Commodity Research Report Ways2Capital 26 December 2016

Gold demand in India remained subdued this week despite a sharp fall in prices to over 10-1/2 month lows as a severe cash crunch and holidays kept buyers away from the market, while premiums in China fell from near 3-year highs touched in the prior week

? INTERNATIONAL UPDATES ( BULLION & ENERGY )
Gold demand in India remained subdued this week despite a sharp fall in prices to over 10-1/2 month lows as a severe cash crunch and holidays kept buyers away from the market, while premiums in China fell from near 3-year highs touched in the prior week. Dealers in India, the world's No.2 consumer of the metal, were offering a discount of up to $ 2 an ounce this week over official domestic prices that include a 10 percent import tax. In the previous week, they were offering a discount of up to $ 3. "People do not have cash to buy gold in rural areas, while urban consumers are in holiday mood. They are not interested in buying gold. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes, or 86 percent of the value of cash in circulation, as part of a crackdown on corruption, tax evasion and militant financing. move hit wedding season demandd. Indian jewellers rely on the wedding season for an uptick in demand during winter after the end of key festivals such as Diwali, but this year wedding demand has fallen sharply due to the cash crunch. Local gold prices MAUc1 fell to 26,862 rupees per 10 gram on Thursday, the lowest since Feb. 2, 2016.
Spot gold XAU= , which hit a 10-1/2-month low of $ 1,122.35 last week under pressure from a stronger dollar after a hawkish rate hike forecast from the Federal Reserve, was on track for a seventh straight weekly decline. "Many investors have lost interest in gold over the last few years since it gave negative returns. They also fear the government may bring new rules to limit gold holding," The government had clarified earlier this month that "there is no limit on holding of gold jewellery or ornaments." Gold premiums in top consumer China fell from their near three-year highs hit last week.
Premiums in China against the international benchmark XAU= came down to $28-$29, traders said.
They rose to over $40 an ounce in the week to Dec. 16, the highest since January 2014, according to Thomson Reuters data. Premiums rose on fears of limited supply of the metal, traders said.
"There is some buying, but not very strong. People in China or Hong Kong do not buy for Christmas, but only for the Chinese New Year and we have three more weeks to go for that. In Hong Kong and Singapore, sellers offered premiums of up to $1.50 an ounce. Discounts in Tokyo remained at 50 cents.
Gold prices edged slightly higher in abbreviated trade ahead of the holiday weekend on Friday, but the precious metal still posted its seventh straight weekly decline as expectations for higher U.S. interest rates in the months ahead weighed. Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on $ 2.90, or 0.26%, to end the week at $ 1,133.60 a troy ounce, not far from an 11-month low of $1,124.30 touched on December 15. For the week, gold futures slumped $ 3.80, or 0.33%, the seventh straight week of declines, its longest weekly losing streak in more than 12 years. Prices of the yellow metal have fallen sharply since Donald Trump was elected president as a soaring U.S. dollar, rising Treasury yields and a record-breaking rally on Wall Street have damped its appeal. The greenback lost some steam on Friday, slipping from its 14-year-high against a basket of currencies as investors took profits ahead of the end of the year.
The dollar index dipped 0.1% to settle at 103.00 by close of trade Friday. The index climbed to 103.62 on Tuesday, the strongest level since December 2002. Market analysts warned that the outlook for gold remains cloudy in the near-term, given expectations for higher U.S. interest rates in the months ahead. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in a year earlier this month and projected three more increases in 2017. The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced. Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.
Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery shed 11.2 cents, or 0.7%, on Friday to settle at $15.75 a troy ounce, within sight of an eight-month low of $15.67 logged on Tuesday. On the week, silver lost 29.6 cents, or 2.8%. Meanwhile, platinum dropped 1.55%, to $893.20, marking a weekly decline of 3.7%, while palladium slumped 0.3% to $654.85 an ounce, notching a weekly loss of 6.1%.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery dipped 2.0 cents, or 0.82%, on Friday to end at $2.479 a pound, booking a weekly slide of around 3.5%. In the week ahead, trading volumes are expected to remain light due to the Christmas holiday and as many traders already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility. The U.S. is to release reports on consumer confidence, pending home sales and jobless claims, as traders look for further indications on the strength of the economy and hints on the future path of monetary policy.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, December 26
Stock markets in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the U.K., Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. will remain closed, to make up for Christmas Day falling on a Sunday.
All floor trading for precious and base metals options will be shut for the Christmas holiday.

Tuesday, December 27
Markets in the U.K. and Canada will remain closed for Boxing Day.
The U.S. is to release private sector data on consumer confidence.


