Japan’s wholesale prices mark first fall in five months as pandemic hits global demand By Reuters


© Reuters. Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s wholesale prices marked the first annual decline in five months in March, suggesting that slumping global demand for oil and raw material due to the coronavirus pandemic will weigh on inflation in coming months.

The corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services, fell 0.4% in March from a year earlier, Bank of Japan (BOJ) data showed on Friday.

The drop was bigger than a median market forecast for a 0.1% decline and followed a 0.8% rise in February. It was the first year-on-year fall since last October, when prices fell 0.3%.

Prices of oil and coal prices fell 10.3% in March from a year earlier, while those of non-ferrous metal goods were down 7.6%, the data showed.

Wholesale prices, considered a leading indicator for consumer inflation, have been under pressure from slumping oil and metal costs as the pandemic paralyses global economic activity.

The data heightens the chance the BOJ will cut its consumer inflation forecasts when it conducts a quarterly review of its projections at its April 27-28 policy meeting.

Under its current forecasts made in January, the BOJ expects core consumer inflation to hit 1.0% in the fiscal year that began in April, remaining distant from its 2% target.

Sources have told Reuters the BOJ is likely to make a rare projection this month that the world’s third-largest economy will shrink this year as the pandemic threatens to push the country deep into recession.

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Oil prices rise on optimism OPEC+ meeting will result in supply cut


MELBOURNE/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Thursday on expectations the world’s largest oil producers would agree to cut production at a meeting later in the day as the industry grapples with a coronavirus-driven collapse in global oil demand.

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks work at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. Picture taken August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz/File Photo

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 1.2%, or 41 cents, to $33.25 a barrel as of 0529 GMT. The contract rose to an intra-day high of $33.90, climbing for a second day.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up 3.3%, or 82 cents, at $25.91 a barrel, after earlier climbing by as much as 6.1%.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia – a group known as OPEC+ – are set to convene a video conference meeting on Thursday.

The meeting is expected to be more successful than their gathering in March, where they failed to agree to extend supply cuts and triggered a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Hopes of an agreement to cut between 10 million and 15 million barrels per day (bpd) rose after media reports suggested Russia was ready to reduce its output by 1.6 million bpd and Algeria’s energy minister said he expected a “fruitful” meeting.

Such a sizable reduction would be far bigger than any production cut OPEC has ever agreed on before.

“We’re waiting with bated breath,” said Lachlan Shaw, head of commodity research at National Australia Bank.

“I think there’ll be a deal, which will bring a bit of cheer in the short run. Then everyone’s attention will refocus on the fundamentals. The fundamentals are appalling,” he said.

Following the OPEC+ meeting, energy ministers from the Group of 20 major economies are set to meet to find ways to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global energy markets.

“If the G20 came out and talked about adding to strategic reserves, that would be taken positively,” Shaw said.

However with oil prices having lost half their value since the start of the year and oil demand forecast to slide as much as 30%, analysts are sceptical about how effective an OPEC+ cut would be in shoring up prices.

“Ultimately, the size of the demand shock is simply too large for a coordinated supply cut,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Moreover, given the rapidly rising oil inventories, the market is likely to be still awash with cheap oil even when demand recovers.

U.S. Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday showed crude stocks rose by 15.2 million barrels, their biggest ever one-week rise.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Additional reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christian Schmollinger



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Oil Prices Up Despite Oversupply Fears By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Oil prices swung up in Asia on Wednesday morning as they rebounded from sharp losses during the previous session.

The past two sessions took the black liquid on a rollercoaster ride as  rose 1.95% to $32.49 from its slump of almost 10% in the last session by 10:13 PM ET (3:1AM GMT) clawed back its loss of 3.57% as it jumped 5.12% to $24.84.

Prices dropped overnight as the American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated a huge build of 11.9 million barrels in the U.S. crude oil inventory for the week ending April 3. Investors still worried about an oversupply against plummeting demand as they compared the estimate to analyst forecasts of 9.3-million-barrel build prepared by Investing.com.

They will have to wait and see for the results of OPEC+’s online on Thursday to discuss and attempt to resolve the ongoing price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

But some are already worried that the meeting will not be enough.

