's ZTE comment
  • Xerox tumbles after scrapping $6.1 bln deal with Fujifilm
  • Viacom shares tumble after CBS lawsuit against merger
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.57 pct, S&P 0.37 pct, Nasdaq 0.55 pct

Changes comment, adds details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks notched up gains on Monday on signs of easing trade tensions between the United States and China after President Donald Trump softened his stance on Chinese technology company ZTE Corp.

Trump on Sunday pledged to help ZTE "get back into business, fast" nearly a month after the U.S. Commerce Department banned American companies from selling to the firm for violating an agreement.

Trump's comments came ahead of trade talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. officials this week.

"There has been calmer trade headlines, we haven't seen the rhetoric pick up," said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Shares of some of the biggest suppliers to ZTE, including Acacia Communications, Oclaro and Lumentum Holdings rose between 11.1 percent and 4.1 percent.

Chip stocks got a boost from news that China had resumed its review of chipmaker Qualcomm's proposed $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors. NXP surged 9.9 percent and Qualcomm 2.8 percent.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index was up 1.6 percent.

At 11:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 142.51 points, or 0.57 percent, at 24,973.68. The blue-chip index was on track to post its eighth straight day of gains, with United Health's 1.6 percent rise providing the biggest boost.

The S&P 500 was up 10.11 points, or 0.37 percent, at 2,737.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 40.76 points, or 0.55 percent, at 7,443.64.

The S&P 500 and the Dow rose above their 100-day moving averages, a key technical level, for the first time in nearly a month last week on easing worries of inflation and a surge in oil prices.

"Soothing economic reports, robust earnings and calmer trade headlines have allowed stocks to gain the footing here so far." Augustine said.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology, healthcare and energy sectors leading the gains.

The biggest decliner was Xerox, which tumbled 8.4 percent after the U.S. photocopier maker scrapped a planned $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm Holdings.

Viacom Inc declined 5.8 percent after CBS Corp filed a lawsuit to stop controlling shareholder Shari Redstone from continuing with her plan to merge it with Viacom. CBS rose 4.9 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 22 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 100 new highs and 24 new lows.


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




UPDATE 8-Oil gains on OPEC report, U.S. crude discount to Brent deepens - Reuters News

14-May-2018 11:58:52 PM

  • OPEC report shows global oil glut virtually eliminated
  • U.S. sanctions against Iran keep oil near three-year highs
  • Europe, Asia oppose U.S. sanctions plans

New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments, new byline, changes dateline previous LONDON

By Ayenat Mersie

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Monday as OPEC reported that the global oil glut has been virtually eliminated, while U.S. crude's discount to global benchmark Brent widened to more than $7, its deepest in nearly five months.

Global benchmark Brent was up $1.08 cents at $78.20 a barrel by 11:56 a.m. EDT (1556 GMT) and U.S. crude rose 43 cents to $71.13.

The report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries "was bullish. That absolute plunge in Venezuelan production ... just highlights how tenuous the market is in terms of the supply and demand balance," said John Kilduff, Partner at Again Capital LLC.

The OPEC report, published Monday, showed Venezuelan production at its lowest in decades and said the global oil glut had been virtually eliminated. Even so, OPEC and other producing countries were still trimming output more than their supply-cutting pact required.

U.S. crude's discount to Brent was more than $7, the widest since late December.

"You have the threat that a high enough price will start to activate the 7,700 drilled but uncompleted wells in the lower 48 states," said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst at ICAP TA.

"And meanwhile, if Iranian crude is really taken off the water, it's going to impact Brent much more than it's going to impact WTI," Zimmerman said.

It is unclear how hard U.S. sanctions will hit Iran's oil industry. Much will depend on how other major oil consumers respond to Washington's action against Tehran, which will take effect in November.

China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Iran all remain in the nuclear accord that placed controls on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

"Germany has said it will protect its companies from U.S. sanctions, Iran has said French oil giant Total has yet to pull out of its fields and all the while it seems the Chinese are ready to fill the void created by the U.S," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.

