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Commodities: WTI, Brent push higher ahead of updates on stockpiles

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 20 Mar 2018

Commodities: WTI, Brent push higher ahead of updates on stockpiles

(ShareCast News) - A renewed push higher in energy futures helped to more than offset weakness in base metals ahead of weekly updates on the state of US oil inventories and a key US central bank policy meeting.
Acting as a backdrop, traders were carefully monitoring the headlines coming out of the G-20 finance ministers' meeting in Buenos Aires.

Thus, as of 1753 GMT, Bloomberg's commodity index was holding 0.21% higher at 86.71 even as the US dollar spot index jumped 0.61% to 90.32.

Crude oil futures were seeing the strongest gains ahead of an update on the state of US inventories from the American Petroleum Institute due out later in the day, with both Brent and West Texas Intermediate for prompt month delivery rising by over two percentage points each and the former changing hands at $67.51 a barrel on the ICE.

Investors were also waiting on the regularly-scheduled update on the country's oil and product stockpiles the next day from the Department of Energy.

In parallel, the RBOB gasoline contract for April 2018 delivery was rising by 2.25% to $1.9683 a gallon, alongside a 2.38% advance in similarly-dated NYMEX heating oil to $1.9524 a gallon.

Base and precious metals were all lower, with three-month LME copper seeing the London session out from $6,755 per metric tonne after starting the session at $6,840 a tonne.

All the other main LME base metals contracts traded lower as well.

Yet analysts at Sucden Financial were unimpressed, telling clients: "Today saw another largely routine morning session with LME prices drifting but still contained in the recent ranges.

"It was not until midday in London, once the Asian overnight session opened that prices turned lower led by zinc which dipped just below 3200."

In soft commodities, the main futures contracts were putting in a small bounce, sace for June 2018 live cattle on the CME, which was 1.04% lower to $1.09 a pound.


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