Friday, May 4, 2018

Stock & Commodities Related News.

US STOCKS-Futures lower in choppy trading after U.S. jobs report - Reuters News

04-May-2018 09:17:41 PM

  • Nonfarm payrolls up 164,000 in April vs est 192,000
  • Average hourly earnings rise 0.1 pct vs est 0.3 pct
  • Apple gains after Berkshire raises stake
  • Futures dip: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.26 pct, Nasdaq 0.35 pct

Adds comments, details, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell briefly after the release of April nonfarm payrolls report, which showed job growth rose less than expected and the unemployment rate fell to a 17-1/2-year low.

The Labor Department's closely watched report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. However, wages edged up only 0.1 percent, easing concerns that inflation pressures were increasing.

"It's a goldilocks number ... the top line missed a little bit from consensus expectations, however you had the unemployment rate drop below 4 percent, lowest since December of 2000," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

"Investors continue to look for signs of inflation and we really didn't get any. I don't see this particular report changing the Fed's path or the recent trend."

After the data, stock futures initially cut some of their losses, before reversing course to drop sharply and finally ended up little changed from their levels before the report.

"It really is a mystery these days to me in terms of how market participants are reacting," Arone said.

At 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 65 points, or 0.27 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.26 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23.5 points, or 0.35 percent.

Investors were also watchful of details after China and the United States had talks in Beijing to settle trade differences.

China has offered to buy more U.S. goods and lower tariffs on some items, including cars, Reuters reported after Xinhua news agency said the talks had made progress on some aspects, though disagreements over other issues remained.

Among stocks, Apple rose 1.3 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway raised its stake in the iPhone maker.

Alibaba inched up 0.7 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue, driven by steady sales in its core ecommerce and cloud computing businesses.

Pandora Media jumped 11.8 percent after the music streaming service provider reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

Twitter dropped 1.2 percent after disclosing a glitch that led to some passwords being stored in readable text on its internal computer system rather than disguised by a process known as "hashing".


(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)




UPDATE 6-Oil strong as U.S. decision on Iran sanctions looms - Reuters News

04-May-2018 09:22:44 PM

  • Investors "wait-and-see" before Iran deadline
  • European powers work to save Iran nuclear accord

Updates prices in paragraph 2

By Christopher Johnson

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Friday but stayed below recent highs as global supplies remained tight and the market awaited news from Washington on possible new U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Brent crude oil was up 10 cents at $73.72 a barrel by 1315 GMT. The benchmark contract hit a 3-1/2 year closing high of $75.17 on Monday.

U.S. light crude was 15 cents higher at $68.58.

"The energy complex is entering a consolidation phase as a wait-and-see approach takes hold ahead of next week's Iranian sanctions waiver deadline," said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

"Expectations that the United States will pull out of the (Iran nuclear) deal and refrain from extending sanctions relief are keeping both crude markers near three-year peaks," he added.

ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari said Brent could reach $80 a barrel by the end of this year, attributing recent strength to rising geopolitical risks and tighter global supply.

"We expect the market to tighten even further in second half 2018," they wrote in a note to clients.

Investors are concerned that sanctions against Iran could cut oil supplies.

Iran's foreign minister said on Thursday that U.S. demands to change its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers were unacceptable as a deadline set by President Donald Trump for Europeans to "fix" the deal loomed.

Trump has said that unless European allies rectify the "terrible flaws" in the international accord by May 12, he will refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief for the oil-producing Islamic Republic.

"Prices reflect a premium for Iran uncertainties. Investors are worried about supplies after Iran took a tough stance in its response to the United States," said Wang Xiao, head of crude research with Guotai Junan Futures.

European powers still want to hand Trump a plan to save the Iran nuclear deal next week. But they have also started work on protecting EU-Iranian business ties if the U.S. president makes good on a threat to withdraw.

Iran resumed its role as a major oil exporter in January 2016 when international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

Aside from security concerns, growing U.S. crude supplies are capping price gains.

Surging production in the Permian shale basin is outpacing pipeline capacity, while local refining issues have exacerbated oversupply in the region.

The United States now produces more crude oil than top exporter Saudi Arabia.


(Additional reporting by Meng Meng in BEIJING and Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter)




PRECIOUS-Gold dips, bracing for robust U.S. jobs data - Reuters News

04-May-2018 08:16:04 PM

  • Gold heads for third consecutive weekly decline
  • Stronger than expected jobs data could lift gold
  • Spot gold could bounce to $1,326/oz -technicals

(Updates prices, adds quote)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices dipped slightly on Friday as the dollar strengthened ahead of key U.S. jobs data expected to underline a strong economy and support the case for more interest rate increases.