Wednesday, December 28
The U.S. is to release data on pending home sales.

Thursday, December 29
The U.S. is to produce data on third quarter economic growth, initial jobless claims, durable goods orders and personal spending.

Friday, December 30
The U.S. is to round up the week with data on new home sales and consumer sentiment.
Gold edged higher on Friday as the dollar retreated from this week's 14-year high and some buyers were tempted to take advantage of prices near a 10-month low after six weeks of decline. Volumes were thin as traders prepared for a long weekend. All floor trading for precious and base metals options will be shut on Monday, Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday. has fallen more than $200 an ounce from the peak it hit after Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election victory on Nov. 8, reaching a low last week of $ 1,122.35, as his win sparked a dollar rally and drove U.S. Treasury yields higher. It is down 14 percent this quarter, paring its gain for the year to 6.7 percent. Gold posted its biggest quarterly increase in 30 years between January and March. Spot gold was up 0.32 pct at $ 1,132.24 per ounce by 1:50 p.m. EST , but still set to finish the week lower for a sixth straight week. The most-active U.S. gold GCcv1 futures for February delivery settled up $2.90, or 0.26 percent, at $ 1,133.60 per ounce.
"The market is trying to base right now," said Eli Tesfaye, senior market strategist for brokerage RJO Futures in Chicago. "Unless there are geopolitical concerns, the path of least resistance is to the downside."
The dollar eased against a basket of currencies, off highs hit after this month's Federal Reserve policy meeting. The bank surprised markets by indicating interest rates could rise more quickly than expected next year. Rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. "There is a risk that the prices of gold and silver might fall further in the short term as the Fed hikes rates more aggressively in response to some of Trump's more inflationary policies," Capital Economics said in a weekly note. Buying in India remained subdued this week despite a sharp fall in prices as a severe cash crunch and holidays kept purchasers away from the market, while premiums in China fell from near three-year highs touched in the prior week. Investors also showed little appetite for gold. Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund have fallen more than 12 percent since November. Silver XAG= was down 0.37 pct at $15.721 per ounce, while platinum XPT= was down 1.27 pct at $890.49 and palladium was up 0.35 pct at $ 657.22.
Gold held little changed early on Friday and was on track for a seventh straight weekly decline amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will opt for more interest rate hikes in 2017.




FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold XAU= was steady at $ 1,128.76 an ounce by 0038 GMT. Bullion closed down 0.2 percent on Thursday. The yellow metal was on track to end the week down nearly 0.5 percent.
U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were little changed at $1,130 per ounce.
New orders for U.S.-made capital goods rose more than expected in November. Other data on Thursday showed that third-quarter U.S. economic growth beat expectations. But the number of Americans applying for unemployment aid hit a six-month high last week and U.S. consumer spending increased modestly in November. More consistent evidence of U.S. economic strength could prompt the Fed to tighten credit again sooner than later. Higher rates discourage buying of non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.
Global investors' equity holdings rose to six-month highs in December on bets that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's promised fiscal splurge would spur higher growth and inflation, a Reuters monthly poll showed on Thursday. China's leadership is signalling growth will slow slightly in 2017, policy advisers say, as it struggles to strike a balance between supporting the economy with loose credit conditions and preventing a destabilising build-up in debt. Japan's cabinet approved on Thursday a record $ 830 billion spending budget for fiscal 2017 that counts on low interest rates and a weak yen to limit borrowing, underscoring the challenge Tokyo faces in curbing the industrial world's heaviest debt burden. Russia and Kazakhstan raised their gold reserves in November, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Thursday.

