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Commodities Are Mixed, Gold Awaits US Economic Data

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Apr. 3 2017, Published 8:39 a.m. ET

Crude oil

After regaining strength last week and closing at the highest levels in almost a month, crude oil prices are stable in the early hours on Monday. The market sentiment is stronger amid expectations of an extension in crude oil output cuts.

Issam Almarzooq, Kuwait’s energy minister, said that Kuwait and other major producers are in favor of extending the output cut agreement. Current output cuts started at the beginning of the year. The output cuts didn’t show results amid a rise in inventory levels and US shale oil production. At 7:15 AM EST on April 3, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract for April 2017 delivery was trading at $50.66 per barrel—a gain of ~0.08%. The Brent crude futures contract for May 2017 delivery rose ~0.1% to $53.53 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $37.44 after falling 1.4% on March 31.

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Metals

After gaining strength last week, copper prices opened higher today. However, copper prices were slightly weaker in the early hours. Last week, stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from China supported copper prices. Considering that China is the largest copper consumer, manufacturing and infrastructural data from China impact copper prices. Production strikes ended and weighed on the market.

According to reports, the production strike at Cerro Verde facility, which is owned by Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), ended after almost three weeks. Production also resumed in Escondida mine in Chile and weighed on copper prices. At 7:20 AM EST on April 3, the COMEX copper futures contract for May 2017 delivery was trading at $2.65 per pound—a fall of ~0.13%. The PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) fell 1.2%, while the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) rose 0.76% on March 31.

Gold (GLD) and silver (SLW) are weaker amid expectations of faster interest rate hikes. The market is waiting for US ISM manufacturing data to gauge the economy’s strength. Platinum is weaker, while palladium is stable in the early hours on Monday.

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