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Commodities: Oil futures decline after DoE inventory data

18-01-2018 20:45

Commodities were trading on a mixed note come Thursday, despite data showing a much-larger-than-forecast decline in US crude oil stockpiles and a slightly stronger than expected reading on Chinese gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.
In the energy space, front month West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were dipping 0.14% to $63.88 a barrel on the NYMEX, even after the US Department of Energy reported a 6.9m barrel drop in the country's commercial crude oil inventories.

That was roughly twice the 3.5m barrel drop projected by analysts.

According to analysts at Capital Economics, the reason for that was the 3.6m barrel jump in gasoline inventories revealed in the same report.

Although it was in-line with what markets had been anticipating, it also meant that refineries might soon begin to curtail their output.

Among base metals, three-month copper futures on the LME ended the day at $7,076 per metric tonne, up from $7,048 at the opening bell.

Stoking buying interest, overnight the National Bureau of Statistics reported that the rate of growth in China's gross domestic product accelerated to a 6.9% pace for all of 2017, versus 6.7% the year before, marking the first acceleration seen in two years.

Nevertheless, analysts at Capital Economics believed the figures masked a considerably more volatile underlying growth profile, with growth having slowed from a 6.0% clip in the third quarter to 5.3% over the last three months of 2017.

More significantly, the research boutique's forecast was for the rate of expansion in GDP to slow to 4.5% in 2018.

Of interest, Sucden Financial noted that the declaration of 'force majeure' at Oyu Tolgoi because of local border protests, telling clients it would impact on shipments of copper, gold and silver concentrate.

Be that as it may, the February gold contract on COMEX was 0.90% lower at $1,327.20/oz..

In soft commodities, March 2018 corn on CBoT was down by 0.42% to $3.5150 per bushel while similarly-dated wheat was heading in the opposite direction, rising 0.89% to $4.2525 a bushel.

From a bird's eye view, as of 2030 GMT the Bloomberg commodity index was 0.11% lower at 88.69 as the US dollar spot index came off its lows of the day to add 0.08% to 90.61.