Gold steadied on Thursday, as the dollar slipped and market participants waited for U.S. economic data due later in the day. The United States will release a third revision of third-quarter gross domestic product, durable goods orders for November, and weekly initial jobless claims. Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $ 1,131.17 an ounce by 1101 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were down 0.1 percent at $ 1,132.40 an ounce.
"Traders have already positioned themselves for a neutral to lower end of the year for gold, with the next support level in the $ 1,123 area, as the focus remains on the hawkish message of the Fed, which signalled three rate increases in 2017," The Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates last week for the first time in a year, lifting the dollar to a 14-year high. Strong economic data could prompt the Fed to raise rates sooner rather than later, which would put pressure on gold prices. Higher rates lower demand for non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in the U.S. currency. The dollar index .DXY was down 0.2 percent against a basket of six main currencies, but was still trading less than a percent away from the 14-year high.
"The dollar is very strong and gold is going to be under pressure till Donald Trump takes over the U.S. presidency and the focus will shifto how his polices are unfolding.
Gold edged higher in Asian trade on Thursday, after ending the prior session nearly flat, as the U.S. dollar retreated from 14-year highs touched earlier this week.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.1 percent at $1,132.04 an ounce by 0049 GMT. Bullion closed nearly flat in the previous session.
U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were little changed at $1,133.60 per ounce.
The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.1 percent to 1,02.960. It reached 103.65 on Tuesday, which was its highest since December 2002.
U.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in November, reaching their highest level in nearly 10 years, likely as buyers rushed into the market to lock in mortgage rates in anticipation of further increases in borrowing costs. Japan's government upgraded its overall assessment of the economy on Wednesday, echoing the Bank of Japan's more upbeat view, in a sign the economy may be steadying. Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.43 percent to 824.54 tonnes on Wednesday.
A small Canadian miner is confident Donald Trump's U.S. presidential win will let it proceed with an application for a copper and gold mine in Alaska that has been stalled almost three years by environmental regulators aiming to protect the world's biggest sockeye salmon fishery. American Eagle gold coin sales rose to a five-year high in 2016, the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday, after a volatile year that saw prices soar 30 percent in the first seven months, only to tumble in the wake of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's election victory. The Royal Canadian Mint has joined a blockchain platform run by Goldmoney Inc XAU.TO , the first time in the world that mint-vaulted bullion has been traded on such a private digital ledger, the Canadian fintech company said on Wednesday. The European Commission proposed tightening controls on cash and precious metals transfers from outside the EU on Wednesday, in a bid to shut down one route for funding of militant attacks on the continent.

Gold rose on Wednesday as a retreat in the dollar from the previous session's 14-year peak prompted some buyers to hunt bargains after the metal's sharp slide from its November high. The metal had been hit hard by a surge in the dollar after the November U.S. elections, and a more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve after it hiked U.S. interest rates for only the second time in a decade last month. Prices had fallen more than 11 percent since the elections, before finding a floor at around $1,125 an ounce. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.3 percent at $1,134.60 an ounce at 1450 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for February delivery were up $ 2.70 an ounce at $ 1,136.30. Gold is taking some support from moves in the wider markets. "The U.S. dollar is slightly weaker and U.S. bond yields are slightly lower as well, "Liquidity will dry up in the run-up to Christmas and the year-end," he added. "So everything can happen, huge volatility or lacklustre trade." The dollar fell on Wednesday from the 14-year high it hit the day before, pausing in a post-U.S. elections run higher that has represented its entire gain for the year, while concerns over the banking sector pulled European shares lower. The Fed, which raised interest rates last week, signalled three more increases next year. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Hefty outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds of late have been pressuring gold, "Declines of 300,000 ounces reported Monday night are the latest in more than a month of consecutive gold ETF outflows. "The GLD, the world's largest gold ETF, has fallen 13 percent to 26.6 million ounces since the U.S. November elections." Among other precious metals, silver XAG= was down 0.4 percent at $16.01 an ounce, off the previous day's low of $ 15.59 an ounce, its weakest since April 11. Platinum XPT= was 0.2 percent lower at $ 913.60 an ounce.

Gold firmed on Wednesday as a retreat in the dollar from the previous session's 14-year peak prompted some buyers to hunt bargains after the metal's sharp slide from its November high.
Gold had been hit hard by a surge in the dollar after the November U.S. elections, and a more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve after it hiked U.S. interest rates for only the second time in a decade last month. Prices of the metal have fallen more than 11 percent since the elections before finding a floor at around $ 1,125 an ounce. Spot gold XAU= was up 0.2 percent at $1,133.90 an ounce at 1035 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for February delivery were up $ 2.20 an ounce at $ 1,135.80.
"With what we're seeing in the dollar at the moment, there is no real driver to push gold lower,"
"Because of that, we're seeing it taking a bit of a breather. We've had some big moves this year, and don't want to burn their fingers for the remainder of the year." The dollar eased on Wednesday from the 14-year high it hit the day before, pausing in a post-U.S. elections run higher that has represented its entire gain for the year, while concerns over the banking sector pulled European shares lower. The Fed, which raised interest rates last week, signalled three more increases next year. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Hefty outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds of late have been pressuring gold. "Declines of 300,000 ounces reported Monday night are the latest in more than a month of consecutive gold ETF outflows . "The GLD, the world's largest gold ETF, has fallen 13 percent to 26.6 million ounces since the U.S. November elections." Among other precious metals, silver XAG= was down 0.4 percent at $16.02 an ounce, off the previous day's low of $15.59 an ounce, its weakest since April 11. Platinum XPT= was 0.1 percent lower at $914.70 an ounce. Palladium XPD= was down 0.6 percent at $660.20 an ounce, having earlier touched a six-week low of $658.50. It remains the best performing precious metal this quarter, with a drop of just 8 percent, compared with a 14 percent drop in gold prices and an 11 percent retreat in platinum.


