COMEX GOLD SIGNAL
INTERNATIONAL COMEX NEWS
- Oil prices rose on Friday as markets tightened amid output cuts by producer club OPEC, but surging U.S. supply and a global economic slowdown prevented crude from climbing further. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $57.45 per barrel at 0116 GMT, up 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude futures were at $66.55 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent.
- The United States on Thursday laid out objectives for a trade deal with the United Kingdom that would ensure fair and balanced trade, cut tariff and non-tariff barriers for U.S. industrial and agricultural goods and reduce regulatory differences. The negotiating objectives, required by Congress under the “fast-track trade negotiating authority law, will seek to boost trade between the countries by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said.
- India’s diesel consumption may rise to a record this year on increasing infrastructure spending by the current government as it tries to hold off challengers in general elections that will be held over April and May. Surging diesel consumption in India, the world’s third-largest oil user, underscores the country’s importance as a driver of global oil demand. Amid increasing concerns that crude demand growth may slip in 2019 because of slowing economic growth, India’s burgeoning fuel consumption may help underpin oil and fuel prices.
- A rise in productivity last year gives more room for wages to grow without the risk of higher inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday, offering another reason why the U.S. central bank can hold off on further rate increases. “Signs of upward pressure on inflation appear muted despite the strong labor market,” with unemployment at 4 percent and wage increases picking up of late, Powell said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Citizens Budget Commission in New York.
- China on Friday said it regretted a lack of support from experts after the United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on China’s wheat and rice subsidies. The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that government support for the agriculture sector was allowed under WTO rules and was a common practice among countries. China will continue to promote development of the sector in line with WTO rules and safeguard the stability of the multi-lateral trade system, it added.
- Faced with a serious slowdown in euro zone economic growth, the European Central Bank is set to delay hiking interest rates from record lows until next year and will soon re-launch its offer of long-term loans to banks, a Reuters poll found. But over 60 percent of economists said there would be no change to rate guidance at its March 7 policy meeting or any official announcement yet of long-term loans.
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