Gold prices dip in Asia as investors keep focus on Fed – Sean Seshadri

Gold continued to drop in early Asia on Friday with investors focused on the possibility of a Federal Reserve rate hike next year.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,226.20 a troy ounce, down 0.06%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,216.60 and off a high of $1,228.50.
Overnight, gold prices fell after investors digested the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday statement on interest rates and concluded that tighter monetary policy is drawing closer and usher in a strengthening trend for the dollar.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said that it will likely close its monthly bond-buying program in October and suggested it will raise interest rates in 2015.The Fed added interest rates will hover just above zero for a “considerable time,” but the U.S. central bank also suggested it could move to hike benchmark borrowing costs faster than anticipated once it decides to begin tightening.
An end of stimulus and prospects for higher interest rates should give the dollar added support going forward, ending six years of ultra-loose monetary policy that have bolstered gold prices, which shrugged off mixed U.S. data.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Sept. 13 fell by 36,000 to 280,000, the lowest level since mid-July, from the previous week’s revised total of 316,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 305,000 last week.Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued last month dropped by 5.6% to 998,000 units from July’s total of 1.057 million.
Analysts expected building permits to fall by 0.4% to 1.045 million units in August.The report also showed that U.S. housing starts tumbled by 14.4% last month to hit 956,000 units from July’s total of 1.117 million units, confounding expectations for an increase to 1.040 million.

Gold continued to drop in early Asia on Friday with investors focused on the possibility of a Federal Reserve rate hike next year.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,226.20 a troy ounce, down 0.06%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,216.60 and off a high of $1,228.50.

Gold prices dip in Asia as investors keep focus on Fed

Overnight, gold prices fell after investors digested the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday statement on interest rates and concluded that tighter monetary policy is drawing closer and usher in a strengthening trend for the dollar.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said that it will likely close its monthly bond-buying program in October and suggested it will raise interest rates in 2015.The Fed added interest rates will hover just above zero for a “considerable time,” but the U.S. central bank also suggested it could move to hike benchmark borrowing costs faster than anticipated once it decides to begin tightening.

An end of stimulus and prospects for higher interest rates should give the dollar added support going forward, ending six years of ultra-loose monetary policy that have bolstered gold prices, which shrugged off mixed U.S. data.

In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Sept. 13 fell by 36,000 to 280,000, the lowest level since mid-July, from the previous week’s revised total of 316,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 305,000 last week.Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued last month dropped by 5.6% to 998,000 units from July’s total of 1.057 million.

Analysts expected building permits to fall by 0.4% to 1.045 million units in August.The report also showed that U.S. housing starts tumbled by 14.4% last month to hit 956,000 units from July’s total of 1.117 million units, confounding expectations for an increase to 1.040 million.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-prices-dip-in-asia-as-investors-keep-focus-on-fed-310039

Brent oil trades near two-year low as China jitters weigh – Sean Seshadri

Brent oil futures traded near the lowest level in almost two years on Monday, amid speculation weakening economic growth in China will reduce demand for the commodity.On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for November delivery dropped to a session low of $97.02 a barrel, a level not seen since April 18, 2013. Prices were last at $97.29 during European morning hours, down 67 cents, or 0.68%.
Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in November slumped to a daily low of $89.90 a barrel. Futures recovered to last trade at $90.60, down 77 cents, or 0.84%.Oil prices started the week lower after data released on Saturday showed that China’s factory output grew at the weakest pace in nearly six years in August, adding to concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.
Industrial production rose at an annualized rate of 6.9% in August, missing estimates for a gain of 8.8% and slowing from an increase of 9.0% a month earlier.Fixed asset investment, which tracks construction activity, rose 16.5% in the January-August period, below expectations for a gain of 16.9% and slowing from 17.0% in the January-July period.
The weaker than expected data underlined concerns about China’s economy and sparked speculation policymakers in Beijing will have to introduce fresh stimulus to meet the government’s 7.5% growth target.
China is the world’s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.A broadly stronger dollar also weighed, as expectations for an early hike in U.S. interest rates continued to bolster investor demand. The greenback traded close to a 14-month high versus a basket of six other major currencies.Oil prices typically weaken when the U.S. currency strengthens as the dollar-priced commodity becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Brent oil futures traded near the lowest level in almost two years on Monday, amid speculation weakening economic growth in China will reduce demand for the commodity.On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for November delivery dropped to a session low of $97.02 a barrel, a level not seen since April 18, 2013. Prices were last at $97.29 during European morning hours, down 67 cents, or 0.68%.

