Gold prices down in Asia as markets look ahead to Fed minutes - 22 Feb 2017

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Gold prices down in Asia as markets look ahead to Fed minutes.
Gold fell in Asia on Wednesday with Fed minutes later in the day expected to set the tone for insight into chances of a March rate hike. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange eased 0.13% to $1,237.25 a troy ounce.Overnight, Gold bounced off session lows but ultimately traded lower on Tuesday, pressured by a spike in the dollar, after two Federal Reserve policymakers hinted at a possible rate hike in March. Gold started the session on back foot, after the dollar surged to session highs, following bullish comments from two Federal Reserve policymakers. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Monday that he would likely support an interest rate increase at the central bank’s next meeting in March should the economy continue to strengthen.

Price Warning: China Aluminum Inventories Surge by Three Times from Record Low in 2016.Inventories of aluminum ingot in China’s five major trading markets were 905,000 tons as of February 20, surging 319 percent from the record low of 216,000 tons seen on September 29, 2016, and 166 percent from the level seen in early 2017.China’s aluminum inventories dropped sharply in 2016 due mainly to following two factors. First, tumbled aluminum prices in 2015 triggered a round of inefficient capacity cuts, production reduction and suspension. According to SMM data, China’s aluminum capacity grew by 9 percent in 2016, unchanged from 2015’s, but down sharply from the growth of 18 percent in 2014. Second, a large amount of aluminum ingot was piled up in Xinjiang due to transportation disruption, another factor behind a big drop in inventories in the five trading markets.In 2016, domestic aluminum producers gradually restarted production and put online new projects with aluminum prices bouncing back, but mainly in 2H 2016, restricting contribution to total output. SMM data show that China’s aluminum output was 31.80 million tons in 2016, up 4 percent on a yearly basis, down from the growth of 10.3 percent in 2015.

Crude prices gain in Asia ahead of API figures.
Crude prices continued gains into Asia on Wednesday with sentiment upbeat ahead of industry figures on U.S. inventories. On the New York Mercantile Exchange Crude Oil Futures for March delivery rose 0.18% to $54.43 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.32% to $56.80 a barrel.Later on Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute will release its estimates of crude oil supplies at the end of last week, followed on Thursday by official data from the U.S. Department of Energy.Analysts expect crude oil stocks rose 3.325 million barrels at the end of last week, while gasoline inventories are seen down 1.625 million barrels and distillates declined by 1.075 million barrels.Overnight, crude prices settled higher, after hitting a 19-month high in intraday trade, after OPEC secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, reiterated that the oil cartel was sticking to its agreement to cut production and expressed confidence that compliance would be higher in the coming months. 

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Gold prices edge down in Asia, but copper firm as supplies eyed. - 21 Feb 2017

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Gold prices edge down in Asia, but copper firm as supplies eyed.
Gold prices dipped in Asia on Tuesday, but copper held gains as investors eye the potential for a prolonged supply disruption from two of the world's major mines. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.32% to $ 1, 2385.15 a troy ounce. Silver futures for March delivery eased 0.11% to $18.010 a troy ounce.Overnight, gold prices were little changed during North American morning hours on Monday, with investors hesitant to take strong positions due to the U.S. national holiday for Presidents Day. Headlines from Washington will most likely remain in focus in the week ahead, as traders await further details on President Donald Trump's promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending.  Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said in a speech in Singapore on Monday she would be "comfortable" raising interest rates at this point if the economy maintained its current pace of performance.

Zinc is in a Record Deficit as Zinc Prices Near Record Highs.
Zinc hit a record shortage in 2016. According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, zinc registered a deficit of 286,000 metric tons last year. Global usage of refined zinc metal rose 3.6% while supply remained pretty much flat thanks to a number of mine shutdowns.The tightening in zinc’s raw material segment accelerated last year thanks to the closure of big mines such as Century, Lisheen and Glencore‘s suspension of 500,000 mt of annual mine capacity. These closures have impacted the supply of mine concentrates drastically and, for the first time, we are seeing an impact in the refined metal market.

