Gold Prices Pressure Range Floor as Fed Rate Decision Looms Ahead - Gold prices edged down as a resurgent US Dollar pushed higher for a second day, sapping demand for the standby anti-fiat alternative. The move appeared to be driven by pre-positioning ahead of the upcoming FOMC policy meeting. Gold on MCX settled down -0.25% at 30224 on pressure from a stronger U.S. dollar and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time this year. Losses were limited by political tumult in the United States which fueled safe-haven demand for bullion. Tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions by Russia and Britain over an attack with a military-grade nerve agent on English soil only underlined gold's appeal. Investors, however, were looking ahead to an expected U.S. interest rate rise at a Federal Reserve meeting starting March 20.
Copper prices dropped as the dollar recovered and concerns lingered that U.S. tariffs could provoke a trade war - Copper on MCX settled down -0.53% at 448.55 as the dollar recovered and concerns lingered that U.S. tariffs could provoke a trade war, though hopes for strong growth in China kept losses in check. China’s refined copper output in January and February rose 10.3 percent year-on-year to 1.48 million tonnes, data showed . Deliverable copper stocks at Shanghai Futures Exchange-approved warehouses increased for a seventh consecutive week in the week ended Friday March 16. Stocks are now up by 85% since the beginning of the year. The dollar fell to its lowest since early March versus the yen amid reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser.
Nickel prices remained under pressure as nickel ore imports from the Philippines are likely to pick up - Nickel prices remained under pressure as nickel ore imports from the Philippines are likely to pick up when the weather improves. This was down by 280,000 wmt from a week ago. Weak demand and soft prices may weigh on prices if Chinese apparent demand continues to soften in the months ahead. Over the last two weeks, some 300 series-producing stainless steel mills have claimed that they will cut production in March. But so far, the market hasn’t seen any actual cuts to production. The mills are maintaining a wait-and-see stance to see whether stainless steel prices can follow nickel prices higher.
Oil Prices Fall With Increased U.S. Drilling - Oil prices fell on Monday morning in Asia amid rising concerns about looming oversupply as the U.S. continues to increase drilling activity.Global oil markets are facing the risk of returning into oversupply after being in a slight deficit for much of last year. Rising drilling activity in the U.S. points to further increases in output. U.S. drillers added four oil rigs in the week to March 16, bringing the total count to 800, according to the weekly Baker Hughes drilling report on Friday.The high drilling activity has enabled the U.S. to produce 10.38 million barrels per day (bpd), up by more than 23% since mid-2016 and surpassing top exporter Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is expected to overtake Russia as the top producer by late 2018, with output of more than 11 million bpd.
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