Brent oil trades near two-year low as China jitters weigh

Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in November slumped to a daily low of $89.90 a barrel. Futures recovered to last trade at $90.60, down 77 cents, or 0.84%.Oil prices started the week lower after data released on Saturday showed that China’s factory output grew at the weakest pace in nearly six years in August, adding to concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

Industrial production rose at an annualized rate of 6.9% in August, missing estimates for a gain of 8.8% and slowing from an increase of 9.0% a month earlier.Fixed asset investment, which tracks construction activity, rose 16.5% in the January-August period, below expectations for a gain of 16.9% and slowing from 17.0% in the January-July period.

The weaker than expected data underlined concerns about China’s economy and sparked speculation policymakers in Beijing will have to introduce fresh stimulus to meet the government’s 7.5% growth target.

China is the world’s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.A broadly stronger dollar also weighed, as expectations for an early hike in U.S. interest rates continued to bolster investor demand. The greenback traded close to a 14-month high versus a basket of six other major currencies.Oil prices typically weaken when the U.S. currency strengthens as the dollar-priced commodity becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/brent-oil-trades-near-two-year-low-as-china-jitters-weigh-309421

Exclusive: PDVSA seeks bids for Citgo in potential $10 billion deal – sources – Sean Seshadri

Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] is seeking preliminary offers for its U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum Corp [PDVSAC.UL] by the end of September, a deal that could fetch up to $10 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Venezuela is selling Citgo in part due to a cash crunch stemming from repaying debts to Beijing with oil, rather than selling the crude to generate revenue, analysts say. The government denies a cashflow problem exists.
Within President Nicolas Maduro’s government, the potential sale is controversial and seen as a privatization that would contradict years of socialist policies, including a nationalization of the oil industry in 2006 and 2007.
Investment bank Lazard Ltd, which is running the sale process for Citgo on behalf of PDVSA, has sent offering materials to potential buyers, the people said in recent days, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.
PDVSA also has a 50 percent stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana alongside Exxon Mobil Corp, which owns the remainder. The Venezuelan oil company has tapped Deutsche Bank separately to explore a sale of its stake in that refinery.
The assets being offered as part of the Lazard process have annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $1.5 billion, four people said.Citgo’s assets, the core of which are three refineries with combined capacity of 749,000 barrels per day (bpd), could fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion, three of the people said.
Venezuela’s former Petroleum Minister, Rafael Ramirez, said last month that the country expects to receive “more than that” if it decides to sell all the facilities.Ramirez, who was named foreign minister last week after a decade leading the country’s petroleum industry, was pushing hard for Citgo’s sale.
He was replaced by Eulogio Del Pino, who is seen by the market as an experienced technocrat deeply involved in exploration and production projects.Citgo has 48 petroleum product terminals, three fully owned pipelines and six jointly owned pipelines in the United States. Its brand is also carried on thousands of gas stations that are independently owned.
Bidders can put in offers for individual assets, which include refineries, terminals, storage and wholesale operations, the people added.Representatives for Lazard could not be immediately reached, while PDVSA said it was “looking into the matter.”
Ramirez also said that the country will look to exit Citgo “as soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests.”A sale, if it were to come to fruition, would be Venezuela’s biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.
Citgo’s three refineries are in Lemont, Illinois; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Corpus Christi, Texas.Bidders for the refineries could include HollyFrontier Corp, Valero Energy Corp, Western Refining Inc, Tesoro Corp and PBF Energy Inc, people familiar with the matter said.

Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] is seeking preliminary offers for its U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum Corp [PDVSAC.UL] by the end of September, a deal that could fetch up to $10 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Venezuela is selling Citgo in part due to a cash crunch stemming from repaying debts to Beijing with oil, rather than selling the crude to generate revenue, analysts say. The government denies a cashflow problem exists.

Exclusive: PDVSA seeks bids for Citgo in potential $10 billion deal - sources

Within President Nicolas Maduro’s government, the potential sale is controversial and seen as a privatization that would contradict years of socialist policies, including a nationalization of the oil industry in 2006 and 2007.

Investment bank Lazard Ltd, which is running the sale process for Citgo on behalf of PDVSA, has sent offering materials to potential buyers, the people said in recent days, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

PDVSA also has a 50 percent stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana alongside Exxon Mobil Corp, which owns the remainder. The Venezuelan oil company has tapped Deutsche Bank separately to explore a sale of its stake in that refinery.

The assets being offered as part of the Lazard process have annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $1.5 billion, four people said.Citgo’s assets, the core of which are three refineries with combined capacity of 749,000 barrels per day (bpd), could fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion, three of the people said.

Venezuela’s former Petroleum Minister, Rafael Ramirez, said last month that the country expects to receive “more than that” if it decides to sell all the facilities.Ramirez, who was named foreign minister last week after a decade leading the country’s petroleum industry, was pushing hard for Citgo’s sale.

He was replaced by Eulogio Del Pino, who is seen by the market as an experienced technocrat deeply involved in exploration and production projects.Citgo has 48 petroleum product terminals, three fully owned pipelines and six jointly owned pipelines in the United States. Its brand is also carried on thousands of gas stations that are independently owned.

Bidders can put in offers for individual assets, which include refineries, terminals, storage and wholesale operations, the people added.Representatives for Lazard could not be immediately reached, while PDVSA said it was “looking into the matter.”

Ramirez also said that the country will look to exit Citgo “as soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests.”A sale, if it were to come to fruition, would be Venezuela’s biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.

Citgo’s three refineries are in Lemont, Illinois; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Corpus Christi, Texas.Bidders for the refineries could include HollyFrontier Corp, Valero Energy Corp, Western Refining Inc, Tesoro Corp and PBF Energy Inc, people familiar with the matter said.

http://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/exclusive:-pdvsa-seeks-bids-for-citgo-in-potential-$10-billion-deal—sources-308875

Gold futures little changed ahead of ECB outcome, U.S. data – Sean Seshadri

Gold futures held steady in cautious trade on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank’s policy decision later in the day while awaiting further indications on the strength of the U.S. economy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery eased up 0.02%, or 20 cents, to trade at $1,270.50 a troy ounce during European morning hours.Prices held in a narrow range between $1,269.00 and $1,274.20 an ounce. Futures were likely to find support at $1,261.90, the low from September 3 and resistance at $1,290.90, the high from September 2.
A day earlier, gold fell to a two-and-a-half month low of $1,261.90 before turning higher to settle at $1,270.30, up $5.30, or 0.42% amid confusion over whether Ukraine and Russia had reached a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said he had agreed on a “permanent ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.However, a spokesman for President Putin subsequently said he had not agreed to a ceasefire as Russia was not party to the conflict.
Focus now turns to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day, amid speculation the central bank could unveil fresh stimulus measures to fight inflation and boost growth.Market players are hoping the meeting will shed further light on the bank’s plans to start asset purchases, a move that would work in favor of the dollar’s strength.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, hit a 13-month high of 83.07 on Wednesday.A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.Meanwhile, investors also looked ahead to Friday’s U.S. employment report for August for further indications on the strength of the recovery in the labor market, a key factor in deciding the future path of monetary policy.
While the U.S. economy continues to gain steam, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern over slackness persistent in the labor market.On Thursday, the U.S. is to release trade-balance data, the ADP report on private-sector job creation and the weekly report on initial jobless claims. Also on Thursday, the ISM is to publish a report on U.S. service sector activity.
A recent batch of upbeat data underlined optimism over the strength of the economy and fuelled expectations that the Fed will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.Also on the Comex, silver for December delivery tacked on 0.1%, or 1.9 cents, to trade at $19.20 a troy ounce.

