INTERNATIONAL COMEX NEWS
- Gold prices remained under pressure on Tuesday, as U.S. dollar strength and lower demand for safe-haven assets continued to weigh on the precious metal. Comex gold futures were down 1.08% at $1,341.6 a troy ounce by 08:00 a.m. ET (12:00 GMT), the lowest since February 14. The greenback remained supported against other major currencies despite U.S. deficit worries. The U.S. deficit is projected projected to climb near $1 trillion in 2019 following the recent announcement of infrastructure spending and large corporate tax cuts.
- Crude oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, as reduced supplies from Canada boosted demand for U.S. oil futures, while the Brent contract remained lower although optimism over the rebalancing of the market persisted. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract was little changed at $61.55 a barrel by 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT), just off a two-week high of $62.64 hit overnight
- Natural gas futures were higher on Tuesday, moving further away from their lowest levels in almost two years set last week, as updated weather forecasting models showed a return to colder weather over the eastern U.S. during the first week of March. Front-month U.S. natural gas futures climbed 7.0 cents, or around 2.8%, to $2.628 per million British thermal units (btu) by 8:20AM ET (1320GMT).
- South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa must quickly show international investors his government can implement reforms to take advantage of a weak dollar and growth in China, according to Citi’s head of emerging markets. The crucial period starts with Wednesday’s annual budget and runs until elections, due next year, Citi’s David Lubin told Reuters.
- The normalization of monetary policy in the euro zone must go hand in hand with economic recovery, Spanish Economy Minister and soon-to-be European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Tuesday. De Guindos was chosen to take over from Portugal’s Vitor Constancio as the ECB’s second in command in June by euro zone finance ministers on Monday.
- Investors should brace for a possible replay of the 1987 stock market crash later this year, given this month’s slump came against the backdrop of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and rising inflation, Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer at Guggenheim Partners, said on Tuesday. “Eventually the Fed will acknowledge that three rate hikes will not be enough, but it is going to raise rates four times in 2018, and market speculation will increase that there may be a need for five or six rate hikes. That will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Minerd said in a note to clients.