Gold extended its losses on Wednesday after dipping in the previous session, dragged down as the U.S. dollar stayed near 14-year highs against a basket of currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.1 percent at $1,131.01 an ounce by 0053 GMT. It fell 0.6 percent the day before.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were also 0.1-percent lower, at $1,133 per ounce.
The U.S. dollar was encamped near 14-year peaks on Wednesday as global yield spreads moved inexorably in its favour, while a falling yen lifted Japanese shares to a one-year top.
The dollar index .DXY , which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, stood at 103.270, having touched 103.65 on Tuesday, its highest since December 2002.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Tuesday offered an upbeat view of the economy but sought to douse market talk the central bank may soon consider raising interest rates. Russia's central bank, which is seeking to diversify its reserves, posted a large monthly gain in its gold reserves for the second consecutive month on Tuesday. India's gold imports from Switzerland hit their highest in a year last month, data from the Swiss customs bureau showed on Tuesday, making it the biggest destination for bullion exports from the trading and refining hub. Great Panther Silver Ltd GPR.TO has entered into agreement with units of Nyrstar N.V. to acquire the Coricancha gold-silver-lead-zinc-copper mine and mill complex in Peru. New standards for the use of precious metals in Islamic finance are encouraging the development of financial products based on gold and silver.

Gold prices struggled near last week's 11-month lows on Wednesday, as a firm U.S. dollar and the possibility of further U.S. interest rate hikes next year continued to weigh. Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up $ 1.75, or 0.15%, to $1,135.35 a troy ounce by 4:10AM ET , after falling $9.10, or 0.8%, in the prior session. Prices of the yellow metal sank to $ 1,124.30 last week, a level not seen since February 2. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 103.21 in early trade. The index climbed to 103.62 on Tuesday, the strongest level since December 2002. Since the U.S. election in early November, the dollar index has risen nearly 6% thanks to bets of higher U.S. growth and a faster pace of interest rate increases under incoming president Donald Trump. A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. Market analysts warned that the outlook for gold remains cloudy in the near-term, given expectations for higher U.S. interest rates in the months ahead. The Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in a year last week and projected three more increases in 2017. The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced. Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery shed 1.5 cents, or 0.1%, to $16.10 a troy ounce during morning hours in London, after falling to an eight-month low of $15.67 a day earlier.

Gold fell on Tuesday as the dollar rebounded towards its highest in more than a decade, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments on the U.S. jobs market boosted bets on further interest rate hikes next year. The U.S. currency's gains were strongest against the yen, which slid around 1 percent after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged. Spot gold XAU= was down 0.5 percent at $1,132.81 an ounce at 1035 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for February delivery were down $ 7.90 an ounce at $ 1,134.80. "This morning's surge in the dollar to new 13-year highs on the DXY measure, largely on the back of yen weakening after the BoJ's decision to leave interest rate unchanged, has put the skids under gold once again. The dollar rose, global stock markets added to gains and U.S. Treasury yields recovered early losses after Yellen sounded an optimistic tone about the U.S. labour market on Monday. has fallen 2.5 percent since the Fed hinted after its latest policy meeting last week that it would raise rates more quickly than expected next year, lifting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The metal is on track for its biggest quarterly drop in more than three years, after losing ground in the wake of the Nov. 8 U.S. election as the U.S. currency surged. Dollar strength cancelled out any additional interest in gold as a hedge against political risk after a suspected terrorist attack at a Berlin Christmas market, and the fatal shooting of the Russian ambassador to Turkey at an Ankara art gallery on Monday. has completely relinquished its safe-haven status for the time being," Marex Spectron said in a note. " has removed itself from geopolitical news and is focused solely on economic news, which basically means the dollar." The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares GLD , said its holdings fell another 8.9 tonnes yesterday, its biggest one-day outflow since Dec. 1. The fund's holdings have fallen by 122 tonnes since the U.S. election. Silver XAG= was down 0.7 percent at $15.87 an ounce, while platinum XPT= was 0.5 percent lower at $912.50.
Palladium XPD= fell for the fifth straight session, down 1 percent at $669.97. The metal earlier touched a low of $ 665.98, its weakest since Nov. 14.

