Gold Prices Gain As Dollar Continues To Fall After Trump’s Tariff Plan - Gold prices continued to gain momentum as U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement regarding tariffs on imported steel and aluminum sparked a sell-off in equities and the dollar. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff policy on steel and aluminium caused concerns to global investors, as the administration stressed over the weekend that there would be no exclusion for any country. The dollar has been sliding since Trump announced the tariffs last Friday. The dollar opened in Asia morning at a low level despite its short-lived rally last week when new Federal Reserve head Powell confirmed the tightening policy. Gold prices were under pressure last week following Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish comments, but clawed back most of its weekly loss last Friday in reaction to a weaker dollar and lower equity prices. Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar, as a fall in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand for the precious metal.
Copper settled flat with the relatively stronger dollar and thin liquidity restricting the metals - Copper settled flat with the relatively stronger dollar and thin liquidity restricting the metals. The market largely shrugged off positive data from the private Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for February, which beat expectations to reach its highest in six months. A day earlier China’s official factory activity reading raised concerns of a sharper than expected slowdown. The main union of Chile´s Los Pelambres copper mine will vote next week on a new contract its members have not yet received and which could lead to a strike if they refuse. China’s metal scrap imports in January slumped to 490,000 mt, down 25.1% year on year, according to Chinese customs data. This also marked the lowest monthly level since February 2016. Copper scrap imports stood at 200,000 mt last month, down 27.5% from January 2017. China has approved plans to build a rail link connecting the capital Beijing with the new economic zone of Xiongan in Hebei province, with total investment expected to reach 33.53 billion yuan ($5.3 billion), the country’s top planning body said.
Oil Prices Rise Ahead Of World’s Largest Energy Industry Conference - Oil prices rose Monday morning in Asia with expectations that oil producers would discuss further how to clear the global oil excess during a meeting between OPEC and U.S. shale companies.The largest energy industry conference, CERAWeek, begins on Monday. Oil ministers from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other global oil players will gather in Houston for the event. On the sidelines of the conference, a dinner is expected to be held on Monday between OPEC officials and U.S. shale firms. Soaring shale oil production in the U.S. has hampered OPEC’s attempt to ease the global oversupply and prop up prices. This month, the number of oil rigs drilling for new production in the U.S. rose to 800 for the first time since April 2015, pointing to more increases in output to come.
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