Sunday, 31 March 2013

MCX Crude Plummets On Furious Profit Booking


MCX Crude oil futures witnessed a sizable correction in the first hour of trade today as traders unloaded their recent longs in a hurry. The global prices witnessed a barrier at their five-week highs and fell for the first time in six sessions today amid a mixed-to- bearish undertone in Asian equities. The WTI futures are quoting at $96.81, down 42 cents per barrel on the day.

NYMEX light sweet Crude Oil for May delivery gained nearly 4% in the last week. Recovering risk appetite in the world resulted in the rise of Crude oil futures even as the inventories moved up in the holiday-shortened week. The prices in coming days will be riding on further clarity of bailouts in other Eurozone countries and the rising Crude oil stockpiles.

Crude oil participants are also keeping an eye on the reserved in Cushing crude stocks. The reserves in the region can dip bringing an impact on the overall prices of Crude oil in NYMEX. Meanwhile, Oil output in OPEC nations is anticipated to reach lowest levels since October 2011. The supplies are expected to average at 30.18 million barrels per day, down 30.42 million barrels per day in February.

The decline is mainly on account of disruptions of supplies in Libya, exporting problems in Iraq and news of pipeline leaks in Nigeria. In October 2011, OPEC had produced 29.81 million barrels per day of Crude Oil. The current retreat might prove out to be short lived though as supportive economies cues could cap the selling.

The official Chinese purchasing managers index, a government survey of manufacturers, rose to 50.9 in March from 50.1 in February. It was the highest reading since April last year, indicating that growth in manufacturing activity accelerated. MCX Crude oil futures had managed to test Rs 5400 per barrel level in earlier session and dropped quite quickly today, tumbling to a low of Rs 5297 per barrel. The counter currently trades at Rs 5301, down Rs 99 per barrel or 1.83% on the day with 14.63% drop in the open interest. Traders seem to be cutting their recent longs furiously.

Source by Commodity Insights

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Copper futures hit one-week low on Thursday


Copper futures hit a one-week low on Thursday, on course to end the quarter down almost 5 percent as fallout from a rescue deal for Cyprus and continuing political problems in Italy kept investors wary of risk.
Copper futures for most actively traded May delivery closed at $3.4040 per pound on the Comex metals division of New York Mercantile Exchange. While, copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down at $7,540 a tone.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Weekly Energy Review: Recovering Risk Appetite Takes Crude Higher

NYMEX light sweet Crude Oil for May delivery ended at $ 97.23 per barrel, up 3.7% in the week. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the Crude oil inventories in US increased by 3.3 million barrels to 385.9 million barrel for the week ending 22 March 2013. The week proved fruitful for US benchmark Crude oil futures as it tested a one month highs on the news of Cyprus bailout.
Recovering risk appetite in the world resulted in the rise of Crude oil futures even as the inventories moved up in the holiday shortened week. The prices in coming days will be riding on further clarity of bailouts in other Eurozone countries and the rising Crude oil stockpiles.
Crude oil participants are also keeping an eye on the reserved in Cushing Okla. The reserves in the region can dip bringing an impact on the overall prices of Crude oil in NYMEX exchange. Meanwhile, Oil output in OPEC is anticipated to reach lowest levels since October 2011. The supplies are expected to average at 30.18 million barrels per day, down 30.42 million barrels per day in February.
The decline is mainly on account of disruptions of supplies in Libya, exporting problems in Iraq and news of pipeline leaks in Nigeria. In October 2011, OPEC had produced 29.81 million barrels per day of Crude Oil.
Source by Commodity Insights

Weekly Bullion Review: Gold Tamed Down By Cyprus Bailout

The yellow metal was tamed down after the bailout of Cyprus and the fact that the rise in interest on Dollar. Earlier in the month, fears that the Federal Reserve will stop its asset buying programmed worth $ 85 billion per month triggered panic in Gold prices. Safe haven appeal remained dented in the week even as Europe continued to jostle with the crisis. Gold has been riding on the back of investment demand in last few years. During the week, Easter holidays made speculators and jewelers sit on the sidelines.
The greenback edged higher by almost one percent in the week and ended against the Euro. ETF continued to slash their holdings in Gold as per a market survey. The holdings of Gold under eight Gold backed exchange traded products declined by 7.2 percent to 70.66 million ounces since December ending. SPDR Gold ETF holdings which are the largest in the world saw a decline of 12 percent to 39.26 million ounces. Gold has been in disarray after a continuous rise for the last twelve years. COMEX Gold for April expiry closed the week at $ 1594.8 per troy ounce, down 0.74 percent.
Source by Commodity Insights