Gold futures held steady in cautious trade on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank’s policy decision later in the day while awaiting further indications on the strength of the U.S. economy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery eased up 0.02%, or 20 cents, to trade at $1,270.50 a troy ounce during European morning hours.Prices held in a narrow range between $1,269.00 and $1,274.20 an ounce. Futures were likely to find support at $1,261.90, the low from September 3 and resistance at $1,290.90, the high from September 2.

Gold futures little changed ahead of ECB outcome, U.S. data

A day earlier, gold fell to a two-and-a-half month low of $1,261.90 before turning higher to settle at $1,270.30, up $5.30, or 0.42% amid confusion over whether Ukraine and Russia had reached a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said he had agreed on a “permanent ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.However, a spokesman for President Putin subsequently said he had not agreed to a ceasefire as Russia was not party to the conflict.

Focus now turns to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later in the day, amid speculation the central bank could unveil fresh stimulus measures to fight inflation and boost growth.Market players are hoping the meeting will shed further light on the bank’s plans to start asset purchases, a move that would work in favor of the dollar’s strength.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, hit a 13-month high of 83.07 on Wednesday.A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.Meanwhile, investors also looked ahead to Friday’s U.S. employment report for August for further indications on the strength of the recovery in the labor market, a key factor in deciding the future path of monetary policy.

While the U.S. economy continues to gain steam, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern over slackness persistent in the labor market.On Thursday, the U.S. is to release trade-balance data, the ADP report on private-sector job creation and the weekly report on initial jobless claims. Also on Thursday, the ISM is to publish a report on U.S. service sector activity.

A recent batch of upbeat data underlined optimism over the strength of the economy and fuelled expectations that the Fed will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.Also on the Comex, silver for December delivery tacked on 0.1%, or 1.9 cents, to trade at $19.20 a troy ounce.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-futures-little-changed-ahead-of-ecb-outcome,-u.s.-data-307638

Forex – AUD/USD drops to 1-week lows on RBA statement – Sean Seshadri

The Australian dollar dropped to one-week lows against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, after the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged and said that the nation’s currency is overvalued. AUD/USD hit 0.9286 during late Asian trade, the pair’s lowest since August 26; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.9292, retreating 0.43%.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.9269, the low of August 26 and resistance at 0.9352, the session high.At its monthly policy meeting, the RBA held its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 2.50%, in a widely expected move and said that the overvalued Australian dollar is weighing on efforts to support growth.
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the Australian dollar “remains above most estimates of its fundamental value” and that it “is offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy.”
Separately, official data showed that building approvals rose 2.5% in July, beating expectations for an increase of 1.5%. The change of building approvals in June was revised to a 3.8% decline from a previously estimated 5.0% drop.
Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor developments in Ukraine after European Union leaders threatened over the weekend to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia if Moscow does not scale back its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.The Aussie was lower against the euro, with EUR/AUD gaining 0.41% to 1.4126.

The Australian dollar dropped to one-week lows against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, after the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged and said that the nation’s currency is overvalued. AUD/USD hit 0.9286 during late Asian trade, the pair’s lowest since August 26; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.9292, retreating 0.43%.

Forex - AUD/USD drops to 1-week lows on RBA statement

The pair was likely to find support at 0.9269, the low of August 26 and resistance at 0.9352, the session high.At its monthly policy meeting, the RBA held its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 2.50%, in a widely expected move and said that the overvalued Australian dollar is weighing on efforts to support growth.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the Australian dollar “remains above most estimates of its fundamental value” and that it “is offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy.”

Separately, official data showed that building approvals rose 2.5% in July, beating expectations for an increase of 1.5%. The change of building approvals in June was revised to a 3.8% decline from a previously estimated 5.0% drop.