Michael Wittner, analyst at Societe Generale, forecasts U.S. sanctions will remove 400,000-500,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude from the global market.

"In 2012 the reduction in Iranian crude production and exports was around 1 million bpd," Wittner said. "This time around, we expect much less of an impact."

Also supportive to prices was data from market intelligence firm Genscape showing that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, fell more than more than 400,000 barrels in the week to May 11, according to traders who saw the data.

(Additional reporting by Christopher Johnson in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore
Editing by David Goodman and David Gregorio)




PRECIOUS-Gold firms as dollar retreats from 2018 peak - Reuters News

14-May-2018 09:58:24 PM

  • Geopolitical risks could support bullion
  • Gold price expected to remain in narrow range

(Updates prices)

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday as the dollar retreated from a 2018 peak after subdued U.S. inflation data last week highlighted the prospect of fewer U.S. interest rate increases than previously expected this year.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,320.8 an ounce at 1348 GMT, having on Friday touched $1,325.96, its highest since April 26. U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,320.7.

A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies -- a relationship used by funds to generate buy and sell signals.

Though the dollar eased on Monday, its performance against a basket of other major currencies touched 93.416 last week for a gain of more than 4 percent since April 17 and its highest level since December.

"Gold is dollar-driven but it is doing reasonably well given the dollar is generally stronger," said Macquarie commodities strategist Matthew Turner.

Further support could come from rising security risks in the Middle East after the United States said it would withdraw from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions.

However, gold is expected to remain in the narrow range in which it has been trading this year -- mostly between $1,300 and $1,350 -- unless supply or demand fundamentals change dramatically.

"Gold's trading range in the first four months between low and high price was the lowest in percentage terms since it was fixed to the dollar in 1971," Turner said.

An increase to U.S. interest rates, possibly in June at the Federal Reserve's next meeting, will weigh on gold, though analysts say that would be unlikely to push gold significantly lower.

"Over the short term, and particularly during May, we see gold trading between $1,285 and $1,338 an ounce as continued strength in the dollar and rising rates pressure values lower," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

Traders said that falling gold imports by India, a top consumer, were also undermining sentiment.

Silver was up 0.1 percent at $16.63 an ounce, platinum gained 0.2 percent to $923.20 and palladium added 0.1 percent to 996.75.


(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman and Dale Hudson)




GRAINS-U.S. soy futures rebound; wheat extends losing streak; corn flat - Reuters News

14-May-2018 11:23:50 PM

Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds new analyst quote, changes byline and dateline; previous PARIS/SINGAPORE

By Mark Weinraub

- Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures rose on Monday, bouncing back from their lowest in more than five weeks on a round of technical buying and signs that Chinese demand for export supplies was picking up, traders said.

Wheat futures dropped, on track for their fourth straight losing session, falling through key technical support points to hit their lowest since April 27. Corn futures were close to unchanged.

Soybean futures sagged to their lowest since April 4 during overnight trading following a 1.3 percent drop on Friday.

"We got a little too low a little too quick," said Mark Schultz, chief analyst at Minnesota-based Northstar Commodity Investment Co.

At 10:14 a.m. CDT (1514 GMT), Chicago Board of Trade July soybean futures were up 14 cents at $10.17-1/4 a bushel.

The U.S. Agriculture Department reported weekly soybean export inspections of 688,195 tonnes. That topped analysts' forecasts for 450,000 tonnes to 650,000 tonnes and included 128,688 tonnes of supplies headed to China.

Traders also cited hopes that Chinese soybean purchases would pick up amid signs of easing trade tensions with the world's largest buyer of the oilseed.

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Sunday to help ZTE Corp after a U.S. ban crippled the Chinese technology company, offering a job-saving concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks this week. Sources said China was willing in principle to import more U.S. agriculture products in return for Washington smoothing out penalties against ZTE, but they did not offer details.

CBOT July soft red winter wheat futures were 7-3/4 cents lower at $4.91 a bushel.