Spot gold was down 0.03 percent at $1,310.86 an ounce at 1207 GMT, heading for a third consecutive weekly decline, while U.S. gold futures for June delivery fell by 0.1 percent to $1,311.70.

U.S. employment data due at 1230 GMT is likely to show that jobs growth accelerated in April after a weather-related slowdown the previous month. Unemployment, meanwhile, is expected to be near a 17-1/2 year low of 4 percent.

Analysts said a strong outcome is already priced in by the market, so gold was unlikely to move much if non-farm payrolls increase by 192,000, in line with the consensus in a Reuters poll of economists.

"But if there is a surprise, and it comes in quite positive and the dollar appreciates, gold is likely to come under pressure again and we don't rule out a test of the $1,300 mark," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

"Even if gold dips below $1,300, the past has shown that there is buying interest below that level, so we don't expect gold to drop significantly for the moment."

Expectations of a robust U.S. jobs report supported the dollar index, which weighed on gold. A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The dollar was on track for a weekly gain of about 1 percent.

Spot gold is biased to bounce to resistance at $1,326 an ounce, as suggested by a projection analysis and a falling channel, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell by 0.13 percent to 865.60 tonnes on Thursday.

In other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.1 percent to $16.42 an ounce.

Among platinum-group metals, mainly used for catalysts that clean pollution from car exhaust, platinum shed 0.3 percent to $897.15 an ounce and was on track for a third weekly fall. Palladium added 0.3 percent to $965.

British new car registrations ended a year-long run of declines to rise by an annual 10.4 percent in April, though demand for diesel cars dropped by 25 percent in Europe's second-largest autos market.

Palladium is mostly used in catalysts for petrol vehicles while platinum is largely used in diesel cars.

"Next week Chinese car sales figures are due and if this data is quite positive this could give support to palladium in particular and maybe platinum," Briesemann said.


(Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)



CBOT Trends-Soy down 10-13 cents, wheat down 6-8 cents, corn steady-down 2 cents - Reuters News

04-May-2018 09:20:45 PM

CHICAGO, May 4 (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 6 to 8 cents per bushel

  • End-of-week profit-taking expected following most-active contract's rally to highest since July. Benchmark CBOT July soft red winter wheat contract hit technical resistance at high end of 20-day Bollinger range during overnight trading session.
  • The CBOT reported no May wheat deliveries and 24 K.C. May wheat deliveries. The MGEX reported five May spring wheat deliveries.
  • CBOT July soft red winter wheat last traded down 6 cents at $5.32 per bushel. K.C. July hard red winter wheat was last down 7-1/4 cents at $5.60-1/2 and MGEX July spring wheat  was down 2-1/2 cents at $6.27-1/2 a bushel.

CORN - Steady to down 2 cents per bushel

  • Weakness expected after most-active contract failed to break through 10-month high hit on Thursday. Concerns about U.S. planting pace, short-covering seen limiting declines. Dry weather in Brazil also supportive.
  • The CBOT reported 223 deliveries against May corn futures.
  • CBOT July corn last traded down 1-1/4 cents at $4.06-3/4 a bushel.

SOYBEANS - Down 10 to 13 cents per bushel

  • Weakening on worries about export demand after trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials ended without agreements on biggest issues. Benchmark CBOT July soybean futures contract dropped below 10-day, 20-day, 30-day, 40-day and 50-day moving averages overnight.
  • Deliveries against CBOT May soybeans totaled 60 contracts. The CBOT reported 52 May soymeal deliveries and five May soyoil deliveries.
  • CBOT July soybeans last traded down 11-1/2 cents at $10.41-3/4 per bushel.


(Reporting by Mark Weinraub
Editing by Bill Trott)




VEGOILS-Palm sees strongest gain in 2 weeks on falling stocks forecast - Reuters News

04-May-2018 07:20:44 PM

  • Malaysia April stocks seen falling to 6-month low - poll
  • Palm fell 1.8 pct for the week
  • Malaysia Palm Oil Board to release data on May 10

Updates prices

By Emily Chow

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures notched up their biggest rise in two weeks in on Friday on expectations of falling inventories, after a sharp decline on Thursday evening and being largely range-bound this week.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.34 percent at 2,343 ringgit ($594.82) a tonne, its biggest gain since April 20. It earlier fell to a low of 2,324 ringgit, its weakest level since August 2016.

The market, however, fell 1.8 percent for the week, marking a second consecutive weekly decline.

Trading volume stood at 34,555 lots of 25 tonnes each at the market close.

"The market is up on expectations that end-stocks will drop," said a futures trader in Singapore. "Consumption could also be supported due to Ramadan," he said, referring to the Muslim fasting month which begins in mid-May this year.

Ramadan typically leads to higher usage of palm oil for cooking in Muslim majority regions, which sees devotees break day-long fasts with communal feasting.