Meanwhile, investors continued to monitor developments in Ukraine after European Union leaders threatened over the weekend to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia if Moscow does not scale back its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.The Aussie was lower against the euro, with EUR/AUD gaining 0.41% to 1.4126.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—aud-usd-drops-to-1-week-lows-on-rba-statement-306811

NYMEX crude dips in early Asia, Ukraine events in focus, China HSBC PMI – Sean Seshadri

Crude oil prices dipped in early Asia on Monday with events in Ukraine the focus of possible new sanctions and China manufacturing data ahead and with markets in the U.S. and Canada closed for the Labor Day holiday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Crude Oil for delivery in October traded at $95.76 a barrel, down 0.21%, after last week ending at $95.82 a barrel. NYMEX oil futures rose 2.58% last week, but ended August with losses of 2.11%.
Brent oil settled up 0.7% at $103.19 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Prices rose 0.9% last week and fell 2.7% in August.U.S. officials are working closely with the European Union to keep their Russia sanctions programs aligned in timing and severity.
On Saturday, European Union leaders agreed to draw up options within a week for possible new sanctions against Russia, with action to follow quickly unless Moscow takes clear steps to scale back its intervention in Ukraine. Reports have emerged that hundreds of Russian soldiers have entered Ukraine.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the bloc wouldn’t set out specific criteria for triggering fresh sanctions but said there was “determination” to ensure Russia paid an appropriate price for heightening tensions.
“I can assure you that everyone is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the escalation on the ground,” he said at the end of a summit of European leaders.In China, we get the August CFLP manufacturing PMI at 0900 (0100 GMT) with 51.2 exepected.
This would be followed by the HSBC final manufacturing PMI at 0945 (0145 GMT) with 50.3 expected, unchanged from the previous month final.In the week ahead, trading volumes are likely to remain light on Monday, with U.S. markets closed for the Labor Day holiday. Investors will be focusing on Thursday’s outcome of the ECB’s monthly monetary policy meeting, as well as Friday’s closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls report.
Monetary policy announcements by central banks in Australia, Japan, Canada and the U.K. will also be awaited.Last week, crude oil moved higher after data showed that U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded to a seven year high in August, with the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index rising to 82.5 from 81.8 in June.

Crude oil prices dipped in early Asia on Monday with events in Ukraine the focus of possible new sanctions and China manufacturing data ahead and with markets in the U.S. and Canada closed for the Labor Day holiday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Crude Oil for delivery in October traded at $95.76 a barrel, down 0.21%, after last week ending at $95.82 a barrel. NYMEX oil futures rose 2.58% last week, but ended August with losses of 2.11%.

NYMEX crude dips in early Asia, Ukraine events in focus, China HSBC PMI

Brent oil settled up 0.7% at $103.19 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Prices rose 0.9% last week and fell 2.7% in August.U.S. officials are working closely with the European Union to keep their Russia sanctions programs aligned in timing and severity.

On Saturday, European Union leaders agreed to draw up options within a week for possible new sanctions against Russia, with action to follow quickly unless Moscow takes clear steps to scale back its intervention in Ukraine. Reports have emerged that hundreds of Russian soldiers have entered Ukraine.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the bloc wouldn’t set out specific criteria for triggering fresh sanctions but said there was “determination” to ensure Russia paid an appropriate price for heightening tensions.

“I can assure you that everyone is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the escalation on the ground,” he said at the end of a summit of European leaders.In China, we get the August CFLP manufacturing PMI at 0900 (0100 GMT) with 51.2 exepected.

This would be followed by the HSBC final manufacturing PMI at 0945 (0145 GMT) with 50.3 expected, unchanged from the previous month final.In the week ahead, trading volumes are likely to remain light on Monday, with U.S. markets closed for the Labor Day holiday. Investors will be focusing on Thursday’s outcome of the ECB’s monthly monetary policy meeting, as well as Friday’s closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls report.

