Comex Gold Signal
INTERNATIONAL COMEX NEWS
- Crude prices were lower on Wednesday, hitting the lowest levels of the session after data showed a sizable increase in U.S. oil and gasoline stockpiles last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost 48 cents, or 0.8%, to $62.55 a barrel by 10:35AM ET (1535GMT). Prices were at around $63.10 prior to the release of the inventory data. Meanwhile, London-traded Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., shed 55 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to $65.95 a barrel.
- Gold prices held steady near a two-and-a-half week low on Wednesday, as the U.S. dollar remained broadly supported by expectations for several rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year despite the release of downbeat U.S. economic growth data. Comex gold futures were little changed at $1,319.1 a troy ounce by 08:35 a.m. ET (12:35 GMT), just off Tuesday’s two-and-a-half week lows of $1,314.40.
- Natural gas futures inched higher on Wednesday, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on supplies in storage to gauge demand for the fuel. Front-month U.S. natural gas futures tacked on 1.1 cents, or around 0.4%, to $2.694 per million British thermal units (btu) by 9:40AM ET (1440GMT).
- The European Union and Japan are rushing to ensure that their planned free trade agreement can enter force early in 2019, ideally before Britain leaves the EU, the lead negotiators of both sides said on Wednesday. Japan’s ambassador for international economic affairs, Yoichi Suzuki, said the deal agreed by negotiators last year would likely be presented to the Japanese parliament later in 2018, allowing ratification by the end of the year.
- The European Union published its draft Brexit withdrawal treaty on Wednesday, where it called for a ‘common regulatory area’ on the island of Ireland. The 119 page bill states: ‘the common regulatory area shall comprise an area without internal borders in which the free movement of goods is ensured and North-South cooperation protected’. Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator responsible for preparing the bill, declared that nothing in the bill would come as a surprise to the UK government, as it was based on the Phase One discussions that were concluded in December.
- France’s government on Wednesday promised investment of 10 million euros a day over a decade to prepare the SNCF national railway for Europe-wide liberalization in an effort to persuade labor unions to discuss a planned shake-up of the network. In one of his most daring reform plans so far, President Emmanuel Macron wants to scrap the job-for-life guarantees and other sizeable perks for all new hires at the SNCF, a bastion of organized labor since nationalization in the 1930s.