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Economic Buzz: Philly Fed Manufacturing Index Improves To 3-Month High In March

Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region expanded at the fastest pace in three months in March, official data showed on Thursday. According to the data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of -12.5 in February to 2.0 this month. On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

Manufacturers responding to the March Business Outlook Survey reported slight increases in business activity this month. Indicators for general activity and new orders increased notably, following negative readings over the previous two months. Indicators for shipments and employment remained positive and improved slightly this month. Changes in the survey's broad indicators of future activity were mixed but continued to reflect general optimism about growth over the next six months.
Source by Commodity Insights

LME Inventories Data- 21 March 2013

Source by Commodity Insights

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Economic Buzz: New Zealand's Reports Robust GDP

21 Mar 2013 11:21 New Zealand Gross domestic product (GDP) was up 1.5 percent in the December 2012 quarter, following an increase of 0.2 percent in the September 2012 quarter. Activity in the December 2012 quarter was 3.0 percent higher than in the 2% reported in December 2011 quarter.
Source by Commodity Insights

Economic Buzz: Japan's Jan All Industry Activity Index Dips

Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that Japan's All Industries Activity Index fell to a seasonally adjusted -1.4% during January , from 1.6% in the preceding month whose figure was revised down from 1.8%. Analysts had expected Japan's All Industries Activity Index to fall -1.1% last month.
Source by Commodity Insights

Commodities Buzz: Russian Grain Stockpiles Down 30% Over Last One Year

Grain stockpiles in Russia, the leading global exporter of the commodity have dropped around 30% in the past year as of March 1 2013. The inventories of the foodgrains slipped to 20.4 million metric tons from 29 million tons a year earlier, stated the Moscow-based Federal State Statistics Service, according to media reports. Of these inventories, the large agricultural producers are holding 10.3 million tons as compared to 14.8 million tons a year ago while procurement and milling companies had 10.1 million tons, down from 14.2 million tons. Procurement and milling companies had about 6.7 million tons of wheat stockpiles, down from 10.5 million tons a year earlier.
Source by Commodity Insights

Economic Buzz: New Zealands Q4 And Yearly Current Account Deficit Rises

New Zealands current account deficit for the year ended December 2012 was NZ $10.5 billion (5.0 percent of GDP), Statistics New Zealand said today. A current account deficit means the rest of the world earned more from New Zealand than New Zealand earned from overseas. The increase in the deficit from NZ$9.9 billion (4.7 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2012 was mainly due to a NZ$1.3 billion fall in exports of goods and services. Exports of dairy and crude oil were both lower than for the September 2012 year, while expenditure by overseas visitors to New Zealand also fell.
In the December 2012 quarter, New Zealands current account balance, when adjusted for seasonal factors, was a deficit of NZ$2.7 billion. This compares with a deficit of NZ$2.5 billion for the previous quarter. The larger deficit this quarter was mainly due to a rise in income earned by foreign investors in New Zealand. Foreign shareholders in New Zealand companies received larger dividend payments in the latest quarter. New Zealand funded the current account deficit mainly by borrowing from overseas. Foreign investors purchased NZ$3.1 billion of government bonds this quarter. As a result of this increased borrowing, New Zealands net international liability position was NZ$150.0 billion (71.7 percent of GDP) at 31 December 2012, up NZ$2.2 billion from 30 September 2012.
Source by Commodity Insights

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Copper futures end flat on strong dollar

Copper futures ended flat on Thursday, as improved risk appetite after solid US economic data was balanced by a stronger dollar and weak demand in top consumer China, amid ample domestic supplies.
Copper futures for most actively traded May delivery closed at $3.5270 per pound, on the Comex metals division of New York Mercantile Exchange. While copper on the London Metal Exchange closed $5 weaker at $7,800 a tone.