Gold fell on Tuesday as the dollar rose and investors sold on expectations of stronger global economic growth and higher U.S. interest rates, while deadly incidents in Turkey and Germany failed to spur safe-haven buying. Spot gold XAU= fell 1 percent to $ 1,126.65 an ounce at 1452 GMT. Last week it fell to $1,122.35, its lowest since early February. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 slipped 1 percent to $1,131.1 an ounce. The dollar was trading near 14-year highs after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reinforced expectations for a faster pace of U.S. interest rate rises next year than had been expected. FRX/ U.S. rates could mean further gains for the U.S. currency, which when it rises makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies. "A strengthening U.S. and global economy, the dollar going up, higher equities and rising U.S. bond yields are negative for gold. "The Fed was more hawkish than we expected ... But it is surprising not to see some safe-haven buying after the events in Berlin and Turkey." U.S. Treasury yields mean it's cheaper for investors to buy U.S. government bonds, which like gold are seen as risk-free. But unlike gold which earns nothing and costs to insure and store, Treasuries earn regular coupons. Investor confidence in the global economy can be seen in holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, which at 26.624 million ounces on Monday is down more than 13 percent since Nov. 9. Traders say some profit-taking on short positions could see gold recover over the next few days, but they expect any gains to be limited and short-lived. Also weighing on gold is the prospect of weaker physical demand in top consumer India where retail demand has faltered due to the government's move to scrap high-value currency notes. November, the Indian government's clamp down on the parallel economy ... pushed gold buying to around 10 percent of normal trade levels during a seasonally strong period for demand, after an initial flurry," India's fiscal budget - potentially announced as early as late January - will be the next critical event to watch given market fears of gold trade restrictions. Despite attractive price levels, consumers in India have stayed away. This suggests to us that the gold market faces a fragile floor. "Silver XAG= fell 1.7 percent to $15.70 an ounce from an earlier $15.59, its lowest since April.

Gold edged higher as the dollar drifted lower on Monday, although expectations of tighter U.S. monetary policy kept a lid on its gains. gold XAU= was up 0.5 percent at $1,139.43 an ounce by 1536 GMT. It fell to $1,122.35, its weakest since Feb. 2, on Thursday under pressure from a stronger dollar after hawkish rate forecasts from the Federal Reserve. U.S. gold futures GCcv1 gained $ 3.70 to $ 1,141.20 an ounce. The Fed hiked rates for the first time in a year last week and projected three more increases in 2017, up from the two projected in September. at a time when investors are mindful of the stimulus effects of the new incoming U.S. regime is likely to be good for equity valuation and weigh on gold and risk-off assets, at least in the short term. The dollar .DXY was down 0.1 percent against a basket of six main currencies, European equities were mixed and U.S. stocks were higher as investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on "the State of the Job Market". The Fed faces challenges in gradually cooling off the U.S. economy. is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. "Going forward, the twin problem of high real interest rates, which have been rising on the back of a sharp increase in nominal yields, and high dollar will weigh on gold. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield US10YT=RR rose to its highest since September 2014 on Thursday, before settling at around 2.6 percent. Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.6 percent to 836.99 tonnes on Friday. Holdings are down over 11 percent since November. Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position in COMEX gold contracts for the fifth straight week, taking it to a 10-month low in the week to Dec. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. XAG= fell 0.4 percent to $16.03 an ounce.

ENERGY
Oil futures finished slightly higher in a holiday-shortened session on Friday, remaining within sight of a one-and-a-half-year peak as market participants awaited further clarity on whether major crude producers will stick to their promise to pull back on output in the new year. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for February delivery ticked up 11 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $55.16 a barrel by close of trade Friday, not far from a 17-month high of $57.89 touched on December 12.
London-traded Brent futures logged a loss of 5 cents, or 0.1%, on the week, in thinning trading ahead of the year-end holiday period. Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in February tacked on 7 cents, or 0.13%, to end the week at $52.95 a barrel, within sight of a one-and-a-half-year peak of $54.51 logged on December 12. For the week, New York-traded oil futures added 7 cents, or about 0.1%.

