Why Are Commodities Weaker in the Early Hours on April 18?

Val Kensington - Author

Apr. 18 2017, Published 8:36 a.m. ET

Crude oil

Most of the commodities are weaker in the early hours on Tuesday. After starting the week on a weaker note, crude oil prices continue to fall. Crude oil prices are trading weaker in the early hours on Tuesday. Prices are under pressure due to expectations of a rise in US shale oil production in May.

According to official reports, US shale oil production in May is expected to reach 5.19 million barrels per day. It would be the highest monthly change in two years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, US shale production is forecast to increase by 124,000 barrels per day. It’s one of the major reasons behind the pullback in crude oil prices after rising for two weeks. It’s offsetting support from supply cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC producers. On the other hand, the market is looking forward to weekly crude oil inventory reports scheduled to release this week.

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At 6:20 AM EST on April 18, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract for May 2017 delivery was trading at $52.2 per barrel—a fall of ~0.85%. The Brent crude futures contract for June 2017 delivery fell ~0.98% to $54.82 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $36.49 after falling 0.44% on April 17.


After rising for three consecutive trading days, copper opened lower on Tuesday and traded lower. Even though China’s better-than-expected economic data supported copper, primarily industrial production data, the sentiment is weaker amid geopolitical tensions.

At 6:30 AM EST on April 18, the COMEX copper futures contract for May 2017 delivery was trading at $2.55 per pound—a fall of ~1.8%. The PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) rose 0.89%, while the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell 0.17% on April 17. Gold (GLD) and silver (SLW) were weaker in the early hours. The stable US dollar is weighing on gold, while geopolitical concerns are supporting gold prices. Platinum is weaker, while palladium is stable in the early hours.


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