US crude prices bounce back on good jobs report

US crude oil futures after a day of break once again ended higher on Thursday as the dollar weakened against a basket of major currencies on some upbeat job claims from the US. The Labor Department said that initial jobless claims fell to 332,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 342,000. Separate reports showed that producer price inflation in the US rose in line with expectations in February. Though, the gains were limited as concerns over the global economic outlook remained ahead of the European Union’s two day economic summit in Brussels.
Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery, gained $0.51 or 0.6 percent to close at $93.03 a barrel after trading in a range of $93.02 and $92.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, expiring Brent crude futures for April delivery, rose 86 cents to $109.38 on the ICE.

Brief Recovery Ends As Copper Closes Down On Wednesday


The brief recovery that was expected to continue faded in a single day as prices again declined back. Pressure mounted again as China housing woes derailed the progress of the red metal. Rising production levels in Copper was already on the back of the minds of traders and calls that policymakers will again cool the overheating economy in China.
LME Copper three month forward prices were down by $ 32 per tonne at $ 7807 per tonne. MCX Copper tested a high of Rs 429.9 per kg and came down from there to settle at Rs 427.7 per kg, on account of profit booking.
Stockpiles maintained by LME were again up last night and has reached 520500 tonnes, up 63% this year. The rise has been phenomenal considering that its mid March only and if the pace of stocks continue to rise it will bring additional pressure on the Copper prices.
Rise in US retail sales didnt helped Copper much. The US census bureau said that the retail sales increased by 1.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February. The expectations were of a 0.5% rise. Meanwhile, industrial production of Eurozone fell to a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January, compared to a expected decline of 0.1%. Year on Year industrial production declined by 1.3% in January.
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Limited Momentum In Aluminium On MCX

MCX Aluminium is witnessing limited momentum in trades in early morning hours. The prices have not been able to find a way out of the consolidation that has rolled it in range of Rs 108 and 104 per kg since late February. Metal is always a bit less volatile compared to Copper but the rapid downfall in prices from Rs 116 per kg levels in mid February has sapped further energy to trade down. The market situation is such that even the buyers are missing from the contract.
LME three month Copper forwards was trading at $ 1965 per tonne, down by $ 23 per tonne from last night. On MCX, Aluminium April was trading at Rs 105.65 per kg on Thursday. The prices are static in last few trading sessions.
Going forward, there is news in the markets that China is going to stock further 300000 tonnes Aluminium in order to give support to the industry. What will be the implications of such move on Aluminium?
1. Brief rally can occur on the day of announcement and few more sessions.
2. Prices will come back down as bears will take opportunity to sell on rallies.
3. Inventories already at high levels.
4. Premiums charged on forwards are coming down due to curb in financing deals.
5. Western China already producing high amount of Aluminium.
6. Total Aluminium production of China was up by 11% to 1.73 million tonnes in February 2013.
Source by Commodity Insights

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Technical Buying Aiding Copper To Pull Back


Metals are pulling back from their lows on account of technical buying. The prices were finding tough to move down further due to already oversold levels and that has induced cherry picking in Non ferrous metals. LME metal was marginally down but it seems that it will be the second day when the prices of Copper will end upwards. MCX Copper was trying to breach Rs 430 mark that will encourage metal towards Rs 432-434 per kg levels.

The news of higher inventories seemed to be discounted at the moment and it is expected that it will play a role only after few days of relief rally. LME Inventories gained by 2600 tonnes to 520500 tonnes on Wednesday. Rising production levels across the world is worrying metal participants. Fundamentally, mood is still grim considering the lower demand in China that was herding most of the metals on the positive side.
Rupee continued to support Indian future contracts. The weakness in Rupee is on account of flight towards investments in US Dollar. European leaders are still not concerned that the inflation will become a issue in near term. Indian Rupee was trading at 54.24 per Dollar, down 0.12%. Even after policy steps taken by the Indian government the markets are not convinced on the application of the measures. The current account deficit in the country is high and the rate of GDP has come down below 6%.
In ferrous metals space, Iron ore prices were a reason of worry for traders. The prices of 62% Iron content tested a two and half month lows. Heavy rise in steel production and oversupplies is holding back the Chinese buyers to restock Iron ore. The prices of 62% Iron ore declined to $ 144.1 per tonne, making it the lowest level in a year. The rapid fall in the Iron ore prices is a bad news for world major iron ore producers. Companies like Rio Tinto have slowed down the progress of its Simandou Iron ore deposit.
Steel making raw material like Nickel was seen at $ 17063 per tonne in LME exchange, up almost $ 40 per tonne. MCX Nickel was recovery after the bashing towards November 2012 levels. The prices were seen trading at Rs 927.4 per kg, up 0.4%.
MCX Copper was trading at Rs 429.5 per kg, up 0.29%. The prices have tested a high of Rs 429.75 per kg and a low of Rs 427.1 per kg so far in the trading session. Further appreciation can bring levels of Rs 432 per kg in the contract.
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Gold Extends Gain On Strong Buying Support