“With 28 million bpd of oversupply in the oil market in April and 21 million bpd in May, the global coordinated production cuts that are really needed may be too large for the producers to accept; perhaps twice as large as the numbers being discussed,” Rystad Energy’s Bjornar Tonhaugen told CNBC. 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil prices jump as focus swivels to OPEC, Russia meeting on output cuts By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A maze of crude oil pipes and valves at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas

SEOUL (Reuters) – Oil climbed on Wednesday, reversing most of the prior session’s losses, as investors pinned hopes on a Thursday meeting where OPEC members and allied producers will discuss output cuts to shore up prices that have tumbled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude () was up by 72 cents, or 2.3%, at $32.59 per barrel by 0044 GMT after falling 3.6% on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () rose $1.30, or 5.5%, to $24.93 a barrel after dropping 9.4% in the previous session.

Thursday’s meeting between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, is widely expected to be more successful than their gathering in early March. That ended in failure to extend cuts and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia amid slumping demand.

But doubts remain over the role of the United States in any production curbs.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC member countries and Russia are likely to agree to cut output, but that accord could be dependent on whether the United States would go along with cuts. The U.S. Department of Energy said on Tuesday that U.S. output is already declining without government action.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia continue to hammer out a deal … What is clear is that the United States must be involved,” ANZ Research said in a note.

U.S. crude production, meanwhile, is expected to slump by 470,000 bpd and demand is set to drop by about 1.3 million bpd in 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil Prices Drop as OPEC Meeting Postponed to Thursday By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com  Oil prices slid in Asia on Monday morning as OPEC+ delayed a meeting scheduled for later in the day to Thursday.

International  lost 6% to $32.74 by 9:55 PM ET (2:55 AM GMT) and U.S.  also dropped 6.1% to $26.61, continuing their slide from the last session.

The announcement of the meeting, called to mediate a truce between Saudi Arabia and Russia in their ongoing price war sent oil prices soaring last week.

But tensions between the two producers led to a three-day postponement and increased investor fears that these latest talks will also end in failure like the last meeting in March.

“It’s probably going to crater,” Again Capital’s John Kilduff told CNBC. “There was a lot of optimism priced into oil Thursday and Friday. With this new Saudi, Russia spat, it doesn’t look like it’s going to come together.”

Saudi oil minister Khalid A. Al-Falih called for producers “outside of OPEC+,” such as the United States, Canada and Norway, to lend their support on Sunday.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reduce global demand, oil still cannot resolve its inevitable oversupply dilemma.

“The energy sector is facing its most challenging fundamental period since the Great Energy Depression of 1981-1995,” Kurt HalleadRBC co-head of global energy research, told CNBC.

“On the oil front, demand is set to decline by amounts never before seen driven by the COVID-19 global economic shock while supply is surging due to the Saudi-Russia oil price war,” he added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil prices decline $3 a barrel as market remains uncertain on supply outlook By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global benchmark oil prices traded as much as $3 a barrel lower as the market opened for Monday’s trading session, reflecting fears of oversupply after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed to Thursday a meeting about a potential pact to cut production.

Late last week, prices had surged, with both U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest weekly percentage gains on record due to hopes that OPEC and its allies would strike a global deal to cut crude supply worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has cut demand and a month-long price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has left the market awash in crude. During the month, prices have plummeted as the market has waited for a plan to cut production from OPEC and its allies.

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia sent a signal that a production cut deal may be ahead, potentially muting the price decline. U.S. President Donald Trump said he will put pressure on Saudi Arabia and its allies for such a deal.

“I don’t know that anyone is going to get too aggressively short before the meeting,” said Robert McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group in Bethesda, Maryland.

Brent crude () traded lower by $2.39 a barrel, or 7%, by 6:16 p.m. EDT (10:16 GMT) after earlier touching a session low of $30.03 a barrel.

U.S. crude () traded down $2.41 a barrel, or 8.5%, at $25.93 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to postpone its posting of the international prices for its crude for the first time indicates that it is not eager to flood the market with low-priced crude before a potential agreement. “That’s a pretty clear sign that they are open to cutting production in May,” McNally said. The kingdom delayed the release until Friday to wait for the outcome of the meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts, a Saudi source told Reuters.

