The Commodities Feed: Nuclear Talks Continue

Your daily roundup of commodity news and ING views.

Energy

Price action in oil remains fairly rangebound, with ICE Brent continuing to trade around US$63/bbl. There has been little in the way of fresh catalysts for the oil market over the last week. Although the market continues to watch US/ Iranian developments closely. Nuclear talks between the US and Iran on Friday went as expected, with Iran still wanting all sanctions lifted before it would be willing to return to compliance with the nuclear deal, something the US is not willing to do. However, talks are expected to continue this week.

The latest Commitment of Traders report shows that speculators reduced their net longs in ICE Brent by 20,278 lots over the last reporting week, to leave them with a net long position of 269,501 lots as of last Tuesday. This is the smallest net long held since early December. Demand concerns as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases in a number of regions in recent weeks likely saw speculators take some risk off the table. It is a similar trend in the spreading position for speculators, with the spread position reduced by 25,738 lots, leaving the total managed money spread position at 331,746 lots, also the smallest position since December.

There are a number of data releases this week that the market will be keeping an eye on. On Tuesday, OPEC will release its monthly oil market report, while the first round of Chinese trade data for March will be released on the same day, which will include oil imports, as well as refined products trade. Wednesday will then see the IEA release its monthly oil market report, which will include its latest supply and demand estimates (OIL, BNO).

Metals

The US dollar has turned from a headwind to a tailwind more recently for the metals complex. This, combined with a pause in the march higher in US Treasury yields, has provided room for gold to rally, despite investors continuing to slash their ETF holdings in gold. Although over the last reporting week, speculators did increase their net longs in COMEX gold futures by 26,943 lots, leaving them with a net long position of 77,406 lots as of last Tuesday. This is the largest weekly increase since June last year (GLD).

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Disclaimer: 

This publication has been prepared by the Economic and Financial Analysis Division of ING Bank N.V. (“ING”) solely for information purposes without regard to any ...

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