Gold futures edged up towards $1600 an ounce on bargain buying. However gold was unable to breach the psychological $1600 an ounce mark. Gold also benefited from weakness in equity markets, which had been on a record-breaking run up that drew some investors away from gold in recent weeks. Gold is widely considered a safe haven, and demand for it tends to weaken when riskier assets like equities are rallying. This week, gold traders will be closely watching U.S. data on retail sales, industrial production and inflation to determine the strength of the economic recovery. Any improvement in the U.S. economy could scale back expectations for further easing by the Fed, boosting the U.S. dollar and weighing on dollar-denominated commodities. Gold for the April delivery on COMEX quotes higher at $ 1,594, up $2, after hitting high $1598 per ounce. Euro quotes at $1.30, down 0.26% from last close.

MCX Gold April contract quotes higher at Rs 29578, up 0.45% from last close, after trading in the range of Rs 29,585-29,413 level. Technically, the counter is having next resistance at Rs 29,680-29,700 and supports at Rs 29,520-29,460 level. MCX May silver contract quotes at Rs 55056, up 0.21% from last close.

Source by Commodity Insights

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

International Prices Of Imported Edible Oil As On 12th March, 2013

Source by Commodity Insights

MCX Copper Recovered From Lows On Monday


MCX Copper recovered from days low in what can be said as the bargain hunting of the metal from multi month lows. The metal recouped the losses on the back of lower level demand that was missing till the evening trades and picked up in the last session. The inventories in international exchanges are still quite high. The metal stocks have increased by 60% in 2013.

Chinas copper output in February rose 10.8% from a year earlier to 483000 metric tons, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. Production in the first two months rose 11.9% on year to 975000 tons, it said. January output reached 492000 tonnes.
Chinese production of Lead was up by 4.5% to 325000 tonnes in February. Total production in the first two months was up by 11% to 650000 tonnes. LME lead was seen trading at $ 2199 per tonne, up by $ 10 per tonne.
MCX Copper April expiry settled at Rs 425.6 per kg, up 0.08%. The prices tested a low of Rs 421.6 and a high of Rs 426.6 per kg. The prices could have crashed below Rs 420 per kg had Indian Rupee was more stable against the Dollar. Local currency plunged to 54.39 per Dollar, down 0.21% in a single day and thereby supporting Copper.
Source by Commodity Insights

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Gold Jumps Ahead OF Central Bank Meetings


Gold futures jumped nearly $10 ahead of two central bank meetings that could see support for policy easing to spur economic growth.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are set to announce their monetary policy decisions later today, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.
Ealier in the day, Bank of Japan kicked off by leaving its monetary policy on hold, as widely expected ahead of a leadership handover set to take place later this month. Bank of Japan left its policy interest rate and size of asset-purchase program unchanged by a unanimous vote, as widely expected. The decisions were made at the last meeting of the central bank's monetary policy board before Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa and two of his deputy governors step down later in the month.
Gold for delivery in April rose $8.60 to $1,583.50 an ounce in electronic trading hours on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The ICE dollar index was at 82.484, from 82.490 in late North American trading on Wednesday, providing broad support for the metals complex.
On the data front today, at 6.00 am ET, the Federal Ministry of Economics and technology is set to issue German factory orders for January. Orders are expected to rise 0.6 percent month-on-month in January after increasing 0.8 percent in December.
The Bank of England is slated to announce the results of the monetary policy meeting at 7.00 am ET. The nine-member committee is expected to maintain quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion and the interest rate at a record low 0.50 percent.
The European Central Bank is set to announce its interest rate decision at 7.45 am ET. The central bank is seen holding its key interest rate at 0.75 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a regular press conference at 8.30 am ET.
MCX April gold futures are trading slightly higher at Rs 29615 per 10 grams. A fall below Rs 29580 may be bearish for the metal today. A surge above Rs 29720 may be bullish.
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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Four Month Lows For LME Nickel Still No Bargain Buying


