Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Wall St hits session highs as trade war worries fade - Reuters News
10-Apr-2018 11:41:12 PM
Ten of 11 S&P sectors up; energy stocks lead gains
Facebook CEO to testify before U.S. lawmakers
Indexes up: Dow 2.05 pct, S&P 1.68 pct, Nasdaq 1.73 pct 
Adds quote, updates prices
By Sweta Singh
April 10 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes hit session highs on Tuesday as investors concerns about rising U.S.-China trade tension receded after Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to cut import tariffs.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy index adding more than 3 percent as oil broke above $70 a barrel. The biggest boost came from a 2.2 percent gain in the technology sector. 
The S&P and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were up more than a percent, while the Dow gained 2 percent with 29 of its 30 components in the positive territory.
In his first public comments since the trade dispute with the Trump administration started, Xi vowed to open the country's economy and said China would raise the foreign ownership limit in automobile, shipbuilding and aircraft sectors "as soon as possible".
His comments buoyed global markets, which have been under pressure as China and the United States threatened each other with billions in tariffs and investors feared that protectionist measures would hit global economic growth.
"What you are seeing in the market is an alleviation of trade war fears and people trying to get back in and reposition themselves for what they hope - no trade war," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
U.S. stocks will face a major test in coming weeks as first-quarter earnings pour in. Big banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will kick off the earnings season with their results on Friday.
Analysts expect quarterly profits for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.5 percent from a year ago, which would be the biggest gain in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
At 11:31 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones industrial average was up 492.44 points, or 2.05 percent, at 24,471.54. 
The S&P 500 was up 43.86 points, or 1.68 percent, at 2,657.02 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 120.52 points, or 1.73 percent, at 7,070.86.
The so-called FANG stocks - Facebook Inc,, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google - were up between 1 percent and 2.6 percent ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The CEO is expected to strike a conciliatory tone in an attempt to blunt possible regulatory fallout from the privacy scandal engulfing his social network.
Shares of Spectrum Pharma rose 22 percent after company provided positive data from lung cancer drug trial. 
Verifone Systems shares rose 52 percent after the company agreed to be taken private for $2.28 billion. 
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 4.69-to-1 ratio on the upside and on the Nasdaq for a 3.98-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 22 new lows. 
(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nikhil Subba; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

UPDATE 7-Oil hits $70 as China offers soothing words on trade - Reuters News
10-Apr-2018 10:33:19 PM
Dispute between top two oil consumers has rattled markets
China promises to open economy further, cut import tariffs
Oil prices generally helped by OPEC-led supply restraint
Updates with comment, refreshes prices
By Amanda Cooper
LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Oil hit $70 a barrel on Tuesday, in its biggest two-day rally in nearly a month, as investors grew more confident that a brewing trade dispute between the United States and China may be resolved without causing harm to the global economy. 
Brent crude futures were last up $1.35 at $70.00 a barrel by 1418 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose $1.30 to $64.72 a barrel.
President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised to open China's economy further and lower import tariffs, striking a conciliatory tone on the trade tensions between China and the United States.
Equities and industrial commodities rose, while perceived safe-havens such as gold and U.S. Treasuries came under pressure, reflecting confidence among traders and investors that a trade war is increasingly unlikely.
The oil price has risen by 4.5 percent in the last two trading days to reach its highest since March 29 and is only 1.2 percent below the 2018 peak at $71.05 from late January.
"It's not so much 'risk on/risk off', as it is 'trade war on/trade war off' and, at the moment, we're 'trade-war off'," London Capital Group's Jasper Lawler said.
"There's a lot of political motivation in the tariffs in the United States, but ultimately, they won't want a trade war, there is a general desire to boost the U.S. economy."

Concerns of a prolonged trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies and uncertainty over the supply and demand balance of global oil markets have made for volatile trading in the last few weeks.
Oil briefly rose above $70 two weeks ago, after Saudi Arabia vowed it would keep an agreement in place to limit supply into next year. But the U.S. decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods a week later sent the price to a two-week low.
Oil markets have been supported by healthy demand and supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
However, soaring U.S. crude production, which has jumped by a quarter since mid-2016, threatens to undermine OPEC's efforts.
The American Petroleum Institute will publish storage data later on Tuesday while the U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its monthly report on U.S. production.
"The latest monthly estimates will come out this week with the EIA leading the pack, publishing its Short-Term Energy Outlook this afternoon," PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said.
"The EIA said that U.S. crude oil output is chiefly the function of price. If this is the case, then no downward revision is anticipated today."
(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by Jason Neely and Adrian Croft)

Gold Prices Hold Steady in Cautious Trade - MIST
11-Apr-2018 12:11:45 AM
Gold prices held steady on Tuesday as the dollar remained little changed against a currency basket as fears over a possible trade war between the U.S. and China eased after Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to lower import tariffs.
Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were trading at $1,339.50 a troy ounce by 04:53 AM ET (08:53 AM GMT).
Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia, Xi said that China would lower import tariffs on vehicles, encourage imports and strengthen the protection of intellectual property.
Xi also said that a Cold War mentality, zero-sum thinking, and isolationism was out of place in today's world and only peaceful development and cooperation could bring results.
The remarks helped eased investor worries over the tit-for-tat tariff dispute which investors had feared might escalate into a full blown trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last at 89.53, almost unchanged for the day.
Gold is denominated in the U.S. currency and becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies when the dollar rises.
Gold prices continued to be underpinned as geopolitical tensions helped support safe haven demand. Markets fear that U.S.-Russia relations could deteriorate amid heightened tensions in the wake of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
Investors seek out gold as a store of value during times of political or economic uncertainty.
In other precious metal trade, silver futures were down 0.21% to $16.495 a troy ounce, while platinum futures shed 0.2% to trade at $937.50.
Among base metals, copper futures were up 0.62% to $3.096 a pound.
Copyright (c) 2018 Sourced by MIST all rights reserved

