Crude oil declined in the first two trading days last week. However, crude oil regained strength and recovered its losses in the rest of the trading days last week. On Monday, crude oil opened the day slightly lower and traded with mixed sentiment in the early hours.
The market sentiment on crude oil improved last week. The International Energy Agency upgraded crude oil’s global demand forecast. According to Baker Hughes, the US oil rig count increased to 800—compared to the market’s expectation of 796. Despite an increase in the oil rig count, crude oil moved higher and closed last week at ten-day high price levels. Reports of increased tensions in the Middle East offset the weakness from the oil rig count. The market is looking forward to the release of the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly US crude oil inventory report. The report is scheduled to be released at 4:30 PM EST on March 20.
At 6:05 AM EST on March 19, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May 2018 delivery were trading at $62.20 per barrel—a drop of 0.34%. The Brent crude oil futures for May 2018 delivery fell 0.29% to $66.02 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $34.42 after gaining 1.3% on March 16.
After declining last week, copper opened Monday on a weaker note and traded with weakness at ten-day low price levels in the early hours. Increased concerns about possible import taxes on China from the US and the US dollar’s strength are weighing on copper prices. The SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) rose 1.4% and closed at $36.65 on March 16.
Gold and silver are weak in the early hours on Monday. The US Dollar Index’s strength ahead of the US interest rate decision is weighing on gold prices. The strong dollar weighs on the prices of dollar-denominated commodities like copper, gold, and silver. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fell 0.24% and closed at $124.60 on Friday. Platinum is weak, while palladium is strong in the early hours on March 19.