Daily Comex Signal and Financial News
INTERNATIONAL COMEX NEWS
- Gold prices bounced back on Thursday, erasing earlier losses as the greenback broadly weakened after the release of downbeat U.S. data dampened optimism over the strength of the economy. Comex gold futures were up 0.20% at $1,322.10 a troy ounce by 08:35 a.m. ET (12:35 GMT), off session lows of $1,316.10. The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims increased to 261,000 last week, compared to expectations for a drop to 246,000.
- Crude oil prices remained at three-year highs on Thursday, as optimism dominated following news this week of another decline in U.S. crude stockpiles. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was up 85 cents or about 1.34% at $64.42 a barrel by 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT), the highest since December 2014. Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London gained 27 cents or about 0.39% to $69.48 a barrel, just off a fresh three-year peak of $69.59 hit earlier in the day.
- Natural gas futures surged on Thursday, hitting their highest level in a week after data showed the largest withdrawal on record in U.S. supplies in storage. U.S. natural gas futures jumped 9.5 cents, or around 3.3%, to $3.002 per million British thermal units by 10:45AM ET (1545GMT). Futures were at around $3.015 prior to the release of the supply data.
- China’s hints that it may slow purchases of U.S. government debt gave Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his team a test-run on debt market shocks. The episode, prompted by a Bloomberg News report that sent 10-year Treasury yields to their highest level in 10 months before recovering, highlights a staffing gap in the Office of Domestic Finance that pre-dates Mnuchin. That’s the arm of the department that would deal with a disruption in debt markets that a major shift in Chinese policy could precipitate.
- The majority of economists believe that the Federal Reserve will hike rates in March with a second move higher arriving in June, according to a survey released on Thursday. A monthly Wall Street Journal survey of approximately 60 economists showed that 92.5% of them believe the Fed will hike rates at its March 28 decision.
- The United States must be taken seriously when it says it might walk away from NAFTA, Canada’s foreign minister said on Thursday, a day after government sources said Ottawa was increasingly convinced U.S. President Donald Trump would pull the plug. Chrystia Freeland also told reporters that Canada had come up with some creative ideas in a bid to solve the toughest challenges facing negotiators when they meet for the sixth and penultimate round of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement later this month.