The slippage in Nickel has extended to a four month low as bargain buying is still absent from the markets. The news of Chinese restrictions on new home purchases has really thrashed the sentiments for metals in the country. The production of steel in China has been continuing to move upwards in last few years and the oversupply situation is not letting the demand blossom.

Nickel is consumed majorly by 300 series steel also known as austenitic steel. Situation in US is stabilizing somewhat but it is not so much strong that it will cater the needs of demand drawdown in Europe and China. Indian steel makers have suffered in the hands of imports from China, Korea and Japan over past so many months. The dumping is adversely affecting local producers.
LME Nickel three month forwards were trading at $ 16590 per tonne, down $ 34 per tonne from last night. These levels were last seen in October 2012. The prices are looking turning down towards $ 16000 per tonne in coming months.
MCX Nickel was last seen trading at Rs 909 per kg, down 0.13%. The prices are looking to derail towards Rs 898 per kg in the coming few sessions. Resistance for the contract is at Rs 915 per kg.
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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Markets Speak: LME Zinc Inventories Are Moving Down


Zinc inventories have started coming down on account of tightness of supplies in spot markets. The markets of Zinc have been in surplus since 2006 but the closure of some of the major mines in North America and Peru in 2013 is expected to squeeze the surplus from the markets. Zinc is majorly used in galvanization of steel and as an alloying metal. ILZSG report last month showed that the global zinc markets were in surplus of 265000 tonnes in 2012.

LME Zinc inventories have already started to come down in London exchanges and it is expected that the trend will continue in coming days. LME inventories have declined by 2% this year to 1198300 tonnes till 4 March 2013. The recent projections of 7.5% growth in China are a welcome sign for the metal.
Having said that, China is reducing its reliance on zinc concentrate imports and is banking on Zinc production within the country. The treatment and refining charges are expected to double to $ 110 per tonne from $ 45 per tonne on 2012, if market sources are to be believed. The rise in treatment charges indicates oversupply in the markets.
LME Zinc three month forwards were down by $ 4 per tonne at $ 2004 per tonne. MCX Zinc futures were trading at Rs 109 per kg, down 0.6%. The prices have slipped from Rs 119 per kg down 8.4% from 13 Feb 2013.
Source  by Commodity Insights

Monday, 4 March 2013

“Some investors who want precious metal exposure are looking to silver as a cheaper substitute for gold”

LONDON (Commodity Online): The scenario of silver coin demand outstripping gold coin demand cannot be ruled out as there exists "considerable interest in Silver Eagles in Europe as well as North America," according to Robin Bhar, head of metals research, Societe Generale.
He also said that the investor appetite for silver on all fronts, institutional and retail, is sufficient to absorb the metal's surplus. “Some investors who want precious metal exposure are looking to silver as a cheaper substitute for gold” he said to Kitco as demand for coins and ETPs climb.
Net investment into ETPs of silver is continuing and now stands at $650 million, with a daily average of $15.7 million; up 32% from a year ago.
He, however cautioned that "the market remains volatile and vulnerable to profit taking, however, and is unlikely to tighten, suggesting that profit taking into strength would be the preferred course of action."
Meanwhile stable US Dollar Index coupled with low crude oil prices have offset the advantage posed by short covering and some mild bargain hunting.
Silver for delivery on May 13 was seen trading at $28.708 a gain of $0.212 or 0.74% as of 10.54 AM IST.
Obama has signed into law a spate of spending cut measures in US, popularly known as sequestration. This brings into effect some $1.2 trillion in cuts over a decade; $85 billion this year itself.
This has made the economic ambience a bit uncertain supporting gold and silver. Meanwhile Cyprus having sought bail out is also being closely observed.
On India's MCX, silver for delivery on May 04 was seen trading at Rs.54853, a gain of 0.04%.

