Forex – Dollar index steady near 6-month highs – Sean Seshadri

The dollar was trading close to six month highs against a basket of other major currencies as investors positioned ahead of a series of key economic events later in the week.Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned, following strong gains last week, ahead of the latest U.S. employment report later in the week and the upcoming Federal Reserve statement on Wednesday. Investors were also awaiting final data on U.S. second-quarter growth on Wednesday.
Earlier this month Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that rates could rise sooner if the recovery in the labor market continued.EUR/USD was trading at 1.3432, hovering just above Friday’s eight month lows of 1.3420.
The euro remained under pressure after weak German economic data on Friday underlined concerns over the divergence in monetary policy between the European Central Bank and its major peers.The euro zone was to release what would be closely watched data on consumer prices on Thursday, amid concerns over persistently low levels of inflation in the currency bloc.
The dollar was almost unchanged against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY inching up 0.05% to 101.88 and USD/CHF at 0.9046.Sterling was steady near one month lows, with GBP/USD at 1.6976.The New Zealand dollar fell to fresh one-and-a-half month lows, with NZD/USD down 0.21% to 0.8536, while USD/CAD was steady near one month lows at 1.0812. The Australian dollar was almost unchanged, with AUD/USD trading at 0.9391.

The dollar was trading close to six month highs against a basket of other major currencies as investors positioned ahead of a series of key economic events later in the week.Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned, following strong gains last week, ahead of the latest U.S. employment report later in the week and the upcoming Federal Reserve statement on Wednesday. Investors were also awaiting final data on U.S. second-quarter growth on Wednesday.

Forex - Dollar index steady near 6-month highs

Earlier this month Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that rates could rise sooner if the recovery in the labor market continued.EUR/USD was trading at 1.3432, hovering just above Friday’s eight month lows of 1.3420.

The euro remained under pressure after weak German economic data on Friday underlined concerns over the divergence in monetary policy between the European Central Bank and its major peers.The euro zone was to release what would be closely watched data on consumer prices on Thursday, amid concerns over persistently low levels of inflation in the currency bloc.

The dollar was almost unchanged against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY inching up 0.05% to 101.88 and USD/CHF at 0.9046.Sterling was steady near one month lows, with GBP/USD at 1.6976.The New Zealand dollar fell to fresh one-and-a-half month lows, with NZD/USD down 0.21% to 0.8536, while USD/CAD was steady near one month lows at 1.0812. The Australian dollar was almost unchanged, with AUD/USD trading at 0.9391.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—dollar-index-steady-near-6-month-highs-298256

Gold drops on U.S. jobless claims data – Sean Seshadri

Gold prices dropped in U.S. trading on Thursday after weekly jobless claims numbers beat expectations and enticed investors out of safe-haven positions in the yellow metal and into stocks and the U.S. dollar.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at 1,290.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 1.06%, up from a session low of $1,288.00 and off a high of $1,305.60.
The August contract settled down 0.12% at $1,304.70 on WednesdayFutures were likely to find support at $1,258.00 a troy ounce, the low from June 17, and resistance at $1,319.00, Monday’s high.
The dollar, which tends to trade inversely with gold, firmed earlier after data revealed initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell to an eight-year low last week.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 18 declined by 19,000 to 284,000, down from the previous week’s total of 303,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 308,000 last week, and the positive numbers fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates sooner than markets once anticipated.
While the Fed is seen closing its monthly bond-buying stimulus program likely in October, uncertainty as to how much time will pass from that point until rate hikes begin makes both gold and the dollar move on both positive and negative indicators.
Loose monetary policies such as rock-bottom interest rates and three rounds of Fed asset purchases have elevated gold prices since the 2008 financial crisis.Separately, the Census Bureau reported that U.S. new home sales dropped by 8.1% to 406,000 units last month, worse than expectations for a decline of 5.3%, pointing to underlying weakness in the housing sector.
Meanwhile in Europe, upbeat factory data tarnished gold’s appeal to the euro, which saw some demand despite slipping against the greenback at times.A preliminary reading of the euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a two-month high of 51.9 for July, beating market calls for a 51.7 reading. The bloc’s services PMI jumped to a 38-month high of 54.4, beating expectations for a 52.7 reading.
Private sector activity in Germany also expanded in July, with the country’s services PMI jumping to a 37-month high. The French service sector also expanded this month, but the contraction in the country’s manufacturing sector deepened.