Oil traders were hesitant to make significant moves ahead of the year-end as they waited to see how OPEC would manage its planned output cuts. OPEC members agreed to lower production by a combined 1.2 million barrels per day starting from January 1, their first such deal since 2008. The pact was followed by an agreement from 11 non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to reduce their supplies by 558,000 barrels a day. However, some traders remain skeptical that the planned cuts will be as substantial as the market currently expects. There are also some worries in the market about production increases in the U.S. and Libya. Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week increased by 13 to 523, the eighth straight weekly rise and a level not seen in almost a year. Some analysts have warned that the recent rally in prices could be self-defeating, as it encourages U.S. shale producers to drill more, adding to concerns over a global supply glut. Meanwhile, Libya, which is allowed to ramp up production as part of the OPEC deal, announced the reopening of pipelines leading from two major fields. Libyan officials said the restarting of the oilfields and a connected pipeline could bring back around 270,000 barrels a day over the next three months. Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for January added 2.2 cents, or 1.4% to $ 1.626 a gallon, putting in a weekly gain of 4.4%, while January heating oil gained 0.2 cent, or 0.1%, to finish at $ 1.662 a gallon, marking a weekly decline of 0.6%. Natural gas futures for January delivery settled 12.4 cents, or 3.5%, higher at $3.662 per million British thermal units, and registered a 7.2% weekly rise, as a cold snap in the U.S. boosted demand. In the week ahead, trading volumes are expected to remain light due to the Christmas holiday and as many traders already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility. Meanwhile, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Wednesday and Thursday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. This week's reports come out one day later than usual. Oil traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that producers will stick to their agreement to cut production next year. Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, December 26
Oil markets will remain closed for the Christmas holiday.

Wednesday, December 28
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Thursday, December 29
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Friday, December 30
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.U.S. oil prices closed at a 17-month high on Friday in quiet trade ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday week, even though the gain was small, as the market waits to see how OPEC manages its planned output cuts with Libya expecting to boost production. Despite the 17-month high in U.S. futures, prices were little changed on Friday in a market that closed early for the Christmas holiday.
Brent LCOc1 futures gained 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to settle at $55.16 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 gained seven cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $53.02, its highest close since July 2015. That topped the previous 17-month high close for WTI set last week by a nickel and was the front-month's sixth daily gain in a row, its longest winning streak since August. It also put the WTI contract up for a fifth week in six, gaining about 22 percent since mid November, which traders said was mostly related to the OPEC production cut agreement. "Friday was a quiet, low volume day with little price movement," noting WTI gained just enough pennies to set a new 17-month high. "This is the time for maximum hype in oil. It's all related to the OPEC deal to cut output," Davis said, warning the high prices will not last if the market does not see the OPEC cuts over the longer term. Over the past few weeks, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members agreed to lower output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day from Jan. 1.
While major OPEC producers including Saudi Arabia and Iraq have told customers that supply will be cut in line with the OPEC deal, Libya and Nigeria are exempt because conflict has already curbed their output. Libya's National Oil Corp hopes to add 270,000 bpd to national production over the next three months after announcing on Tuesday the reopening of pipelines leading from two major fields, Sharara and El Feel. factor that analysts said could soon weigh on the oil market was an announcement this week that Saudi Arabia would boost domestic fuel prices as the government reduces its subsidies. could reduce internal oil consumption and leave more Saudi barrels for the export market.

Oil prices slipped on Friday in thin Asian trade ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, wiping out some of the gains in the previous session as traders took profits. A strong dollar also weighed on sentiment. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell 31 cents to $52.64 a barrel as of 0127 GMT after settling 46 cents, or 0.9 percent, up in the previous session. Brent futures LCOc1 for February delivery dropped 30 cents to $ 54.75 a barrel after ending the previous session up 59 cents, or 1.1 percent. "I think it is the usual reversal of fortunes that exist in the Asian time zone after the previous session's close," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayers Alliance, "In this case there is some profit taking after the last session gains. Oil prices are also weaker due to the stronger dollar," he said. "But overall, the fact the dollar and commodities are soaring either tells you demand for commodities has picked up or there is a need for more supply," he added.
The dollar index .DXY was slightly lower on Friday but was still close to a 14-year peak of 103.65 earlier this week. A strong dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities including oil more expensive for holders of other currencies. Oil prices are trading in a band that's the highest since mid-2015. Barratt has forecast U.S. crude will trade around $60 a barrel in the first quarter next year, while Brent will be around $62-$63 a barrel.Prices are expected to be supported by a deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC oil producers to cut output by almost 1.8 million bpd from Jan. 1. Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday he was confident there would be "a high level of commitment" from oil producers to abide by the pact curbing production. came as Talal Nasser Al Athbi, head of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries' Executive Bureau on Thursday said that supply and demand in global oil markets should rebalance during the first or second quarter of next year. moves by Libya to boost oil production following the reopening of the country's main oil pipelines in the west could be overshadowed by an unresolved political power struggle and the risk of new blockades.