Markets Speak: Shanghai Copper Has Shredded 1370 Yuan In A Month


Most active and highest Copper contract in Shanghai has lost 1370 yuan per tonne in last one month. Shanghai Copper for June expiry settled at 56310 yuan per tonne on Monday. Interesting to note is the fact that the Open interest in the contract has jumped by 29876 lots to 233918 lots in total since last month. The fall in metals across globe has been a impact of the slowdown in Chinese buying and lower demand in spot markets.

China refrained from buying metals before the lunar New Year and the traders remained waiting for lower prices after coming back before entering the markets. The slowdown in spot demand continues even now as the curbs on property purchases is acting as a bane for the metal. China consumes more than 40% of the total metal produced in the world. The curbs in property markets mean that the consumption rate will be affected in coming months.
Calls of increase in world supplies are also concerning traders. The copper markets can transform itself into surplus after world major production units will start functioning in 2013-14. Refined Copper stocks in Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a one year high at 226201 tonnes last week. Even in LME the stocks have moved up by 44% since the start of the year to 462400 tonnes.
Source by Commodity Insights

Sunday, 3 March 2013

New Day New Week Can Bring Respite From Selling In MCX Copper


Metal traders will be hoping that the new session of the new week will bring some respite from selling in Monday. Copper can expect some bounce in todays session as the LME forwards are trading in green. LME three month forwards were trading at $ 7697 per tonne, up $ 32 per tonne. Inventories maintained by LME warehouses have appreciated sharply. LME warehouse inventories have increased by 43% to 458775 tonnes by 1 March 2013 from the beginning of this year.

Markets are gyrating on the fact that Bank of Japan governor nominee Haruhiko Kuroda has said that he would do whatever it takes to bring the country back from deflation. China on the contrary is expected to resort to tighter monetary policy to curb property values. Dollar remained moving ahead of the Euro last week and settled at 1.3019 against 1.3062 at the beginning of the week.
Managed money funds reportedly cut their long positions in Copper for week ending 26 Feb 2013. COMEX Copper contracts, Commitment of traders report showed that fund managers slashed 12340 long contracts taking the total towards 25839 contracts, on 26 February 2013. Meanwhile, short positions were increased by 6238 contracts to 33004. Total net long positions therefore moved down by 37% to 7165 contracts. Inventories maintained by LME warehouses have appreciated sharply.
MCX Copper closed at Rs 431 per kg on Saturday last week. A move above Rs 432 per kg will bring some buying back in the metal. So far, supports of Rs 428 and Rs 426 are active for the metal. Any breach of these levels on the lower side will bring further bleeding.
Source by Commodity Insights

Gold Starts Week On Steady Note


Gold futures started the week on a steady note after ending the week with modestly lower on speculation that the Federal Reserve might end its bond-buying program sooner-than-expected continued to dampen the appeal of the precious metal.
Gold futures for April delivery is trading up nearly $6 at $ 1578.2 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it eased down 0.15% to settle the week at $1,575.50 an ounce. Earlier Friday, prices slumped to a daily low of $1,564.20 a troy ounce, the weakest level since February 21, when futures slid to a seven-month low of $1,554.80.

On the week, gold futures prices lost a modest 0.2%, the third consecutive weekly decline. Gold prices were likely to find support at $1,554.80 a troy ounce, the low from February 21 and resistance at $1,619.40, the high from February 26.
Gold’s losses came after data on Friday showed that the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace since June 2011 last month, while a separate report showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose in February. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 54.2 from 53.1 in January, while the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index came in at 77.6, from a preliminary reading of 76.3.
The upbeat data fuelled speculation the Federal Reserve could end its bond-buying program this year, boosting the U.S. dollar and weighing on dollar-denominated commodities. The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, ended the week at 82.33, the strongest level since August 20.
President Barack Obama warned Friday that federal spending cuts will cause “ripple effects” through the U.S. economy. Obama called on Congress to pass an alternative budget plan that closes tax loopholes and cuts spending, including entitlements.
MCX April delivery gold futures may open today’s session near Rs 29800 levels with support around Rs 29740-700 levels.
In the week ahead, gold traders will be focusing on interest rate decisions by the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan.
In addition, Friday’s data on U.S. nonfarm payrolls will be closely watched as investors attempt to gauge the strength of the economic recovery.
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