Monetary policy announcements by central banks in Australia, Japan, Canada and the U.K. will also be awaited.Last week, crude oil moved higher after data showed that U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded to a seven year high in August, with the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index rising to 82.5 from 81.8 in June.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/nymex-crude-dips-in-early-asia,-ukraine-events-in-focus,-china-hsbc-pmi-306685

Gold prices fall in Asia as traders keep close eye on dollar strength – Sean Seshadri

Gold prices fell in Asia Wednesday as investors sold early on gains overnight and kept an eye on the dollar for renewed strength.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,281.50 a troy ounce, down 0.29%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,276.20 and off a high of $1,291.70.
Overnight, gold prices rose after the U.S. dollar, which trades inversely with the yellow metal, cooled its advance in a bout of profit taking and against mixed U.S. data.The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, surged by 22.6% last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 7.5%.
Orders for durable goods in June were revised up to a 2.7% gain from a previously reported increase of 1.7%.However, core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, contracted 0.8% in July, confounding forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Core durable goods orders rose by 3% in June.
Separately, the Conference Board reported that its widely-watched consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 for August, the highest since October 2007, from 90.3 in July, whose figure was revised down from a previously reported 90.9.
Analysts expected the index to decline to 89.0 in August.Tuesday’s mixed data gave the greenback broad support, as it depicted a strengthening U.S. economy, though profit taking sent the U.S. currency lower and nosed up gold prices, as the dollar had advanced in recent sessions on upbeat data and optimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Geopolitical tensions bolstered gold’s safe-haven appeal as well.Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, later Tuesday amid growing tensions in the region.
On Monday, Ukraine said an armored column including 10 tanks entered from Russia as the government in Moscow unveiled plans to send a second convoy with humanitarian aid.Elsewhere, investors tracked a lackluster report on U.S. home prices.The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 8.1% year over year, shy of expectations for 8.4 percent.

Gold prices fell in Asia Wednesday as investors sold early on gains overnight and kept an eye on the dollar for renewed strength.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,281.50 a troy ounce, down 0.29%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,276.20 and off a high of $1,291.70.

Gold prices fall in Asia as traders keep close eye on dollar strength

Overnight, gold prices rose after the U.S. dollar, which trades inversely with the yellow metal, cooled its advance in a bout of profit taking and against mixed U.S. data.The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, surged by 22.6% last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 7.5%.

Orders for durable goods in June were revised up to a 2.7% gain from a previously reported increase of 1.7%.However, core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, contracted 0.8% in July, confounding forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Core durable goods orders rose by 3% in June.

Separately, the Conference Board reported that its widely-watched consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 for August, the highest since October 2007, from 90.3 in July, whose figure was revised down from a previously reported 90.9.

Analysts expected the index to decline to 89.0 in August.Tuesday’s mixed data gave the greenback broad support, as it depicted a strengthening U.S. economy, though profit taking sent the U.S. currency lower and nosed up gold prices, as the dollar had advanced in recent sessions on upbeat data and optimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Geopolitical tensions bolstered gold’s safe-haven appeal as well.Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, later Tuesday amid growing tensions in the region.

On Monday, Ukraine said an armored column including 10 tanks entered from Russia as the government in Moscow unveiled plans to send a second convoy with humanitarian aid.Elsewhere, investors tracked a lackluster report on U.S. home prices.The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 8.1% year over year, shy of expectations for 8.4 percent.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-prices-fall-in-asia-as-traders-keep-close-eye-on-dollar-strength-305754

Forex – GBP/USD edges higher but gains capped – Sean Seshadri

The pound edged higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday, after downbeat U.S. new home sales data but gains were expected to remain limited as Friday’s comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen continued to support the greenback.
GBP/USD hit 1.6599 during U.S. morning trade, the pair’s highest since August 21; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6591, adding 0.12%.Cable was likely to find support at 1.6546, the session low and a five-month low and resistance at 1.6679, the high of August 20.
In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales dropped by 2.4% to 412,000 units last month, compared to expectations for an increase of 5.7% to 430,000.New home sales in June were revised up to 422,000 units from a previously reported 406,000 units.
The dollar remained broadly supported after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that the U.S. economy is recovering and added the labor market is improving as well.Ms. Yellen was speaking at the Fed’s annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Sterling was higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP retreating 0.42% to 0.7958.Also Monday, the German research institute Ifo said its Business Climate Index fell to a more than one-year low of 106.3 this month, below forecasts for 107.0 and down from a reading of 108.0 in July.
The weak data dampened optimism over the health of the euro zone’s largest economy.The single currency also came under pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the Jackson Hole gathering on Friday that the central bank is ready to take more unconventional action if needed to stimulate a sluggish euro zone economy.