Oil prices rose in subdued trading on Thursday, supported by strong U.S. economic data and optimism that crude producers would abide by an agreement to limit output. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 settled up 46 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $52.95 a barrel. Brent futures LCOc1 for February delivery settled up 59 cents to $ 55.05, or 1.1 percent. Trading overall was quiet as desks were winding down for the holidays. Overall volume for front-month crude futures was about 350,000 contracts, less than two-thirds of the total daily average over the last 200 days. New orders for U.S.-made capital goods rose more than expected in November due to strong demand for machinery and primary metals, suggesting some of the oil-related drag on manufacturing was starting to fade. U.S. data also showed the economy grew faster than previously estimated in the third quarter, at the quickest pace in two years. session was a bit of a pre-holiday snoozer, gaining some ground early and then sitting," energy futures specialist at Citi Futures. "The fact is, the market may have a bit of a wait before we see any production data that gives us a read on OPEC and non-OPEC compliance with the announced production cuts."

Oil prices nudged higher in tepid Asian trading on Thursday, supported by a weaker dollar and optimism that crude producers would abide by an agreement to curb output to prop up markets. But gains were capped by an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week and as Libya said it expected to boost output over the next few months. Brent LCOc1 futures for February delivery climbed 18 cents to $54.64 a barrel as of 0423 GMT, having previously finished 89 cents lower.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 rose 15 cents to $52.64 a barrel, after closing the previous session down 81 cents. The dollar index .DXY , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, slipped as investors took profits after its rise to a 14-year peak of 103.65 earlier this week.
A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities including oil cheaper for holders of other currencies. "We're pretty close to the closing level - it'll be interesting to see if the upward momentum is maintained as the Europe and U.S. sessions open up," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Wednesday said trust between oil producing countries is important if a global deal to curtail output is to succeed. is a safe assumption particularly in the early stages that OPEC and non-OPEC producers will abide by the agreement to curb output," Spooner said. "If you look at where the biggest production cuts are coming from its largely about the Gulf states and Russia - this gives me even more comfort there will be material compliance," he said. "Russia invested a lot in securing agreement so you wouldn't expect them to fail to comply in the early stages. I think compliance is likely." Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries led by Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC members signed a deal earlier this month to cut oil output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day from Jan. 1. Libya's National Oil Corporation said it hoped to add 270,000 barrels per day to national production after it confirmed on Tuesday that pipelines leading from the Sharara and El Feel fields had reopened. NOC said that Sharara output reached 58,000 bpd on Wednesday. recently doubled output to 600,000 bpd, but Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayers Alliance, said the country had the capacity to ramp up production to 1.2 million bpd. He forecast U.S. crude would climb to $60 a barrel in the first quarter of 2017 with Brent prices $2 to $3 higher. "I think that is very temporary though because there will be a lot more supply available including from U.S. shale drillers," Barratt said.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude stocks posted a surprise build last week, climbing by 2.3 million barrels compared with an expected decline of 2.5 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Oil was higher Wednesday as industry figures showed a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude stocks. Brent crude added 17 cents, or 0.31%, to $55.52 at 08:00 ET. U.S. crude gained 25 cents, or 0.47%, to $ 53.55. American Petroleum Institute data Tuesday showed a fall in U.S. crude inventories of 4.15 million barrels in the latest week. Official Energy Information Administration figures due out Wednesday are forecast to show crude stocks falling by 2.5 million barrels. The future of the market will depend on the extent to which producers adhere to agreed output cuts. OPEC has agreed to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day and non-OPEC producers by 558,000 barrels. Libya, which was exempt from cuts, is looking to boost its production.The dollar index was lower. A weaker dollar boosts demand for oil.

Oil prices nudged higher on Wednesday on expectations of a U.S. crude inventory draw, although trading activity was muted as markets start to wind down ahead of the Christmas weekend. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $ 53.58 per barrel at 0105 GMT, up 28 cents from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $ 55.57 a barrel, up 22 cents. Traders said the higher prices were largely due to an expected reduction in U.S. crude oil inventories, which will be reported late on Wednesday. Jeffrey Halley, analyst at futures OANDA in Singapore said U.S. crude stocks were expected to fall by 2.563 million barrels. In the absence of strong fundamentals, traders said that technical support and resistance levels would become price drivers. "U.S. oil may rise to $ 54.37 per barrel, as it has broken resistance at $ 53.36,". oil is poised to break a resistance at $ 55.79 per barrel.”

