BOE Hike, Powell as New Fed Chair, US Tax Plan… All As Expected. Focus Now On Nonfarm Payrolls

Events in the UK and the UK roiled the financial markets. BOE's dovish rate hike accelerated British pound's selloff which had started a few hours before the official announcement. US President Donald Trump announced that he has nominated Jerome Powell to the Senate as the next Fed Chair. The House released the tax plan but contained little surprise. In the FX market, US dollar fell against major currencies, with the exception of the pound...

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Crude Oil Prices Slipped on Higher US Output

The front-month WTI crude oil contract retreated, after rising to a 10-month high of US$ 55.22/bbl (just 2 cents shy of 2017-high of US$ 55.24/bbl) earlier in the day. Traders took the EIA inventory data as a reason for profit-taking. The WTI contract slipped -0.15% for the day. The corresponding Brent contract also dropped after soaring to the highest level in more than two years.

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Crude Oil Rallied 5-7% in October, Wide WTI-Brent Spread Might Encourage US Exports

Recording 5-7% gains in October, crude oil prices began the third quarter in a good shape. The key drivers for the rally were geopolitical tensions aided by OPEC/ non-OPEC verbal support for extension of the output cut deal. Whether the strength can sustain in the last two months of the year depends on the demand/supply balancing and other unexpected events across the globe. The front-month Brent crude contract gained +0.77% in the last day of October...

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Weekly Fundamentals – Brent Crude Broke Above US$ 60/bbl

Oil's rally gathered momentum on Friday as Saudi Arabia reinforced support of extending the output cut deal beyond March 2018 and Iraqi conflicts have shown no signs of abating. While these two factors had sent the Brent crude contract above US$ 60/bbl for the first time since March 2015, draws of gasoline and distillate stockpiles and the broad-based strong sentiment were supportive of the oil market last week.

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IEA Indicates Oil Balance Outlook Depends on OPEC Production

Crude oil prices retreated for the first time in 4 days as trader took profit. The losses were contained by a report showing US inventory decline last week. The front-month WTI crude oil contract dropped -1.36% while the Brent contract was down -1.21%. Refined oil products also fell with the heating oil contract and RBOB gasoline contract losing -1.15% and -1.62% respectively.

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Weekly Fundamentals – Crude Oil Profit-Taking Continues

Energy prices dropped on Friday although Saudi Arabia and Russia affirmed the possibility to extend the output cut deal to end -2018. Both crude oil benchmarks ended the week lower as profit-taking continued. The front-month WTI contract plunged -4.61% while the Brent contract was down -3.34%. WTI-Brent spread recovered but remained wide. On EIA' weekly inventory report, we saw another week of big decline in crude oil inventory. However, Cushing stock gained +1.53 mmb to 62.46 mmb.

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Crude Oil Prices Higher as Output Cut Deal Likely to Extend

Oil price rebounded, as the meeting between Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Russian President Vladimir Putin might bring about an extension of the output cut deal. The front-month WTI crude oil contract rose +1.62% while the Brent contract soared +2.15% for the day. Refined oil products also gained with the RBOB gasoline and heating oil contracts up +1.96% and +0.7% respectively.

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Trump’s Budget Brinkmanship Soured Sentiment

The same old tactic! Donald Trump again plays his budget brinkmanship, threatening a government shutdown if the Congress refuses to approve funding to build the border wall with Mexico. Market sentiment soured, just a day after it was lifted by comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding the increase of the debt ceiling.

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Jackson Hole Symposium in Focus; Brexit Again in Driver’s Seat

The focus of the week is on the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole symposium beginning on Thursday evening. Key financial officials of major economies would be speaking with ECB President Mario Draghi due to speak on Thursday and Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.

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Weekly Fundamentals – Zinc Rallied on tighter Supply Outlook; Iron Ore Prices to Retreat Further in Coming Months

Industrial metals rose across the board with zinc the best performer. Tighter supply outlook is boosting the price with LME's 3-month forward soaring to a decade high and settled +7.85% higher for the week. Against the tide was iron ore price which retreated after gaining almost +20% over the past 5 weeks. While still no reflected in the market...

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