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Commodities Are Mixed, Palladium Hit a 2-Year High

Val Kensington - Author
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Mar. 24 2017, Published 9:10 a.m. ET

Crude oil

After a weak performance on Thursday, crude oil prices are slightly higher in the early hours on March 24. The rise in US crude oil inventory levels is weighing on the oil market.

The higher inventory is offsetting crude oil producers’ support by sticking to the supply cut agreement. According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventory levels in the week ending March 17 rose by 4.954 MMbbls (million barrels) to 533.1 MMbbls—record oil inventory levels. Crude oil inventory levels were higher than the market’s expectation of 2.8 MMbbls. The rise in US shale oil production is one of the primary reasons behind the increase in US crude oil inventories.

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At 7:10 AM EST on March 24, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract for April 2017 delivery was trading at $47.93 per barrel—a gain of ~0.52%. The Brent crude futures contract for May 2017 delivery rose ~0.4% to $50.76 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $35.17 after falling 0.4% on March 23.

Metals

After gaining for two consecutive trading days, copper prices are slightly weaker in the early hours on Friday. Concerns about the copper mine in Chile had been weighing on copper prices. However, the strike ended at the mine. Production at the Grasberg mine resumed after halting for a month.

At 7:10 AM EST on March 24, the COMEX copper futures contract for May 2017 delivery was trading at $2.64 per pound—a fall of ~0.13%. The PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) fell 0.21%, while the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell 0.46% on March 23. Gold (GLD) is slightly weaker in the early hours due to the US dollar’s rebound. Silver (SLW) is stable in the early hours. Platinum is weaker, while palladium rose to a two-year high due to signals of increased demand from the automobile sector.

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