Crude gains in Asia as markets look ahead to supply/demand cues.
Crude edged higher in Asia on Tuesday coming off light overnight activity and with investors attuned to data this week on the supply/demand balance.Overnight, oil prices edged higher in a familiar trading range during North American morning hours on Monday in electronic trading as U.S. markets were closed for President’s Day on Monday, as market players continued to weigh the prospect of production cuts by major crude-producing nations against a rise in U.S. drilling.Fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Wednesday and Thursday will be closely watched to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. The reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday. Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

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Gold down slightly in Asia on Master views, U.S. public holiday ahead. - 20 Feb 2017

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Gold down slightly in Asia on Master views, U.S. public holiday ahead.  
Gold prices eased slightly in Asia on Monday after a further signal that a rate hike in March is a solid possibility in otherwise light trade with U.S. markets shut for a holiday. Gold for February delivery eased 0.37% to $1,234.555 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.  In the holiday shortened week ahead, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its February meeting on Wednesday, which will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the next rate hike.  Investors will be looking to U.S. housing data in order to see whether the rise in consumer spending and inflation is translating into higher house prices and a pick-up in home sales. Markets will also be watching survey data on private sector activity in the euro zone on Tuesday. 

Why Total Copper Inventories Grow on LME, SHFE and COMEX? 
Copper inventories on the SHFE and COMEX added 89.4% and 23.68%, respectively as of the week ending February 10 from early 2017. LME copper inventories decreased 22.97% during this period. Total inventories in the three bourses increased 13.85%. Copper inventories on both LME and SHFE grew in December 2016 due mainly to release of invisible inventories, SMM said. LME copper inventories began to drop from late December, while those on the SHFE and COMEX reported continuous growth. This means overseas copper inventories flowed into China. 

“Maybe some importers overestimated domestic demand, which precipitated copper inflows to China’s warehouses,” Capital Economics Chief Commodity Economist Caroline Bain said. Some analysts said recent change in copper inventories is normal, which is similar with the same period of last year. SHFE copper inventories increased 47% while LME copper inventories fell 12% during January 8 and February 19, 2016. 

Oil prices flat line as U.S. drilling counters OPEC output cuts. 
Oil prices held steady on Monday as investors gauged whether an increase in U.S. drilling rigs and record stockpiles would undermine efforts by producers to cut output and bring the market into balance. 

"At the crux of the matter is that 90 percent OPEC compliance is being balanced by ever increasing U.S. shale production," he added. U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a fifth consecutive week, Baker Hughes said on Friday, extending a nine-month recovery with producers encouraged by higher crude prices, which have traded mostly over $50 a barrel since late November. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, agreed last year to cut output almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017. Estimates indicate compliance with the cuts is at around 90 percent, while Reuters reported last week that OPEC could extend the pact or apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop enough. 

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Gold dips in Asia, on mine labor issues - 17 Feb 2017

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Gold dips in Asia, on mine labor issues.  
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.17% to $1,239.55 a troy ounce, while silver futures for March delivery dipped 0.12% to $18.053 a troy ounce. Overnight, gold prices added to overnight gains on Thursday, hitting a one-week high despite a brighter outlook for interest rate hikes on a raft of mostly upbeat U.S. economic data.  The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose by a less-thanexpected 5,000 to 239,000 last week, holding close to the lowest level since 1973. A separate report showed that the Philadelphia Fed index surged to a reading of 43.3 from 23.6 in January. That was the highest level since early 1984.  