Gold prices dropped in U.S. trading on Thursday after weekly jobless claims numbers beat expectations and enticed investors out of safe-haven positions in the yellow metal and into stocks and the U.S. dollar.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at 1,290.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 1.06%, up from a session low of $1,288.00 and off a high of $1,305.60.

The August contract settled down 0.12% at $1,304.70 on WednesdayFutures were likely to find support at $1,258.00 a troy ounce, the low from June 17, and resistance at $1,319.00, Monday’s high.

Gold drops on U.S. jobless claims data

The dollar, which tends to trade inversely with gold, firmed earlier after data revealed initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell to an eight-year low last week.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 18 declined by 19,000 to 284,000, down from the previous week’s total of 303,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 308,000 last week, and the positive numbers fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates sooner than markets once anticipated.

While the Fed is seen closing its monthly bond-buying stimulus program likely in October, uncertainty as to how much time will pass from that point until rate hikes begin makes both gold and the dollar move on both positive and negative indicators.

Loose monetary policies such as rock-bottom interest rates and three rounds of Fed asset purchases have elevated gold prices since the 2008 financial crisis.Separately, the Census Bureau reported that U.S. new home sales dropped by 8.1% to 406,000 units last month, worse than expectations for a decline of 5.3%, pointing to underlying weakness in the housing sector.

Meanwhile in Europe, upbeat factory data tarnished gold’s appeal to the euro, which saw some demand despite slipping against the greenback at times.A preliminary reading of the euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a two-month high of 51.9 for July, beating market calls for a 51.7 reading. The bloc’s services PMI jumped to a 38-month high of 54.4, beating expectations for a 52.7 reading.

Private sector activity in Germany also expanded in July, with the country’s services PMI jumping to a 37-month high. The French service sector also expanded this month, but the contraction in the country’s manufacturing sector deepened.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-drops-on-u.s.-jobless-claims-data-297750

Forex – Dollar supported in risk-off trade – Sean Seshadri

The dollar remained supported against a basket of other major currencies on Monday as heightened tensions between Russia and the West and conflict in the Middle East underpinned safe haven demand.

USD/JPY was steady at 101.32, holding above Friday’s one week low of 101.07.Tensions between the West and Russia have mounted since the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine late last week. The U.S. and other nations have accused Russia of complicity in the crash, which Moscow has denied.
Market sentiment deteriorated on Monday following reports that Ukrainian troops were moving in to the rebel held city of Donetsk, fuelling fears over an escalation of the conflict in the region.Concerns over Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza also contributed to risk aversion in markets.
EUR/USD dipped 0.04% to 1.3520, not far from Friday’s five month trough of 1.3490.The euro remained under pressure after recent comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were seen as the latest sign that the bank is open to further monetary easing measures to stave off the risk of deflation in the euro area.
In contrast, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated last week that interest rates may rise sooner if the economy continues to improve.The euro also edged lower against the yen, with EUR/JPY slipping 0.07% to 136.96 close to the five month lows of 136.69 set on Friday.
The dollar was little changed against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF at 0.8983. The pound slipped lower, with GBP/USD down 0.17% to 1.7058.AUD/USD lost 0.20% to trade at 0.9372, while NZD/USD was almost unchanged at 0.8689.

USD/JPY was steady at 101.32, holding above Friday’s one week low of 101.07.Tensions between the West and Russia have mounted since the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine late last week. The U.S. and other nations have accused Russia of complicity in the crash, which Moscow has denied.

Forex - Dollar supported in risk-off trade

Market sentiment deteriorated on Monday following reports that Ukrainian troops were moving in to the rebel held city of Donetsk, fuelling fears over an escalation of the conflict in the region.Concerns over Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza also contributed to risk aversion in markets.

