Monday, April 16, 2018

Stocks & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Futures rise as Syria fears wane, focus shifts to earnings - Reuters News

16-Apr-2018 09:04:33 PM

  • BofA shares rise after Q1 profit beat
  • March retail sales rise more than expected
  • Netflix rises ahead of results after the bell
  • Futures up: Dow 0.65 pct, S&P 0.61 pct, Nasdaq 0.63 pct

Adds comments, details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

April 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as investors bet the weekend's U.S.-led missile attack on Syria would not escalate into a broader conflict, while turning their focus to the earnings season.

Saturday's strikes marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

"The action was well-received ... and that's giving a chance for investors to focus on macro news and earnings," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

"It's not going to be a negative unless it turns into a bigger conflict. It's going to be a day where the market is going to attempt to move a bit higher."

Shares of Bank of America rose 0.84 percent in premarket trading after the lender reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly profit.

Shares of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, all of which reported on Friday, were also higher.

Analysts are expecting the S&P 500 companies to record an 18.6 percent rise in profit, their strongest earnings growth in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, many traders say that reactions to results could be muted as market participants have already priced in gains from corporate tax cuts, reflected in the stock market's strong rally in 2017 and early 2018.

At 8:44 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 158 points, or 0.65 percent. S&P 500 e-minis rose 16.25 points, or 0.61 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 41.75 points, or 0.63 percent.

Waning fears of a broader conflict in Syria pushed short-dated U.S. Treasury yields to their highest level in almost a decade, while crude oil prices eased due to a rise in U.S. drilling activity.

"We're seeing a little bit of an uptick in yields and pullback in oil, and those are likely to constrain any strong reaction to earnings and macro news," said Cardillo.

Data on Monday showed U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in March, rising after three straight monthly declines, as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and other big-ticket items.

Shares of Netflix, which is expected to report results after market close on Monday, rose 1.44 percent.


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




UPDATE 4-Oil prices drop as fears wane about fallout from Syria strikes - Reuters News

16-Apr-2018 07:47:20 PM

  • U.S., France, Britain launched missiles on Syria
  • Oil prices climbed in run-up to the Syria strikes
  • Rising U.S. drilling activity drags on oil prices

Updates prices

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Oil eased on Monday after U.S. drilling activity rose and fears waned about escalating tensions in the Middle East following air strikes on Syria over the weekend.

The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles on Saturday, targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack on April 7.

The oil price had risen nearly 10 percent in the run-up to the strikes, as investors bulked up on assets, such as gold or U.S. Treasuries, that can shield against geopolitical risks.

By 1140 GMT on Monday, Brent crude oil futures were down 83 cents at $71.75 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures were down 78 cents at $66.61 a barrel.

"As far as developments in Syria are concerned, the market has had a sigh of relief in the sense that there is no escalation, either diplomatically, or on the ground, following the intervention by the U.S., France and the UK," said BNP Paribas global head of commodity market strategy Harry Tchilinguirian.

"As a macro asset-allocator, if you want to hedge your portfolio against geopolitical risk, your prime candidate is oil, especially if that risk is in the Middle East."

Although Syria itself is not a significant oil producer, the wider Middle East is the world's most important crude exporter and tension in the region tends to put oil markets on edge.

"Investors continued to worry about the impact of a wider conflict in the Middle East," ANZ bank said.

Fund managers hold more Brent futures and options than at any time since records began in 2011, according to data from the InterContinental Exchange.

Investors have added to their bullish positions in Brent, which now equal nearly 640 million barrels of oil, in nine out of the last 10 months, in part thanks to the premium of the front-month futures contract over those for delivery at a later date, known as "backwardation".

Backwardation makes it profitable to retain a bullish position in oil futures.

Aside from a flurry of profit-taking after the air strikes, oil also came under some pressure from another rise in U.S. drilling activity.

U.S. energy companies added seven rigs in the week to April 13, bringing the total to 815, the highest since March 2015, and nearly 20 percent higher than a year ago, services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Despite this, Brent is still up more than 16 percent from its 2018 low in February.

(Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore
Editing by Edmund Blair)




UPDATE 1-Speculators raise net long positions in COMEX gold, copper -CFTC - Reuters News

14-Apr-2018 03:53:36 AM

Adds CFTC data, market background, table

- Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold and copper contracts in the week to April 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

They also trimmed a net short position in silver futures and options, the data showed.

Speculators raised their net long position in COMEX gold by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts, little changed from the prior week, according to the CFTC.

