Following a weak performance for three consecutive trading weeks, crude oil started this week on a stronger note. Crude oil opened higher on Monday and traded with strength above opening prices in the early hours.
The market sentiment was mixed last week amid concerns about an increase in US crude oil production and the drawdown in inventory levels. On Monday, crude oil prices are supported by the report of a fall in OPEC’s oil production, which fell by 133,500 barrels per day in November. The fall in US oil rigs from 751 to 747, as reported by Baker Hughes, also supported the prices. The market is looking forward to the release of weekly inventory reports by the American Petroleum Institute and U.S. Energy Information Administration this week.
At 5:30 AM EST on December 18, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for February 2018 delivery were trading at $57.72 per barrel—a gain of 0.65%. The Brent crude oil futures for February 2018 delivery rose 0.79% to $63.73 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $34.08 after falling 0.97% on December 15.
After regaining strength last week, copper opened this week on a stronger note. It was stable in the early hours. The demand outlook for copper improved amid strong industrial production trends in China along with increased buying activity on Wall Street. China is the biggest copper consumer. Increasing industrial and manufacturing activity in China will boost the demand outlook for copper.
Gold (GLD) and silver (SLW) are stable in the early hours on Monday. The mixed sentiment in the dollar in the early hours supported gold prices, which were in a range. The pullback in the US dollar supports the prices of dollar-denominated commodities like copper, gold, and silver. Platinum is strong in the early hours, while palladium is weak.