EUR/USD dipped 0.04% to 1.3520, not far from Friday’s five month trough of 1.3490.The euro remained under pressure after recent comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were seen as the latest sign that the bank is open to further monetary easing measures to stave off the risk of deflation in the euro area.

In contrast, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated last week that interest rates may rise sooner if the economy continues to improve.The euro also edged lower against the yen, with EUR/JPY slipping 0.07% to 136.96 close to the five month lows of 136.69 set on Friday.

The dollar was little changed against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF at 0.8983. The pound slipped lower, with GBP/USD down 0.17% to 1.7058.AUD/USD lost 0.20% to trade at 0.9372, while NZD/USD was almost unchanged at 0.8689.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—dollar-supported-in-risk-off-trade-296464

Gold prices ease in Asia on profit taking from overnight gains – Sean Seshadri

Gold prices eased in Asia on Friday, retracing overnight gains made on concerns about southern European banks.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,337.40 a troy ounce, down 0.13%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,325.40 and off a high of $1,346.10.
The parent company of Portugal’s largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo, said it missed payments on commercial paper to a few clients, which spooked markets by fueling concerns surrounding the soundness of the banking sectors in Portugal as well as in Spain and Italy.
Gold rose on safe-haven demand while, weak euro zone factory data further bolstered the precious metal’s appeal.Italy’s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in May from April, defying expectations for a 0.2% expansion, while French industrial production plunged 1.7% in May, also confounding expectations for a 0.2% gain.
Meanwhile in the U.S., solid jobless claims numbers supported the greenback, which tends to trade inversely with the yellow metal, the European concerns offset the data due to Fed expectations
The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 315,000 last week.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its June policy meeting in which monetary authorities forecast bond purchases should conclude in October.

Gold prices eased in Asia on Friday, retracing overnight gains made on concerns about southern European banks.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,337.40 a troy ounce, down 0.13%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,325.40 and off a high of $1,346.10.

Gold prices ease in Asia on profit taking from overnight gains

The parent company of Portugal’s largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo, said it missed payments on commercial paper to a few clients, which spooked markets by fueling concerns surrounding the soundness of the banking sectors in Portugal as well as in Spain and Italy.

Gold rose on safe-haven demand while, weak euro zone factory data further bolstered the precious metal’s appeal.Italy’s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in May from April, defying expectations for a 0.2% expansion, while French industrial production plunged 1.7% in May, also confounding expectations for a 0.2% gain.

Meanwhile in the U.S., solid jobless claims numbers supported the greenback, which tends to trade inversely with the yellow metal, the European concerns offset the data due to Fed expectations

The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 315,000 last week.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its June policy meeting in which monetary authorities forecast bond purchases should conclude in October.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/gold-prices-ease-in-asia-on-profit-taking-from-overnight-gains-294329

Natural gas futures tumble to 3-month low as supply outlook weighs – Sean Seshadri

Natural gas futures fell to the lowest level in three months on Monday, as market players continued to assess the outlook for U.S. demand and supply levels.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in August hit a session low of $4.263 per million British thermal units, the weakest level since April 2, before trimming losses to last trade at $4.274 during U.S. morning hours, down 2.16%, or 9.5 cents.
Futures were likely to find support at $4.221 per million British thermal units, the low from April 2 and resistance at $4.411, the high from July 3.
Concerns over tight supplies continued to fade away after weekly supply data released last week showed that utilities in the U.S. added 100 billion cubic feet of gas into storage in the week ended June 20. The five-year average change for the week is an increase of 68 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.929 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 25.7% below their level this time last year and 29.1% below the five-year average.Natural gas stockpiles have grown by 100 or more billion cubic feet for eight consecutive weeks, a record streak since 1994.

Natural gas futures fell to the lowest level in three months on Monday, as market players continued to assess the outlook for U.S. demand and supply levels.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in August hit a session low of $4.263 per million British thermal units, the weakest level since April 2, before trimming losses to last trade at $4.274 during U.S. morning hours, down 2.16%, or 9.5 cents.

Natural gas futures tumble to 3-month low as supply outlook weighs

Futures were likely to find support at $4.221 per million British thermal units, the low from April 2 and resistance at $4.411, the high from July 3.