Spot gold prices remained stuck in a tight trading range as the possibility of a U.S.-China trade war softened the U.S. dollar, yet an expectation of higher U.S. interest rates hovered, denting gold's appeal.

Higher U.S. interest rates make gold less attractive since it does not draw interest.

The dealers also raised their net long position in copper by 10,223 contracts to 14,044 contracts, CFTC data showed, to the strongest in three weeks.

Speculators cut their short position in silver by 3,187 contracts to 36,417 contracts, the data showed.



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(Reporting by Renita D. Young; Editing by Dan Grebler)




PRECIOUS-Gold retreats as Syria strike fears fade - Reuters News

16-Apr-2018 07:43:31 PM

  • Risk havens slip as investors reassess Syria strikes
  • Palladium steadies after near 10 pct rise last week

 (Updates prices)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Gold retreated on Monday, surrendering gains made in earlier trade on the back on this weekend's air strikes on Syria, as financial markets wagered the latest U.S.-led intervention would not escalate into a wider conflict.

A softer tone to the dollar kept the metal firmly underpinned, however. Prices have trended sideways since January, buoyed by geopolitical worries but capped by expectations for further U.S. interest rate hikes and strong technical resistance at $1,360-$1,365 an ounce - their January, February and April highs.

Spot gold was at $1,342.62 an ounce at 1130 GMT, down 0.2 percent and off an earlier peak of $1,348.69. U.S. gold futures were 0.2 percent lower at $1,345.60 an ounce.

Forces from the United States, Britain and France targeted Syria with air strikes early on Saturday, hitting what they said were three of its main chemical weapons facilities.

However, investors shed safe-haven assets and oil prices plummeted on Monday on expectations the attacks would not mark the start of greater Western involvement in the conflict.

"Some of the risk (premium) has come down following the air strikes," Capital Economics analyst Simona Gambarini said. "Some market participants were thinking that maybe there could be an escalation of the tensions, but that has not happened and therefore prices have come down a bit."

"If you consider that the Fed is tightening we should see lower gold prices. Instead, they have been moving sideways," she said. "There is certainly some risk premium incorporated into prices ... but there is no trigger for higher prices at the moment."

Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts in the week to April 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

Gold remains under pressure, however, after failing to break through chart resistance last week, dealers said.

"On Wednesday we had that breakout above $1,360 and it just went nowhere afterwards. That was really, really disappointing," ING analyst Oliver Nugent said. "The money is just waiting on the sidelines."

Dealers trimmed their short positions in silver by 3,187 contracts to 36,417 contracts, the CFTC data showed.

Silver was down 0.1 percent at $16.60 an ounce, while platinum was 0.2 percent lower at $926.10 an ounce.

Palladium was 0.2 percent higher at $988.50 an ounce after hitting a three-week high of $990.50 on Friday.

Prices rose 9.6 percent last week, their biggest weekly gain in more than a year, as concerns that supply from number one producer Russia could be disrupted by U.S. sanctions fed into a strong technical rebound following the metal's 20 percent fall from its January record high.

(Reporting by Jan Harvey; Additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich)




CBOT Trends-Wheat down 4-6 cents, corn steady-down 2, soy up 2-5 - Reuters News

16-Apr-2018 09:06:21 PM

CHICAGO, April 16 (Reuters) - Following are U.S. trade expectations for the resumption of the grain and soy complex trading at the Chicago Board of Trade at 8:30 a.m. CDT (1330 GMT) on Monday.

WHEAT - Down 4 to 6 cents per bushel

  • Led lower by declines in K.C. hard red winter wheat futures, which stemmed from forecasts for some much-needed rain in parched southern U.S. Plains. Benchmark CBOT May soft red winter wheat contract hit 10-day low during overnight trading session.
  • CBOT May soft red winter wheat last traded down 5-1/4 cents at $4.67-1/4 per bushel. K.C. May hard red winter wheat was last down 10-1/2 cents at $4.85-1/4 and MGEX May spring wheat was last down 4 cents at $6.13.

CORN - Steady to down 2 cents per bushel

  • Pressured by declines in wheat market. Concerns about planting delays in U.S. Midwest expected to keep corn losses in check.
  • CBOT May corn last traded down 1-3/4 cents at $3.84-1/2 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Up 2 to 5 cents per bushel

  • Good demand, concerns about Argentine crop shortfalls underpin soy market. Technical support for benchmark May contract noted overnight at Friday's low of $10.51-1/2 per bushel.
  • Monthly National Oilseed Processors Association report expected to show record crush of 168.247 million during March.
  • CBOT May soybeans last traded up 2-3/4 cents at $10.57 per bushel.

(Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by Susan Thomas

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