Trump said on Saturday that he will put tariffs on Saudi and Russian production, potentially accelerating an output cutback.

OPEC and its allies postponed an emergency meeting scheduled for Monday, led by Saudi Arabia, where the oil cuts could be agreed upon. A senior Saudi source told Reuters on Sunday that the kingdom would now host the meeting via videoconference on Thursday and the delay was to allow more time to bring other producers on board.

Russian President Vladimir Putin put the blame for the crash in prices on Saudi Arabia on Friday – prompting a response from Riyadh the following day disputing Putin’s assertions.

OPEC and its allies are working on a global agreement for an unprecedented oil production cut equivalent to around 10% of worldwide supply in what they expect to be a global effort including countries that do not exert state control over output, such as the United States.

Trump has, however, made no commitment to take the extraordinary step of persuading U.S. companies to cut output.

Per Magnus Nysveen, head of analysis at Rystad Energy, said the decline in global demand because of the coronavirus pandemic and the global lockdowns was larger than the proposed cuts by the OPEC+ alliance.

“It is not strange for the market to hike prices by enthusiasm such as Friday’s, but for the levels to stay stable for more than a day or two, it takes concrete developments and deals on the ground,” he said.



Forex – U.S. Dollar Strengthens as Oil Prices Come Off Record Session By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar surged in Asia on Friday as crude oil prices came off a record session.

prices jumped almost 25% as U.S. President Trump hinted at a possible resolution to the Saudi Arabia – Russia price war yesterday.

The  that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies gained 0.04% to 100.31 by 11:32 AM ET (04:32 GMT).

Meanwhile, the United States faces record unemployment rates due to the COVID-19 epidemic as it announced overnight that 6.648 million people in the country claimed unemployment.

“The U.S. labor market has more or less collapsed,” Joe Capurso,  Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst, said to CNBC.

“The increase in the dollar because of the poor U.S. economic data reflects the dollar’s status as a counter-cyclical currency. It lifts when the global economy deteriorates, even if the deterioration in the global economy is the U.S.,” he added.

The  pair was up 0.01% to 107.92.

Down Under, the  pair gained 0.09% to 0.6065 whilst the pair slid 0.12% to 0.5909.

The  pair gained 0.1% to 7.0890, and the  pair slid 0.14% to 1.2374.

As the World Health Organization said that the number of global COVID-19 cases exceeded 900,000 as of April 2, investors continue to bide their time.

Until the virus peaks, we anticipate the selling pressure will prevail and capital outflows will continue, although the biggest wave may have occurred in March,” Piotr Matys, senior emerging markets FX Strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC.

“If a synchronized global recession transforms into depression, then all bets will be off,” he added.

Japanese bank Nomura said in a note that it expects the world economy to contract by 18% in the first quarter, on an annualized basis, and is set to shrink about 4% in 2020.  

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Gold Prices Crawl Above $1,600 as Risk Aversion Dominates By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — Gold prices recovered fractionally on Wednesday after a sharp end-of-quarter selloff by portfolio investors drove it briefly below $1,600 an ounce.

Prices were lifted by a broad risk-off sentiment after U.S. President Donald Trump warned that up to 240,000 Americans could die in the Covid-19 pandemic and warned the public to brace for a painful next three weeks.

That, combined with other news detailing the global spread of the virus and the continued struggles of Europe in particular, helped demand for all haven assets, with the dollar rising across the board and long-dated Treasury yields falling by more than 10 basis points.

By 12:15 PM ET (1615 GMT), for delivery on the Comex were up 0.2% at $1,600.10 a troy ounce, while was up 0.7% at $1,588.44.

The rush for havens could have been worse, had the day’s U.S. data lived down to expectations. As it was, ADP’s private payrolls report for March didn’t include developments after March 12, while the ISM’s purchasing managers index for the month also fell by less than expected, to 49.1.  Even so, the sub-indices for new orders and employment fell to their lowest since 2009, ING’s chief international economist James Knightley noted.