Malaysian palm oil inventories at the end of April are expected to have fallen 4.1 percent to 2.23 million tonnes, their lowest in six months, according to a Reuters poll of nine traders, planters and analysts.

Meanwhile, the survey respondents also forecast that April exports would fall 5.5 percent month-on-month to 1.48 million tonnes, but output would remain flat at 1.57 million tonnes.

Official data for April is scheduled for release by industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on May 10 at around 0430 GMT.

Another trader added overnight gains in U.S. soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade provided additional support to palm.

The Chicago July soybean oil contract rose as much as 0.7 percent on Thursday, but was last down 0.5 percent on Friday.

In other related oils, September soybean oil on China's Dalian Commodity Exchange fell 0.1 percent, while the Dalian September palm oil contract declined 1 percent.

Palm oil is impacted by movements in rival edible oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market.


Palm, soy and crude oil prices, as of 1107 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 = 3.9320 ringgit)

($1 = 66.6800 Indian rupees)

($1 = 6.3452 Chinese yuan)


(Reporting by Emily Chow and Liz Lee; Editing by Sunil Nair and Mark Potter)




FOREX-Dollar steady after jobs data disappoints - Reuters News

04-May-2018 09:21:51 PM

  • Dollar steady, after initial drop on jobs data
  • Index holds below 2018 high reached on Wednesday

Updates prices, market activity and comments to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar was steady against a basket of currencies on Friday, after briefly dropping on disappointing U.S. employment data for April.

The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected and the unemployment rate dropped to near a 17-1/2-year low of 3.9 percent as some jobless Americans left the labor force.

Average hourly earnings rose 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, last month after gaining 0.2 percent in March. That left the annual increase in average hourly earnings at 2.6 percent.

"The U.S. report seems pretty soft in tone on a headline basis and in the details as well," said Erik Nelson, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York. "It's a little surprising to see the dollar remain so resilient."

Against a basket of its peers, the dollar was up 0.13 percent on the day at 92.535, little changed from where it traded before the data. It initially dropped to 92.354 on the news.

The dollar index reached a 2018 high of 92.834 on Wednesday as investors bet that the Federal Reserve will continue raising rates while other central banks including the European Central Bank (ECB) will act more slowly.

"The story in the last few days has been the disappointment over the ECB and the UK to start raising interest rates in the wake of the Fed and unless we see data picking up meaningfully, the dollar will outperform in the coming weeks," said Gavin Friend, senior markets strategist at NAB in London.

The sharp rise in the dollar in recent weeks - it broke above a 200-day moving average this week for the first time in a year - took hedge funds and other investors by surprise. They had built up record short bets on the dollar and were forced to cover some of those positions, lifting the greenback even more.

Wells Fargo's Nelson sees further upside in the greenback as likely limited, however, saying that pessimism over other economies may be overdone.

"Everyone's gotten really pessimistic about the euro zone economies and I think that's maybe reaching a breaking point," Nelson said. "I think the economies are strong enough in those countries to keep central banks on track to keep normalizing monetary policy."




TREASURIES-Yields slide on softer-than-expected U.S. jobs data - Reuters News

04-May-2018 09:24:23 PM

  • 10-year, 30-year yields slide to two-week lows
  • 2-year to 10-year yield curve tightest in two weeks
  • Fed still seen hiking in June, but pace is gradual

New throughout, updates prices, yields, market activity and comments; adds byline and table

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday after a government report showed the world's largest economy created fewer jobs last month, with slower wage growth than expected, suggesting the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes will be gradual.

Yields on U.S. benchmark 10-year notes and 30-year yields slid to two-week lows, while those on two-year noted fell to a one-week trough.

The Labor Department said U.S. non-farm payrolls grew by 164,000, lower than market expectations for a rise of 192,000 jobs. Average earnings growth, a closely-monitored inflation indicator, grew by just 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.3 percent the previous month.

"This is not enough for the Fed to pause. They will still hike in the June meeting," said Collin Martin, fixed income strategist, at Schwab Center for Financial Research in New York.

"If people were worried about a faster pace of hike, this report should calm those ...The curve will likely resume its flattening bias in the long term, but it won't invert in the foreseeable future," he added.

In morning trading, U.S. benchmark 10-year yields fell to 2.914 percent from 2.946 percent late on Thursday.

U.S. 30-year bonds slid to 3.089 percent, from Thursday's 3.121 percent.

U.S. two-year yields were also down at 2.480 percent, from 2.484 percent on Thursday.

The yield curve flattened again after the report, with the spread between U.S. 2-year and 10-year notes contracting to 43.90 basis points, the tightest in two weeks.

The flattening yield curve is being driven by doubts among investors that inflation will pick up over the long term.


(Additional reporting by Richard Leong
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)

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