Thursday, May 24, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower as auto tariff threat weighs - Reuters News

24-May-2018 09:16:40 PM

  • U.S. launches auto imports probe, adds to trade jitters
  • L Brands, NetApp fall on weak forecasts
  • Medtronic, Williams-Sonoma gain after results
  • Futures dip: Dow 0.23 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.17 pct

Adds comment, adds details, updates prices

By Medha Singh

May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open lower on Thursday as rising concerns over U.S. trade protectionism, this time around car imports, overshadowed optimism that the Federal Reserve may be more tolerant of rising inflation than previously expected.

The Trump administration launched a national security probe into car and truck imports on Wednesday that could lead to new tariffs, with Beijing calling the move an "abuse" of the clauses and saying it would defend its interests.

The decision added to jitters over the prospects of trade negotiations with China, reignited after Trump called for "a different structure" to any trade deal.

Shares of European and Asian automakers skidded on the tariff possibility, while U.S. automakers inched marginally higher premarket.

Ford was up 0.2 percent and General Motors gained 0.4 percent. U.S.-listed shares of Fiat fell 2 percent, while those of Ferrari dipped 0.6 percent.

"The markets are adjusting now with lots of uncertainties, with China, North Korea, (and the prospect of) a trade war that could spill over to other parts of the economy and the world," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of 50 Park Investments in New York.

By 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 56 points, or 0.23 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 11.5 points, or 0.17 percent.

Wall Street posted small gains on Wednesday after minutes from the Fed's latest meeting suggested higher inflation may not result in faster interest rate hikes.

Shares of Victoria's Secret-owner L Brands fell 6 percent, while those of data storage equipment maker NetApp dropped 4.6 percent following weak forecasts.

Best Buy Co slipped 5.5 percent as investors focused on slowing online sales growth over the better-than-expected quarterly comparable sales.

Williams-Sonoma jumped 11.3 percent after the Pottery Barn owner posted strong quarterly results and gave a healthy forecast.

Shares of Medtronic rose 1.5 percent after its quarterly profit topped Wall Street estimates on higher demand for heart valves and diabetes devices.


(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)




UPDATE 5-Oil slips further below $80 a barrel as focus on OPEC intensifies - Reuters News

24-May-2018 09:29:19 PM

  • U.S. crude, gasoline inventories rise unexpectedly -EIA
  • Brent-WTI spread near widest in three years
  • OPEC set to meet next month to discuss policy

Updates prices

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Oil prices recorded their largest one-day drop in two weeks on Thursday, with expectations building that OPEC could wind down an output deal that has been in place since the start of 2017 due to concerns about supplies from Venezuela and Iran.

Benchmark Brent futures were down $1.04 at $78.76 a barrel by 1312 GMT, its largest one-day fall since May 8, while U.S. crude futures dropped $1.05 to $70.79 a barrel.

"This discussion about possible OPEC supply increases after the June meeting has put a brake on the oil price for the time being, so $80 is a big hurdle to overcome," Commerzbank strategist Carsten Fritsch said.

"If prices get above there, that will further intensify and increase the likelihood that OPEC will do something .. It's going to be very difficult to overcome this level on a sustainable basis before the OPEC meeting."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may decide in June to lift output to make up for reduced supply from Iran and Venezuela and in response to concerns from Washington about a rally in oil prices, OPEC and oil industry sources told Reuters.

Venezuela's output has fallen amid an economic crisis, while Iran's supply is threatened by U.S. sanctions.

These factors have helped push Brent and WTI to multi-year highs, with Brent breaking through an $80 threshold last week for the first time since November 2014.

OPEC and some non-OPEC major oil producers, which are scheduled to meet in Vienna next month, previously agreed to curb their combined output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to boost oil prices and clear a supply glut.

Global inventories have been broadly falling. But commercial U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.8 million barrels in the week to May 18, beating analyst expectations for a drop of 1.6 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

The premium of Brent crude over U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures neared $8 a barrel, close to its widest in three years.

Inventories of gasoline rose by 1.9 million barrels in the same week, just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday in the United States which typically marks the start of the summer driving season.

Refinery runs fell 7,000 bpd to 16.63 million bpd, 3.8 percent below the same week last year, according to the EIA data.


(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Jane Chung in Seoul and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore
Editing by Adrian Croft and Edmund Blair)




PRECIOUS-Gold claws higher on soft dollar, renewed trade tensions - Reuters News

24-May-2018 08:36:42 PM

  • Fed minutes depict a less aggressive rate hike approach
  • Dollar hits over one-week low vs yen
  • Platinum to continue trading at discount to gold -analysts

(Adds technical comments on platinum, updates prices)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose for a second session on Thursday, lifted by a weaker dollar, worries about renewed trade tensions and volatile emerging markets.

Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,296.70 per ounce by 1225 GMT, after gaining nearly 0.2 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery added 0.5 percent to $1,296.20 per ounce.

Gold's safe haven appeal was burnished after the U.S. launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs similar to those it imposed on steel and aluminium in March.

"We have a whole host of potential sources of support for gold. Trade spats are reoccuring and there's a focus on troubled emerging markets," Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen, said.

Turkey has been in the spotlight and the lira weakened more than 2 percent after a huge emergency interest rate hike failed to stem its problems.

"The relief rally in the Turkish lira yesterday seems to have only managed to pause the slide but not reverse it," Hansen said.

Gold was also buoyed from a weaker dollar index, which lost momentum after U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to impose new tariffs and minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting were seen as dovish.

Higher U.S. rates tend to boost the dollar and drag on greenback-denominated gold, but the metal can also be used as a hedge against rising inflation.

Hansen said it was worrying that the positive drivers for gold had not pushed it further towards key levels of $1,300 and $1,305, which need to be broken to resume the upside.

"It we get there that's going to force a reaction from funds, but we need a spark and so far gold hasn't managed to break out of its range."

Spot gold has shed 5 percent since touching $1,365.23 on April 11, the highest in nearly three months.

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.8 percent to $16.55 an ounce, platinum climbed 0.9 percent to $907.40 an ounce and palladium shed 0.5 percent to $972 an ounce.

St├ęphanie Aymes, head of technical analysis at Societe Generale, said in a note that platinum has rebounded from a multi-year trend at $890 and was now approaching a down sloping channel near $924/31.

"A cross above this is needed for signs of rebound."


(Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru
Editing by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely)




CBOT Trends-Wheat up 4-8 cents, corn up 1-3, soybeans up 8-10 - Reuters News

24-May-2018 09:28:35 PM

CHICAGO, May 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 Thursday.


WHEAT - Up 4 to 8 cents per bushel

  • Wheat higher on technical buying and dry weather in parts of Canada, Australia and Russia that has fueled expectations of tightening global supplies after record inventories forecast for 2017/18. The CBOT July contract reached $5.42, its highest since Aug. 2017.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. wheat in the week to May 17 at 452,300 tonnes (old and new crop years combined), in line with trade expectations.
  • Russia's Sovecon agriculture consultancy cut its 2018 Russian wheat harvest forecast to 77 million tonnes, from 78.2 million previously, citing weather conditions in Siberia.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last up 8-1/4 cents at $5.39-1/4 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat last traded up 6-3/4 cents at $5.58-1/2 and MGEX July spring wheat  was up 4-1/2 cents at $6.46-1/2 a bushel.

CORN - Up 1 to 3 cents per bushel

  • Corn higher following wheat and corn. The CBOT July contract reached $4.12-1/4, its highest since July 2017, and new-crop December reached $4.29-1/2, matching its life-of-contract high.
  • The USDA reported export sales of U.S. corn in the week to May 17 at 1,127,700 tonnes (old and new crop years combined), in line with trade expectations.
  • Through its daily reporting system, the USDA said private exporters reported cancellations of 132,000 tonnes of U.S. sorghum sold to unknown destinations for 2017/18 delivery.
  • CBOT July corn last traded up 2-1/2 cents at $4.11 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Up 8 to 10 cents per bushel

  • Soybeans head higher for a fifth straight session on expectations of increased export demand from China, the world' top soy buyer, as trade tensions ease.
  • Through its daily reporting system, the USDA said private exporters reported sales of 264,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to unknown destinations for 2018/19 delivery.
  • The USDA's weekly export sales report showed net cancellations of 139,500 tonnes of old-crop U.S. soybeans, and net sales of 6,900 tonnes of new-crop soybeans.
  • The USDA reported weekly export sales of U.S. soymeal at 196,900 tonnes (old and new crop years combined).
  • Brazilian soybean processors say their operations have been affected by nationwide truckers protests against high diesel prices. Soy crushers association Abiove said on Wednesday that some plants have suspended operations as beans are not being delivered at the sites.
  • CBOT July soybeans last up 9-1/4 cents at $10.48-1/2 per bushel.