“The headline index is being artificially boosted by a surge in the supplier delivery times component of the report,” Knightley said. “Normally, when delivery times are longer this reflects demand outstripping supply – a good situation. However today delivery times are extended because of the supply shock relating to Covid-19 with firms struggling to get inputs from China and increasingly from domestic suppliers because of company shutdowns, which is clearly a bad situation.”

The market also continued to digest the implications of Russia’s central bank selling gold after years of being a big net buyer. The CBR’s foreign reserves fell by some $30 billion, or over 5%, in the week to March 20 as it scrambled to prop up the ruble. As those interventions take place in the foreign exchange markets, the bank subsequently sells gold to keep its overall asset allocation stable.

Figures for last week are due to be released on Thursday.

Elsewhere in metals markets on Wednesday, were flat at $14.15 an ounce, while were down 0.8% at $723.49.

futures, which may one day be the herald of a revival in industrial activity, continue to struggle, losing 2.2% to $2.18 a pound.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil Prices Rebound After Falling to 18-Year Low By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Oil prices ended March by clawing back some losses after prices fell to 18-year lows in the last session.

International gained 1.82% to $26.88 by 9:57 PM ET (02:57 AM GMT), whilst U.S.  jumped 4.43% to $20.98.

WTI slumped almost 7% to $20.09 a barrel on Monday, its lowest level since February 2002 as oil markets continued to search for a solution to its’ dilemma of oversupply. Saudi Arabia and Russia will be able to pump-at-will from tomorrow as the OPEC+ alliance failed to mediate a truce in the price war between the two producers.

Meanwhile, most countries are extending lockdown deadlines as well as slashing transport numbers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss the importance of stable energy markets, failed to make an impact.

“Any little bit of optimism is welcome even if it is little more than a false dawn,” Stephen Innes, global chief market strategist at AxiCorp, told Bloomberg.

“The demand devastation is the most aggravating factor these days, while the supply issues are exacerbating that pressure,” he added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Gold Prices Drift Lower but Data, Central Banks Remain Supportive By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — Gold prices were moderately lower on Monday as equities opened the week in positive tone, shrugging off President Donald Trump’s decision to keep the existing advice again non-essential business and movement in place until the end of April.

Trump had earlier hoped to lift the restrictions by Easter, which falls on April 12, hoping to sustain the economy ahead of the election in November. The Dallas Fed manufacturing index, which is heavily influenced by conditions in the oil and gas sector, fell to an unprecedented -70 in March, according to figures released on Monday.

However, with over 143,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S., and with the number of new infections still rising rapidly, the President appears to have yielded to counsel from his scientific advisors.

By 11:25 AM ET (1525 GMT), for delivery on the Comex exchange were down 0.7% at $1,643.00 a troy ounce, while was down 0.8% at $1,618.80 – again opening up the arbitrage between physical and financial gold that was visible for most of last week.

were down 2.2% at $14.22 an ounce, while were down 2.5% at $722.95.

According to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data, positions on gold fell for a fourth straight week last week to their lowest so far this year. Nicholas Frappell, general manager at ABC Bullion in Sydney, said the move appeared to represent the liquidation of long positions, given that open interest in the contract had fallen smartly in recent weeks.

In theory, that should make it easier for gold to rally from the current level, as the overhang of speculative longs diminishes.  However, markets remain choppy as the medical emergency continues to play itself out.

Other havens, meanwhile, are starting to enjoy the tailwind of central bank support that does not blow for gold to the same extent, even if it does improve the relative yield position for the yellow metal. Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell by over 12 basis points Monday on the prospect of Federal Reserve buying, while the European Central Bank said it bought 15.6 billion euros of government bonds on Thursday and Friday alone as it opened its 750 billion-euro ($825 billion) Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program.

The ECB’s purchases still weren’t enough to hide the euro zone’s differences over joint debt issuance at the weekend, however, as European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen raised hackles in Italy by calling the so-called ‘coronabonds’ “a buzzword” and deferring to resistance in Germany and elsewhere.

The between Italian and German borrowing costs, a rough indicator of eurozone breakup risk that is usually positive for gold, rose back above 200 basis points as a result.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.