INTERNATIONAL COMEX NEWS
- Gold prices turned lower on Wednesday, as upbeat U.S. economic growth data pushed the dollar broadly higher, dampening demand for the precious metal. Comex gold futures was down $7.65 or about 0.58% at $1,287.53 a troy ounce by 09:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT). In a second estimate, official data showed that U.S. gross domestic product expanded by3.3% in the third quarter, compared to an initial reading of 3.0%.
- Oil prices pared losses on Wednesday, after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles dropped more than forecast last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.87 a barrel, down 12 cents, or about 0.2%, by 10:35AM ET (1535GMT). Prices were at around $57.78 prior to the release of the inventory data. Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 10 cents, or around 0.2%, to $63.14 a barrel.
- Natural gas futures extended their rally into a third session on Wednesday, as bullish speculators continued to place bets that a return to cold winter weather will boost demand for the heating fuel. U.S. natural gas futures surged 6.0 cents, or around 2%, to $3.189 per million British thermal units by 7:25AM ET (1225GMT). It climbed to its best level since Nov. 13 at $3.206 earlier.
- The U.S. Justice Department will extend greater leniency to companies that voluntarily alert authorities when they learn employees have paid bribes to foreign officials. The new guidelines will allow most companies to avoid prosecution altogether if they fully disclose foreign bribery, cooperate in the investigation and take steps to avoid future misconduct, senior Justice Department officials told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.
- The U.S. economy has gathered steam this year and will warrant continued interest rate increases amid a global recovery, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told congressional leaders on Wednesday. “The economic expansion is increasingly broad based across sectors as well as across much of the global economy,” Yellen said in prepared remarks delivered to the Joint Economic Committee.
- The Federal Reserve is in early stages of considering “what it would mean” to offer digital currencies sometime in the future and whether it may be necessary as an alternative to cash, a top U.S. central banker said on Wednesday. William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has been publicly asked about the virtual currency bitcoin twice in three days this week and has stressed that prospective investors should be cautious because its value is highly unstable and it is not legal tender.