(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen)




VEGOILS-Palm rises to seven-week peak on stronger soyoil, weaker ringgit - Reuters News

24-May-2018 07:11:29 PM

  • Palm hits 2,498 rgt/T, highest since April 9
  • Crude oil prices supporting palm -trader
  • Palm up 1.7 pct this week

Updates with closing prices

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures rose to a seven-week high on Thursday evening, tracking gains in U.S. soyoil and supported by a weaker ringgit.

Palm oil prices typically rise on a weaker ringgit, its currency of trade, because it makes the edible oil cheaper for foreign buyers. The ringgit weakened as much as 0.2 percent against the dollar before closing the day with a 0.03 percent gain at 3.9790.

The palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.8 percent at 2,492 ringgit ($626.29) a tonne at the end of the trading day.

It earlier climbed to 2,498 ringgit, matching the intraday high of April 9. Palm is also up 1.7 percent for the week so far, in line for a third straight week of gains.

Trading volume stood at 41,918 lots of 25 tonnes each at the close.

"The market is up on soybean oil's upside, while crude oil prices are also still holding at high levels," one Kuala Lumpur futures trader said, referring to soyoil on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade.

"The ringgit is also weaker and is expected to weaken further over the week on the dollar's strength."

Palm, which can be used as feedstock to produce biodiesel, has been tracking movements in crude oil prices in recent sessions.

While oil prices edged down on Thursday on the back of higher OPEC production, benchmark Brent futures are still trading at more than three-year highs of $79.

Palm oil is affected by movements in rival edible that compete in the global vegetable oils market. The Chicago July soybean oil contract gained 0.6 percent on Wednesday and was last up 1 percent on Thursday.

In other related oils, September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange was up 0.3 percent, while the Dalian September palm oil contract rose by 0.4 percent.




FOREX-Euro edges up as dollar surge loses steam on Fed minutes - Reuters News

24-May-2018 08:19:53 PM

  • Euro hurt by euro zone growth slowdown, Italian politics
  • Fed minutes show no haste in rate hikes
  • Dollar falls more than 1 pct vs yen over last 2 days

Adds context, quotes. Updates figures

By Tom Finn

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - The euro rose off a six-month low on Thursday as the dollar faltered but concerns over an economic slowdown in Europe and political risks in Italy continued to act as a brake.

The euro is set to be down for a sixth consecutive week against the dollar -- the longest weekly losing streak since January 2015 -- hobbled by the surging U.S. currency and worries over a deepening economic slowdown in the currency bloc.

The single currency rose to $1.1746, off the low of $1.1676 hit on Wednesday, and was heading for its biggest daily gain in two weeks.

But that was largely because the recent dollar rally lost some momentum following dovish-looking minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting and the threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on imported cars.

"For now this is a dollar story; a pause in the greenback which is quite technical in fact. There is this widespread feeling that the dollar has stalled as profits are taken following a very decent run," said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX strategy at Commerzbank.

The euro's gains were also capped by economic and political worries in Europe. The leader of the far-right League, a partner in Italy's planned coalition government, insisted on Thursday that eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona should be named economy minister.

The euro has unwound all of its rally against the Swiss franc since the Italian elections as the prospect of a spendthrift coalition government taking shape in Rome unnerves investors.

It fell to near three-month lows against the franc on Wednesday as fresh data indicated a slowdown in European business activity.

The euro currency was soft against the yen, hitting a nine-month low of 128.01 yen.

The European Central Bank's chief economist said on Thursday there are "clouds" on the horizon, including plans by Italy's would-be government to loosen fiscal policy and roll back a pension reform, and international trade tension.

"In the absence of eurozone economic data finding another gear this side of summer, the chances of a hawkish ECB-led rally in the single currency look pretty bleak," said ING FX analyst Viraj Patel, in a note.

The dollar's fall appeared to accelerate after the minutes of the Fed meeting.

While most policymakers thought it likely another U.S. interest rate increase would be warranted - in line with market expectations - the minutes showed the Fed would tolerate inflation rising above its goal for a time.

Trump opened a front in the trade war on Wednesday by considering new tariffs, this time on cars, just days after Washington agreed with Beijing to put "on hold" its plan to impose tariffs on $150 billion worth Chinese goods.

Against the yen, the dollar shed 0.7 percent to 109.3 yen, a day after it experienced its biggest fall in nearly three months.

The safe-haven Swiss franc also ticked up 0.2 percent to 0.9914 franc to the dollar. It hit a three-week high of 0.9894 per dollar on Wednesday.

(Editing by Keith Weir and David Stamp)