The pound edged higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday, after downbeat U.S. new home sales data but gains were expected to remain limited as Friday’s comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen continued to support the greenback.

GBP/USD hit 1.6599 during U.S. morning trade, the pair’s highest since August 21; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6591, adding 0.12%.Cable was likely to find support at 1.6546, the session low and a five-month low and resistance at 1.6679, the high of August 20.

Forex - GBP/USD edges higher but gains capped

In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales dropped by 2.4% to 412,000 units last month, compared to expectations for an increase of 5.7% to 430,000.New home sales in June were revised up to 422,000 units from a previously reported 406,000 units.

The dollar remained broadly supported after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that the U.S. economy is recovering and added the labor market is improving as well.Ms. Yellen was speaking at the Fed’s annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Sterling was higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP retreating 0.42% to 0.7958.Also Monday, the German research institute Ifo said its Business Climate Index fell to a more than one-year low of 106.3 this month, below forecasts for 107.0 and down from a reading of 108.0 in July.

The weak data dampened optimism over the health of the euro zone’s largest economy.The single currency also came under pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the Jackson Hole gathering on Friday that the central bank is ready to take more unconventional action if needed to stimulate a sluggish euro zone economy.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—gbp-usd-edges-higher-but-gains-capped-305314

Forex – Sterling off highs, BoE minutes still support – Sean Seshadri

The pound trimmed gains against the broadly stronger dollar on Wednesday, easing back from session highs, but remained supported after the minutes of the Bank of England’s latest meeting boosted expectations for a rate hike.
GBP/USD was up 0.20% to 1.6649, off session highs of 1.6679.Cable was likely to find support at 1.66, the session low and a more than four-month low and resistance at around the 1.67 level.Sterling rebounded from more than four month lows against the dollar earlier after the minutes of the BoE’s August meeting showed that monetary policy committee members were split on interest rates.
Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale voted to raise the bank rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%, while the remaining seven MPC members voted to keep monetary policy unchanged.It was the first time that the MPC has been split over interest rates since 2011.
The minutes revived expectations that the BoE could hike rates in the coming months as the economic recovery in the U.K. continues gain momentum.The pound fell across the board on Tuesday after official data showing that the annual rate of inflation in the U.K. slowed sharply in July was seen as diminishing the likelihood for a rate hike after the bank halved its forecast for pay growth last week.
The annual rate of inflation slowed to 1.6% from 1.9% in June. Economists had expected inflation to tick down to 1.8%.Demand for the greenback continued to be underpinned after recent reports indicated that the U.S. economic recovery is on track.
Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. housing starts jumped 15.7% in July, while the number of new permits granted to home-builders also accelerated. The data pointed to underlying strength in the housing sector, which stalled in the second half of last year.
The data offset a report showing that U.S. consumer prices rose just 0.1% in July.Investors were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting due for release later Wednesday for further indications on the future direction of monetary policy. Market watchers were also awaiting a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole on Friday.

The pound trimmed gains against the broadly stronger dollar on Wednesday, easing back from session highs, but remained supported after the minutes of the Bank of England’s latest meeting boosted expectations for a rate hike.

GBP/USD was up 0.20% to 1.6649, off session highs of 1.6679.Cable was likely to find support at 1.66, the session low and a more than four-month low and resistance at around the 1.67 level.Sterling rebounded from more than four month lows against the dollar earlier after the minutes of the BoE’s August meeting showed that monetary policy committee members were split on interest rates.

Forex - Sterling off highs, BoE minutes still support

Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale voted to raise the bank rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%, while the remaining seven MPC members voted to keep monetary policy unchanged.It was the first time that the MPC has been split over interest rates since 2011.