Concerns over tight supplies continued to fade away after weekly supply data released last week showed that utilities in the U.S. added 100 billion cubic feet of gas into storage in the week ended June 20. The five-year average change for the week is an increase of 68 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.929 trillion cubic feet as of last week, 25.7% below their level this time last year and 29.1% below the five-year average.Natural gas stockpiles have grown by 100 or more billion cubic feet for eight consecutive weeks, a record streak since 1994.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/natural-gas-futures-tumble-to-3-month-low-as-supply-outlook-weighs-293279

Forex – Japanese yen reverses course on weaker industrial output – Sean Seshadri

The Japanese yen gained against the dollar on Monday after industrial production data came in below expectations.Industrial production for May in Japan rose 0.5%, below expectations of a gain of 0.9% month-on-month.
USD/JPY traded at 101.39, down 0.03%, after the data, mildly reversing direction.In New Zealand, new dwelling consents fell 4.6% in May, initially weakening NZD/USD, but it reversed course later in the day to trade flat at 0.8777.
Last week, the dollar ended the week lower against a basket of major currencies on Friday as upbeat U.S. consumer sentiment data failed to dispel concerns over the outlook for the wider economic recovery.
The report did little to alter expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep rates on hold for an extended period after data earlier in the week showed that U.S. first quarter growth was revised sharply lower.
The dollar weakened across the board after the Commerce Department said Wednesday that U.S. gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 2.9% in the first three months of the year, compared to the consensus forecast for a decline of 1.7%.
U.S. first quarter GDP was initially reported to have increased by 0.1%, but was subsequently revised to show a contraction of 1.0%.
The dollar came under additional pressure after data on Thursday showed that U.S. consumer spending rose by just 0.2% in May, below forecasts for 0.4%.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat at 80.09.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Thursday for further indications on the strength of the labor market, while Monday’s euro zone inflation report will also be in focus, ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting and press conference on Thursday.

The Japanese yen gained against the dollar on Monday after industrial production data came in below expectations.Industrial production for May in Japan rose 0.5%, below expectations of a gain of 0.9% month-on-month.

USD/JPY traded at 101.39, down 0.03%, after the data, mildly reversing direction.In New Zealand, new dwelling consents fell 4.6% in May, initially weakening NZD/USD, but it reversed course later in the day to trade flat at 0.8777.

Forex - Japanese yen reverses course on weaker industrial output

Last week, the dollar ended the week lower against a basket of major currencies on Friday as upbeat U.S. consumer sentiment data failed to dispel concerns over the outlook for the wider economic recovery.

The report did little to alter expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep rates on hold for an extended period after data earlier in the week showed that U.S. first quarter growth was revised sharply lower.

The dollar weakened across the board after the Commerce Department said Wednesday that U.S. gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 2.9% in the first three months of the year, compared to the consensus forecast for a decline of 1.7%.

U.S. first quarter GDP was initially reported to have increased by 0.1%, but was subsequently revised to show a contraction of 1.0%.

The dollar came under additional pressure after data on Thursday showed that U.S. consumer spending rose by just 0.2% in May, below forecasts for 0.4%.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat at 80.09.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking to the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Thursday for further indications on the strength of the labor market, while Monday’s euro zone inflation report will also be in focus, ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting and press conference on Thursday.

http://www.investing.com/news/forex-news/forex—japanese-yen-reverses-course-on-weaker-industrial-output-291999

NYMEX crude rises smartly in Asia on Iraq tension, shrugs off API data – Sean Seshadri

Crude oil prices gained smartly in Asia on Wednesday on Iraq tension, shrugging off an industry report that showed a solid gain in U.S. crude stocks.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that there was a four million-barrel build in crude stocks. The group also said that gasoline supplies rose by 2.2 million barrels and stocks of distillates fell by 253,000 barrels, according to the sources.
Overnight, crude futures fell as investors sold the commodity for profits for a second session on sentiments that the Sunni insurgency in Iraq has yet to affect operations in the country’s major oilfields, which are far away from the violence.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $107.11 a barrel, up 1.01%, after hitting an overnight session low of $105.28 a barrel and a high of $106.46 a barrel.
Brent oil on the ICE futures exchange rose 0.3% to $114.46 a barrel with the spread with West Texas Intermediate widening by 48 cents to $8.43 a barrel.
Brent typically reacts more strongly to geopolitical tensions because U.S. oil production is high and most domestic crude can’t be exported.
Investors locked in gains stemming from fears that the Iraqi insurgency will disrupt supply and sold for profits, as the violence still remains far away from the country’s main oilfields in the south.

