Commodities: Struggling to gain traction - ANZ

Analysts at ANZ note that commodities struggled to gain traction as the stronger USD weighed on the sector on Friday and the weakness was across the board, with only the industrials ending the day higher (+0.5%).

Key Quotes

“Positive economic data had mixed results on the metals complex, with industrials pushing higher while precious suffered under the weight of weak investor demand. The better-than-expected jobs data in the US, combined with the solid gains in the US purchasing manufacturing index saw investor sentiment pick up. Copper threatened to break through USD6,900 a tonne, while aluminium settled above USD2,300 tonne. Nickel continues to be underpinned by resilient demand from stainless steel industry, while investors look ahead to increasing demand from the emerging electric vehicle sector. This has seen stockpiles continue to fall. On the LME, they were down another 1% on Friday to 287,646 tonnes, the 19th consecutive day of declines. On the Shanghai Exchange, they have been declining since the start of the year and are now at levels not seen since November 2015.”

“On the flip side, precious metals suffered as the USD pushed higher on the back of the stronger economic data. The trade tensions failed to ignite any safe-haven buying, while US President Trump confirmed that he would be meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Singapore on 12 June. With investor demand weakening, gold prices fell below the key psychological USD1,300/oz.”

“Crude oil remained under pressure as the market remained focused on the discussion between OPEC members about whether they should increase production later this year. Energy Ministers from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Algeria and Oman met over the weekend for an unofficial meeting in Kuwait City to discuss the predicament. However, the data leading into the weekend wasn’t positive. Saudi Arabian oil exports jumped to 7.08mb/d, a six month high according to Bloomberg data. Russian oil production was also stronger, hitting 10.97mb/d in May, which is above the quota agreed to under the production cut agreement for the third consecutive month.”

“In the US, the data also presented a gloomy picture. Crude oil production rose to another record, while drilling activity picked up again. According to Baker Hughes data, the number of drilling rigs operating in the US rose by 2 to 861 last week. This has seen investors cut their bullish bets on oil. In the ICE Brent contract, money managers cut their net-long position by 49,638 contracts to 451,996, the lowest level since September 2017.”

 

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