After reaching multimonth highs at the start of May amid concern about dry weather in the U.S. Plains and other major wheat-producing regions worldwide, Chicago prices have been dampened by the government's bigger-than-anticipated forecast of this year's U.S. wheat crop on May 10 and the return of rain to parts of the U.S. Plains.

"Some fundamental investors will no doubt have taken profits," Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said of wheat.

K.C. hard red winter wheat for July delivery, which tracks the crop being grown in the Plains, were off 1.5 percent and on pace for their seventh straight session of declines.

CBOT July corn futures were unchanged at $3.96-1/2 a bushel.


(Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Sunil Nair, David Goodman and Jonathan Oatis)





TABLE-Trade estimates for USDA grain export inspections - Reuters News

14-May-2018 10:20:16 PM

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to release its weekly grain and oilseed export inspections report at 10:00 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Monday.

Export inspection estimates for U.S. grain and soybeans are as follows, in tonnes, according to trade industry analysts:


Previous week












(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer)




UPDATE 2-"The clock is ticking" - EU warns Britain of poor Brexit progress - Reuters News

15-May-2018 12:44:26 AM

  • Tensions starts building up ahead of June 28-29 summit
  • May under pressure to make decision on customs
  • Irish border, trade, security, expat rights still outstanding

Adds Barnier comments to EU ministers

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) - The European Union on Monday warned Britain time was running out to seal a Brexit deal this autumn and ensure London does not crash out of the bloc next March, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.

May's spokesman, however, said the "focus is on getting this right" rather than meeting a deadline.

The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told 27 ministers of the bloc meeting in Brussels on Monday that "no significant progress" had been made in negotiations with London since March, the Bulgarian chairwoman of the talks said.

Diplomats and officials in Brussels have raised doubts about whether the bloc and London will be able to mark a milestone in the negotiations at the summit of EU leaders on June 28-29.

The current schedule puts progress in June as an important step towards a final Brexit deal in October, which would leave enough time for an elaborate EU ratification process before the Brexit day.

"October is only five months from now and still some key issues related to the withdrawal agreement need to be settled. In June we need to see substantive progress on Ireland, on governance and all remaining separation issues," said Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva of Bulgaria, which holds the EU's rotating presidency.

German, Austrian and Dutch ministers all echoed the same concern, saying Britain has not made its position clear in detail on parts of the negotiations.

"We are concerned that there is no clear stance, no clear position from the British. The clock is ticking," German EU Minister Michael Roth told his EU peers.

"We need now to be making substantial progress, but that is not happening. What is worrying us in particular is the Northern Ireland question where we expect a substantial accommodation from the British side."

At home, May is stuck between a rock and a hard place with staunch Brexit supporters pushing to sever ties with the EU and others advocating keeping close customs cooperation with the bloc to reduce frictions in future trade.

May's spokesman said London was working on two options for post-Brexit customs cooperation.

Under a customs partnership, Britain could collect tariffs on goods entering the country on the EU's behalf. Under a second idea, for a streamlined customs arrangement, traders on an approved list would be able to cross borders freely with the aid of automated technology.



But the EU has said London must come up with a solution for the Irish border conundrum and highlights that has not happened. Both sides worry that reinstating a physical border between EU-member Ireland and Britain's province of Northern Ireland - including to manage customs - could revive violence there.

Other outstanding issues include guarantees for expatriate rights, agreeing on security cooperation and trade rules after Brexit.

With May's cabinet, her ruling Conservative party and the British split on Brexit, the prime minister has come under increasing pressure at home in recent weeks to make a decision on customs.

The Brexit schedule is tightening, sources said, which helps the EU negotiating strategy to pile pressure on London before the June summit but mostly is due to lack of substantial headway in the talks.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said it was too early to discuss an extension of the timeline, but added: "The aim is now to conclude a deal in the time schedule that has been agreed on ... I very much hope we will agree but there are no guarantees, unfortunately."


(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Liz Piper in London, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Toby Chopra)