Gold Prices Rise To Hit One-Week High; All Eyes on U.S. Inflation – Gold prices rose on Wednesday, but investors remain cautious ahead of today’s U.S. inflation data and clues on the pace of future interest rate hikes. The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies was down 0.11% to 89.60, but gold prices are likely to be range-bound before the release of U.S. inflation data. Gold is sensitive to moves in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. Asian equities were mixed on Wednesday, with Hang Seng and KOSPI gaining in the morning trading session but Nikkei, ASX, Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component traded in the red. Japan took center stage in the region as the country’s 4Q GDP missed estimate and grew 0.5% vs the expected 1%.
Aluminium inventory to climb further post-CNY – China’s aluminum inventory after Chinese New Year may continue to go up to 2.1 million mt and the price of the lightweight metal is set to trade in a wider range, SMM believes. Earlier this week, SMM data showed that the country’s aluminum inventory hit a record high at 1.81 million mt due to weak consumption ahead of the week-long holiday. We believe the increase has been seasonal, and this has contributed to the decline in SHFE aluminum prices since the start of the year.
Oil Prices Flat In Asia Morning As Traders Eye Mixed Cues – Oil prices were mostly flat Wednesday morning in Asia, with traders in the region reacting to mixed cues from data that suggests demand will increase this year but so will supply.A stronger U.S. dollar, faster-than-anticipated U.S. production and a surge in demand from China have supported oil prices over the last week but oil remains well off recent highs, likely due to lingering concerns of oversupply. Brent started February at $69.65 and WTI started at $65.80. On Tuesday, International Energy Agency (IEA) raised both its forecast for oil demand this year by 7.7% but also warned that production is rising, particularly in the U.S. and that could put downward pressure on oil. The IEA expects global demand to increase by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) through 2018.
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