Gold remained under pressure as investors awaited Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes for clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates – Gold on MCX settled down -0.18% at 30476 as investors awaited Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes for clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates. The minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers confident in the need to keep raising interest rates. The more upbeat take on inflation in the minutes of the Jan. 30-31 policy meeting released on Wednesday will likely further cement expectations that new Fed chief Jerome Powell will lead his colleagues in raising interest rates next month. The “best hope” for the impact of the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul on the U.S. economy is that it boosts investment and thus productivity, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said. But whether it will do so and deliver faster economic growth in the process is unclear, he said at a dinner hosted by Bloomberg News and broadcast on the regional Fed bank’s website.
Global primary aluminum output grows to 5.56 million mt in Jan – Global primary aluminum output grew to 5.56 million mt in January, compared with 5.4 million mt in December, according to data from International Aluminium Institute (IAI) released on Thursday, February 22. China’s production last month rose to 2.88 million mt, from 2.71 million mt in December. Unreported output was estimated at 310,000 mt in January, in line with the level seen in December, IAI data showed.
Oil Prices Climb In Asia Morning Amid Sudden Drop In U.S. Crude Stockpiles – Oil prices were up Friday morning in Asia, boosted by an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories.The drop at Cushing was because prompt crude prices were higher than forwarding prices, discouraging storage as it makes more sense to liquidate on-hand inventories.The largest privately owned crude terminal in the U.S., the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), recently completed the first very large crude carrier (VLCC) crude oil loading operation. The supercarriers can ship around 2 million barrels of oil. This timely development comes as demand for oil continues to surge in Asia, especially China. A drop in the U.S. currency from an eight-day peak also supported oil prices, as dollar-denominated oil is now cheaper for other countries to import. Strengthened by healthy demand growth in Asia, oil prices are slowly inching closer to the highs of the beginning of February. WTI started February at $65.80 and Brent started at $69.65.
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