How Will China Actions Affect Zinc Market? SMM Reports. 
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection announced it will execute air quality inspections during February 15-March 15 in 18 cities, SMM learns. These cities include Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei’s Shijiazhuang, Langfang, Baoding, Tangshan, Handan, Xingtai, Cangzhou, Hengshui, Shanxi’s Taiyuan and Linfen, Shandong’s Jinan and Dezhou and Henan’s Zhengzhou, Hebi, Jiaozuo and Anyang, which are major metal producing regions. In these 18 cities, Tianjin, Hebei, Cangzhou and Hengshui have an agglomeration of galvanizers. Large steel tube/pipe plants reported slow sales due to weak demand and environmental protection factor, so they did not reach full operation, SMM said. 50% of galvanizers in Daqiu Village, Tianjin are still restricted as they have yet to complete coal-to-gas switch. Plants in some regions were not affected yet as the inspections are not so strict during February 15-28. Any effect from environmental protection on galvanizers in Hengshui and Handan is only limited, with production steady. Zinc oxide producers in Hebei and Tianjin were not affected and returned to normal production after the 2017 Chinese New Year holiday. No plants in Jiangsu and Zhejiang reported production restrictions, SMM understands. 

Oil firms as OPEC floats extended output cut; markets still bloated. 
Oil prices edged up on Friday, lifted by a report that producer club OPEC could extend an output cut aimed at reining in a global fuel supply overhang. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia plan to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of 2017, and estimates suggest compliance by OPEC is around 90 percent. The cuts are aimed at curbing oversupply that has dogged markets since 2014. To help rebalance the market, OPEC sources told Reuters that the supply reduction pact could be extended if all major producers showed "effective cooperation". For now, inventories remain bloated and supplies high, especially in the United States. Recent price movements reflect this, with Brent and WTI trading within a $5 per barrel price range this year, in what has become the longest and most range-bound period since a price slump began in mid-2014. 

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Gold gains in Asia as Fed chief comments to Congress noted. - 15 Feb 2017

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Gold gains in Asia as Fed chief comments to Congress noted.
Gold prices gained in Asia on Wednesday despite mildly hawkish comments by the Fed chief on the need to raise rates sooner rather than later. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 0.14% to $1,227.15 a troy ounce, while silver futures for March delivery rose 0.18% to $17.922 a troy ounce. Overnight, gold prices came off the strongest levels of the session in North American morning trade on Tuesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise" as economic growth continues and inflation rises. Yellen said that even though the Fed expects to hike gradually and to keep policy accommodative, getting rates back to normal levels is important and hikes will be considered ahead.

China Copper Cathode Self-Sufficiency Ratio Increases on Expanding Capacity, SMM Says.
As the largest copper consuming country in the world, China is heavily reliant on imported goods. Copper imports surged over recent years with growing demand. Meanwhile, self-sufficiency ratio also increased, SMM says. China’s copper smelting capacity is still in supply shortages, so China needs to import large amounts of copper each year. Copper cathode imports totaled 3.63 million tone’s in 2016, up 334.63% from 2001, according to China Customs data.China’s copper smelting capacity expanded noticeably over recent years due to rising spot TCs of copper concentrate, higher profit at smelters, the need of local governments to increase fiscal revenue and stronger domestic demand. This increased China’s self-sufficiency ratio of copper cathode, SMM said.Domestic copper cathode capacity totaled 10.80 million tone’s in 2016, up 91% from 2008, according to SMM data. In this scenario, domestic copper cathode output increased from 3.71 million tone’s in 2008 to 7.76 million tone’s in 2016. SMM data show China’s self-sufficiency ratio of copper cathode rose from 62.5% in 2010 to 70.97% in 2016 as output grows.

Crude dips in Asia as API estimates show larger stock build than seen.
Oil prices dipped slightly in Asia on Wednesday with the market shrugging off a much larger than expected build in U.S. inventories reported by an industry group.On the Intercontinental Exchange in London, Brent for April delivery fell 0.13% to $55.77 a barrel. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March eased 0.43% to $52.970.Crude oil inventories jumped 9.94 million barrels the end of last week, more than expected, according to estimates from the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday. Gasoline stocks rose 720,000 barrels and distillate stocks increased by 1.5 million barrels.Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due on Wednesday. A poll of analyst sees crude oil inventories up 3.175 million barrels, while distillates and gasoline supplies are each seen down by 1.15 million barrels.