Crude oil prices gained smartly in Asia on Wednesday on Iraq tension, shrugging off an industry report that showed a solid gain in U.S. crude stocks.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that there was a four million-barrel build in crude stocks. The group also said that gasoline supplies rose by 2.2 million barrels and stocks of distillates fell by 253,000 barrels, according to the sources.

NYMEX crude rises smartly in Asia on Iraq tension, shrugs off API data

Overnight, crude futures fell as investors sold the commodity for profits for a second session on sentiments that the Sunni insurgency in Iraq has yet to affect operations in the country’s major oilfields, which are far away from the violence.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $107.11 a barrel, up 1.01%, after hitting an overnight session low of $105.28 a barrel and a high of $106.46 a barrel.

Brent oil on the ICE futures exchange rose 0.3% to $114.46 a barrel with the spread with West Texas Intermediate widening by 48 cents to $8.43 a barrel.

Brent typically reacts more strongly to geopolitical tensions because U.S. oil production is high and most domestic crude can’t be exported.

Investors locked in gains stemming from fears that the Iraqi insurgency will disrupt supply and sold for profits, as the violence still remains far away from the country’s main oilfields in the south.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/nymex-crude-rises-smartly-in-asia-on-iraq-tension,-shrugs-off-api-data-291333

NYMEX crude oil prices gain in Asia, Iraq fighting continues – Sean Seshadri

Crude oil prices gained in early trade Monday in Asia as events in Iraq show continued battles between Sunni militants and governmet forces in cities close to the capital Baghdad.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in August traded at $107.15 a barrel, up 0.29%, after closing trade last week at $106.83, up 0.74%.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery hit $115.71 a barrel on Thursday, the highest level since September 9, before subsequently consolidating at $114.81 by close of trade on Friday, down 0.22%.
Despite Friday’s modest decline, the August Brent contract rallied 2.04%, or $2.35 a barrel, on the week.Oil traders continued to monitor events in Iraq, as Iraqi army forces fought with Sunni militants for control of a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the northern city of Baquba, fuelling concerns over a disruption to supplies.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday he would send 300 members of the special-operations forces to Iraq and added he was prepared to take “targeted” military action later if deemed necessary.
Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.
Elsewhere, a broadly weaker U.S. dollar also contributed to gains. The greenback weakened against most of its major counterparts after the Federal Reserve gave no indication of when interest rates could start to rise at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

Crude oil prices gained in early trade Monday in Asia as events in Iraq show continued battles between Sunni militants and governmet forces in cities close to the capital Baghdad.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in August traded at $107.15 a barrel, up 0.29%, after closing trade last week at $106.83, up 0.74%.

NYMEX crude oil prices gain in Asia, Iraq fighting continues

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery hit $115.71 a barrel on Thursday, the highest level since September 9, before subsequently consolidating at $114.81 by close of trade on Friday, down 0.22%.

Despite Friday’s modest decline, the August Brent contract rallied 2.04%, or $2.35 a barrel, on the week.Oil traders continued to monitor events in Iraq, as Iraqi army forces fought with Sunni militants for control of a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery in the northern city of Baquba, fuelling concerns over a disruption to supplies.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday he would send 300 members of the special-operations forces to Iraq and added he was prepared to take “targeted” military action later if deemed necessary.

Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, a broadly weaker U.S. dollar also contributed to gains. The greenback weakened against most of its major counterparts after the Federal Reserve gave no indication of when interest rates could start to rise at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/nymex-crude-oil-prices-gain-in-asia,-iraq-fighting-continues-290836

Crude extends gains on Iraq insurgency – Sean Seshadri

Crude futures rose on Friday as a bloody Iraq insurgency continued to stoke fears shipments from the oil-rich country will be affected, while the U.S. said it was sending military advisors to the troubled country in an effort to end the violence.
In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $106.75 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.66%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $105.82 a barrel and a high of $106.77 a barrel.The August contract settled up 0.44% at $106.05 a barrel on Thursday.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $105.11 a barrel, Thursday’s low, and resistance at $106.84 a barrel, the high from June 13.
Iraqi security forces fought with Sunni militants for control of a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery on Thursday, which pressured prices higher by stoking supply concerns.
Still, many of the country’s major oilfields remain far south of the fighting, which kept prices steady.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he was sending up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq and added he was prepared to take “targeted” military action later if deemed necessary.
Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.

Crude futures rose on Friday as a bloody Iraq insurgency continued to stoke fears shipments from the oil-rich country will be affected, while the U.S. said it was sending military advisors to the troubled country in an effort to end the violence.

In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $106.75 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.66%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $105.82 a barrel and a high of $106.77 a barrel.The August contract settled up 0.44% at $106.05 a barrel on Thursday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $105.11 a barrel, Thursday’s low, and resistance at $106.84 a barrel, the high from June 13.

Iraqi security forces fought with Sunni militants for control of a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery on Thursday, which pressured prices higher by stoking supply concerns.

Crude extends gains on Iraq insurgency

Still, many of the country’s major oilfields remain far south of the fighting, which kept prices steady.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he was sending up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq and added he was prepared to take “targeted” military action later if deemed necessary.

Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/crude-extends-gains-on-iraq-insurgency-290779

Silver rallies to 5-week high as dollar drops on Fed outlook – Sean Seshadri

Silver prices rallied to a five-week high on Thursday, as the dollar dropped after the Federal Reserve indicated that interest rates will remain low for a considerable time after the bank’s bond-buying program ends.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver for July delivery rose to a session high of $19.94 a troy ounce, the most since May 14, before trimming gains to last trade at $19.93 during European morning hours, up 0.78%, or 15.4 cents.
Also on the Comex, gold for August tacked on 0.7%, or $8.90, to trade at $1,281.60. Prices were likely to find support at $1,258.00, the low from June 17 and resistance at $1,285.10, the high from June 16.
At the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed cut its bond purchases by another $10 billion a month, to $35 billion, saying there was “sufficient underlying strength” in the U.S. economy to continue tapering.
The Fed said it expects the federal-funds rate, currently close to zero, to reach 1.2% by the end of next year and 2.5% by the end of 2016, a slightly faster rate of tightening than formerly expected.
But the forecast did not bring forward the timing for the first rate hike, disappointing many investors and weighing on the dollar.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, declined 0.22% to 80.32, the lowest since June 6.
Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Silver prices rallied to a five-week high on Thursday, as the dollar dropped after the Federal Reserve indicated that interest rates will remain low for a considerable time after the bank’s bond-buying program ends.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver for July delivery rose to a session high of $19.94 a troy ounce, the most since May 14, before trimming gains to last trade at $19.93 during European morning hours, up 0.78%, or 15.4 cents.

Silver rallies to 5-week high as dollar drops on Fed outlook

Also on the Comex, gold for August tacked on 0.7%, or $8.90, to trade at $1,281.60. Prices were likely to find support at $1,258.00, the low from June 17 and resistance at $1,285.10, the high from June 16.

At the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed cut its bond purchases by another $10 billion a month, to $35 billion, saying there was “sufficient underlying strength” in the U.S. economy to continue tapering.

The Fed said it expects the federal-funds rate, currently close to zero, to reach 1.2% by the end of next year and 2.5% by the end of 2016, a slightly faster rate of tightening than formerly expected.

But the forecast did not bring forward the timing for the first rate hike, disappointing many investors and weighing on the dollar.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, declined 0.22% to 80.32, the lowest since June 6.

Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

http://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/silver-rallies-to-5-week-high-as-dollar-drops-on-fed-outlook-290473