PRECIOUS-Gold hits near 1-week high on weak dollar, geopolitics - Reuters News
10-Apr-2018 10:24:10 PM
Dollar dips to two-week lows
Platinum retreats back to discount to palladium
(Updates prices)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit the highest in nearly a week on Tuesday as the dollar weakened and as investors awaited potential U.S. action against the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria.
"Geopolitics is taking the main driving seat this week, so gold has potentially got some room for the upside," said Jonathan Butler, commodities analyst at Mitsubishi in London.
"A lot will hinge on what is happening geopolitically between Russia, Syria, Iran and all sorts of other countries that could be potentially drawn into this."
Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,340 an ounce at 1410 GMT, the highest since April 4.
U.S. gold futures added 0.2 percent to $1,343.20 an ounce.
If gold breaks through resistance of $1,340, it could move back to the late March highs just under $1,360, Butler added.
Trump on Monday promised quick, forceful action in response to a deadly suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, appearing to suggest a potential military response.
Gold is often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.
Gold also got a boost as the dollar index dipped to a two-week low against a basket of currencies on Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping's promise to cut import tariffs eased concerns about a trade conflict.
Xi promised to open the country's economy further and lower import tariffs on products including cars. His comments spurred a rally in global equity markets.
Markets are looking ahead to this week's Federal Reserve's minutes on its last policy meeting and U.S. CPI data for cues on the pace of interest rate hikes this year.
In other precious metals, silver gained 0.8 percent to $16.58 an ounce.
Platinum fell 0.5 percent to $927.25 an ounce, after gaining about 2 percent in the previous session, the most in nearly two months.
Palladium rose 2.2 percent to $950 an ounce. The auto catalyst metal gained over 3 percent on Monday, its biggest daily percentage rise since Jan. 12.
Platinum fell back to a discount to sister metal palladium on Tuesday after rising to a premium last Thursday. Last September, palladium gained the upper hand over platinum for the first time in 16 years.
"We are not convinced the platinum-palladium ratio can hold consistently above parity this year as strong trends in the auto sector which have weighed on the ratio remain in place," UBS analyst Joni Teves said in a note.
Diesel vehicles use mostly platinum in catalytic converters while petrol cars largely use palladium, but diesel sales in Europe's largest car markets have been falling.
(Additional reporting by Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru 
Editing by Keith Weir and Alexandra Hudson) 

UPDATE 1-USDA trims soy stocks view; raises corn, wheat stocks view - Reuters News
11-Apr-2018 12:34:20 AM
Adds prices, analyst quote
By Mark Weinraub
WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday issued a surprise downward revision to its forecast for domestic soybean supplies as strong profit margins at processors encouraged them to crush more beans.
The government raised its outlook for wheat and corn ending stocks, reflecting decreased demand for both grains from the feed and residual sector.
Soybean futures rallied to their highest since March 9 after the report was released. Corn and wheat remained in negative territory.
In its monthly supply and demand report, USDA pegged soybean ending stocks for the 2017-18 marketing year at 550 million bushels, down 5 million from its March estimate. 
It raised its estimate for soybeans used for crushing by 10 million bushels to 1.970 billion bushels. USDA left its U.S. soybean export forecast unchanged at 2.065 billion bushels.
Analysts had been expecting soybean ending stocks of 574 million bushels, based on the average of estimates given in a Reuters poll. 
Despite USDA's lower forecast, soybean ending stocks would still be the second-biggest total on record if realized.
USDA also lowered its estimate for the Argentine soybean crop by 7 million tonnes to 40 million tonnes, and reduced its export outlook for that key South American supplier by 2.60 million tonnes to 4.20 million tonnes.
"We are seeing some benefit from what's happening with the short Argentina (soybean) crop, but not enough to offset the export business we lost in the first half of the marketing year," said Arlan Suderman, analyst at INTL FCStone. "We need a late-year surge in export business just to hit USDA's current target."
The harvest outlook for Brazil was raised to 115 million tonnes from 113 million tonnes. Brazil soybean exports were pegged at 73.10 million tonnes, up 2.60 million tonnes from USDA's March outlook.
For corn, USDA raised its domestic ending stocks outlook to 2.182 billion bushels, up from 2.127 billion in March. 
USDA lowered corn usage in the feed and residual category by 50 million bushels and by 5 million bushels in the food, seed and industrial category.
The government also lowered its estimate of both Brazil's and Argentina's corn harvests and said that reduced competition was expected to impact U.S. exports during the first half of the 2018-19 marketing year.
For wheat, U.S. ending stocks were raised to 1.064 billion bushels from 1.034 billion bushels. Wheat usage in the feed and residual sector was cut by 30 million bushels.

(Additional reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago, editing by G Crosse)

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