The minutes revived expectations that the BoE could hike rates in the coming months as the economic recovery in the U.K. continues gain momentum.The pound fell across the board on Tuesday after official data showing that the annual rate of inflation in the U.K. slowed sharply in July was seen as diminishing the likelihood for a rate hike after the bank halved its forecast for pay growth last week.

The annual rate of inflation slowed to 1.6% from 1.9% in June. Economists had expected inflation to tick down to 1.8%.Demand for the greenback continued to be underpinned after recent reports indicated that the U.S. economic recovery is on track.

Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. housing starts jumped 15.7% in July, while the number of new permits granted to home-builders also accelerated. The data pointed to underlying strength in the housing sector, which stalled in the second half of last year.

The data offset a report showing that U.S. consumer prices rose just 0.1% in July.Investors were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting due for release later Wednesday for further indications on the future direction of monetary policy. Market watchers were also awaiting a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole on Friday.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—sterling-off-highs,-boe-minutes-still-support-304522

Gold prices ease in Asia as market looks for fresh cues on demand – Sean Seshadri

Gold prices eased slightly in Asia on Wednesday as investors awaited fresh cues on European growth prospects and geopolitical tensions.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,310.00 a troy ounce, down 0.05%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,306.90 and off a high of $1,318.90.
Overnight, gold prices rose albeit in choppy trading after data out of Germany suggested the Russia-Ukraine conflict may be watering down global recovery, which bolstered the precious metal’s safe-haven appeal.
The ZEW Centre for Economic Research reported that its index of German economic sentiment dropped to 8.6 this month, down from 27.1 in July. It was the weakest reading in 20 months and came in well below economists’ forecasts of 18.2, which sent investors snapping up safe-harbor gold positions.
The current conditions index deteriorated to a seven-month low of 44.3 from 61.8 in July, worse than expectations for a decline to 55.5.Geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe are apparently taking their toll on the German economy.
Recent economic reports have indicated that sanctions slapped on Russia due to its alleged meddling in the Ukraine conflict are dragging on the German economy, Europe’s largest and Russia’s largest trading partner in Europe.
The report also indicated that economic growth in Germany will be weaker than expected in 2014.Russian has said it is wrapping up military exercises on its border with Ukraine and has added the country is working with the International Red Cross to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Still, uncertainty over whether the ceasefire can last took fueled demand for gold, as concerns have grown that Russian trucks shipping aid into Ukraine may be used as a cover to smuggle in troops for combat missions.

Gold prices eased slightly in Asia on Wednesday as investors awaited fresh cues on European growth prospects and geopolitical tensions.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,310.00 a troy ounce, down 0.05%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,306.90 and off a high of $1,318.90.

Overnight, gold prices rose albeit in choppy trading after data out of Germany suggested the Russia-Ukraine conflict may be watering down global recovery, which bolstered the precious metal’s safe-haven appeal.

Gold prices ease in Asia as market looks for fresh cues on demand

The ZEW Centre for Economic Research reported that its index of German economic sentiment dropped to 8.6 this month, down from 27.1 in July. It was the weakest reading in 20 months and came in well below economists’ forecasts of 18.2, which sent investors snapping up safe-harbor gold positions.

The current conditions index deteriorated to a seven-month low of 44.3 from 61.8 in July, worse than expectations for a decline to 55.5.Geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe are apparently taking their toll on the German economy.

Recent economic reports have indicated that sanctions slapped on Russia due to its alleged meddling in the Ukraine conflict are dragging on the German economy, Europe’s largest and Russia’s largest trading partner in Europe.

The report also indicated that economic growth in Germany will be weaker than expected in 2014.Russian has said it is wrapping up military exercises on its border with Ukraine and has added the country is working with the International Red Cross to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Still, uncertainty over whether the ceasefire can last took fueled demand for gold, as concerns have grown that Russian trucks shipping aid into Ukraine may be used as a cover to smuggle in troops for combat missions.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-prices-ease-in-asia-as-market-looks-for-fresh-cues-on-demand-303015