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Gold prices stage minor recovery ahead of Yellen remarks - 14 Feb 2017

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Gold prices stage minor recovery ahead of Yellen remarks.
Gold prices staged a minor comeback as pries ticked up in China and political risk remains a feature of the market with attention now turning to the U.S. Fed chief for a clearer view on the expected rate hike path this year. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 0.14% to $1,227.55 a troy ounce. Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery rose 0.12% to $17.843 a troy ounce. Overnight, gold prices were slightly lower as recent actions by U.S. President Donald Trump helped soothe investor worries about uncertainty surrounding the new administration’s controversial policies.

Prices of the yellow metal rallied to a three-month high of $1,246.60 last week amid growing concerns over political risks in Europe and economic uncertainty in the U.S. But futures pulled back as markets shifted focus back on Trump's efforts to boost economic growth after the president said his administration would be announcing "something phenomenal in terms of tax" over "the next two or three weeks" during a meeting with airline executives last Thursday.India Brass, Copper Scrap prices advance; Copper Futures climb nearly 4.5%.

Major brass and copper scrap prices of India advanced on Friday, while copper futures prices at India's Multi Commodity Exchange near 5 percent surge after shipments were disrupted from the world's two biggest copper mines. India's major brass and copper scrap commodities like brass accessories, brass huny scrap, brass shell 40mm, copper coil 3/8, copper armature, copper cable scrap, copper heavy scrap, copper shell 40mm, copper utensil scrap and electrolytic copper strip 25mm showed an uptrend during Friday.

The most active February copper contract on the India's Multi Commodity Exchange settled higher by 4.49 percent to Rs. 408.15 per kilogram on Friday from previous close of Rs. 390.60 per kilogram. Copper futures at MCX touched an intra-day high of Rs. 408.70 per kilogram and an intra-day low of Rs. 390.90 per kilogram during Friday.

Copper prices also seen supported by supply concerns and Chinese trade data that underscored stronger demand prospects for the metal. China reported better-than-expected trade data for January as demand picked up both at home and abroad, an encouraging start to 2017 for the world's largest trading nation.

Crude rebounds in Asia as market eyes supply/demand battle.
Crude rebounded in Asia on Monday in a market on a seesaw ride between cheering cuts by the world's top producers and watching a steadily growing supply response with estimates later in the day on crude and refined product inventories in the U.S. to set the tone. Shale oil output in the U.S. is expected to grow by 79,000 barrels per day by March, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday, taking the overall output levels in the U.S. to 4.83 million bpd . The forecast comes as OPEC said earlier Monday that overall output by the cartel members in the pact in January fell 890,000 barrels per day (bpd) from December to 32.14 million (bpd), putting the supply and demand balance globally on track to even out this year from a glut. The figures, estimates from industry sources, are seen as the most official view of the success so far of the OPEC leg of a pact the has helped keep oil prices steadily above $50 a barrel for the past two months.

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The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) Gold and Silver near month future rates in India - 10 Feb 2017

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The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) Gold and Silver near month future rates in India continues to trade with negative bias, on the back of weakness in NYMEX bullion market.

The shiny yellow metal has slipped below Rs 29,000 a 10 grams to hit a low of Rs 28,925 per 10 grams. Intra-day high for Gold is at Rs 29,016 per 10 grams.

Currently, MCX Gold April future rates are down 0.5 percent (Rs 132) at Rs 28,957 per 10 grams.

Around 3,265-odd lots have changed hands at the counter, while the open interest has stands at 6,865-odd lots.

In the international market, the NYMEX Gold April future are down almost a percent at $ 1,226 an ounce.

Meanwhile, March Silver prices are also down Rs 161 at Rs 41,870 per kg, or 0.4 percent.

The precious white metal has also dropped below Rs 42,000 per kg to register a low of Rs 41,793 per kg.

On the MCX 2,720-odd contracts have seen traded at the counter, and the open interest has added almost 400-odd contracts at 12,915 contracts.

The NYMEX Silver March future in the global market are, too, down almost a percent at $ 17.598.

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