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Commodities: Crude finds some respite amid global economy concerns

By Andrew Schonberg

Date: Friday 05 May 2017

Commodities: Crude finds some respite amid global economy concerns

(ShareCast News) - Beleaguered crude-oil futures found some respite on Friday afternoon against a curtain of concerns surrounding the health of the global economy.
At 15:34 BST, Nymex-priced West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.45% to $46.18 a barrel. Intercontinental Exchange-traded Brent was up 1.55% to $49.13 a barrel.

"After an awful few days and hitting their lowest levels since last November oil prices appear to have found some respite ahead of the weekend," said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets UK.

"This may well be as a result of some profit taking or position adjustment in a week which has seen oil prices slide over 5%," Hewson said.

It appeared a number of speculative long positions threw in the towel after markets dropped through the March lows, which suggested any pullbacks may well struggle around this region.

"The rout also increases the pressure on both Opec and non-Opec members to try and agree something when they meet later this month if only to try and put a floor under prices.

"The bigger concern is whether this sell-off is part of a wider deflationary wave about to ripple out through the global economy given the big declines ... in copper and iron ore."

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, said it seemed markets had abandoned hope when it came to Opec's ability to dictate oil prices.

"Whatever Opec does from here, it will either be undermined by low conformity or a like-for-like rise in US production," said Mahony.

"In a world where (US President) Donald Trump is encouraging even greater US production, there is reason to believe the losses seen this week could be just the beginning."

Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said the sharp slide in commodity prices overnight had weighed on risk sentiment, with global stocks poised to remain depressed on Friday as questions are raised over the health of the global economy.

"With depressed oil prices, lingering geopolitical tensions, Brexit developments, and Trump uncertainties still weighing on sentiment, a pending stock market correction may be on the table," said Otunuga.

Meanwhile, on Comex, gold was down 0.07% to $1227.8 an ounce. Silver fell 0.29% to $16.26 an ounce, and copper rose 0.04% to 251.25 cents a a pound.

Otunuga said the prospect of higher US interest rates continued to pressure gold.

"With Gold potentially finding itself dictated by US rate hike expectations, further downside should be expected as the Federal Reserve maintains a hawkish stance," he said.

On London Metals Exchange, three-month industrial metals were down moderately. Copper shed 1.02%, and was followed by aluminum down 0.57%. Zinc and tin each fell 0.23%.

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