Oil prices rose on Wednesday on expectations of a U.S. crude inventory draw, although trading activity was muted as markets start to wind down ahead of the Christmas weekend. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $ 53.73 per barrel at 0756 GMT, up 43 cents, or 0.81 percent from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $ 55.59 a barrel, up 44 cents, or 0.79 percent. Traders said the higher prices were largely due to an expected reduction in U.S. crude oil inventories, which will be reported late on Wednesday. U.S. crude stocks were expected to fall by 2.563 million barrels. Into next year, French bank Societe Generale said in its December oil market outlook that the agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading oil producers such as Russia to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day from January 2017 "should push crude prices from the $ 40-50 range in 2016 to the $ 50-60 range in 2017." relatively low price expectations for 2017 come as oil markets are expected to remain well supplied despite the planned output cuts. 2016 oil output is expected to total 547.5 million tonnes , a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters late on Tuesday. advantage of plentiful and relatively cheap crude, refiners especially in Asia are churning out more fuel than the market can absorb. China exported 1.47 million tonnes of diesel in November, up 61.8 percent from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as even fuel thirsty China struggles to cope with the output from its refiners.
India's oil imports from Iran fell 19 percent in November from a record high the previous month after regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq raised sales to the world's third-biggest oil consumer, regaining their positions as the top two suppliers. Shipments from Tehran, Western sanctions against which were lifted earlier this year, were about 620,000 barrels per day oil in November, according to ship tracking data and a report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts. That was down from 765,500 bpd in October, but well above 138,100 bpd in November 2016. The November drop came before OPEC members and other global producers agreed to cut output in a bid to bolster weak oil prices. Iran, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries , had been initially hesitant to cut production, but as Saudi Arabia - OPEC's largest producer - agreed to bear the lion's share of reductions, the landmark deal was agreed at the end of last month. from Iran to India more than doubled in January-November to 468,900 bpd from 205,900 bpd in the same period last year, the data showed. Overall, India imported an average 4.28 million bpd of crude in the anuary-November period of 2016, up 7.6 percent from 3.98 million bpd a year ago. India's average Iranian oil imports in April-November - the first eight months of India's financial year - rose 126 percent to 532,100 bpd, the data showed. Tehran's share in overall purchases jumped to 12.5 percent from 5.9 percent.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, touching a one-week high on expectations of a steep draw in U.S. crude stocks, but edged off gains after Libya announced the reopening of pipelines after a two-year blockade ended recently. Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 40 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $ 55.32 a barrel at 1:29 p.m. EST after hitting an intraday high of $ 55.92. U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 30 cents to $ 52.42 a barrel. Analysts polled by Reuters expected U.S. crude oil inventories to show a draw of 2.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 16. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will release its figures on Tuesday, ahead of official government figures due Wednesday.

"There are expectations that we'll see supplies start to tighten by the end of the year, "We'll get more heating oil demand this weekend and could see a drop in production next week and even last week because of the cold temperatures." U.S. gasoline futures RBc1 were up 1.3 percent at $ 1.58 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Traders expect low imports to result in an drawdown for products when the U.S. Energy Department releases new data on Wednesday. One outlying factor that has flummoxed some analysts has been a series of increases in U.S. inventories at the key oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. Flynn said this rise had been largely offset by a drop in Gulf Coast inventories. Crude stocks fell more than expected last week, feeding expectations for another large drop in this week's figures. The market pulled back in the early afternoon after Libya's National Oil Corp said pipelines from its western fields had been reopened. It expects to add 270,000 barrels a day in state production in the next three months. Protesters agreed last week to end a longstanding blockade. and political disputes have cut Libya's production to just 600,000 barrels a day, far below output of 1.6 million before uprisings in 2011. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' recent agreement to cut supply did not include Libya, so its added production may undermine the group's efforts to reduce a glut. The deal to cut global supply among OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck this month has boosted oil prices to 17-month highs. The gains have set up 2016 to be the first year Brent has risen since 2012.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, touching a one-week high on expectations of a steep draw in U.S. crude stocks, but edged off gains after Libya announced the reopening of pipelines after a two-year blockade ended recently. Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 40 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $ 55.32 a barrel at 1:29 p.m. EST after hitting an intraday high of $ 55.92. U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 30 cents to $ 52.42 a barrel. Analysts polled by Reuters expected U.S. crude oil inventories to show a draw of 2.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 16. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will release its figures on Tuesday, ahead of official government figures due Wednesday. "There are expectations that we'll see supplies start to tighten by the end of the year," said analyst Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group in Chicago. "We'll get more heating oil demand this weekend and could see a drop in production next week and even last week because of the cold temperatures." U.S. gasoline futures RBc1 were up 1.3 percent at $1.58 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Traders expect low imports to result in an drawdown for products when the U.S. Energy Department releases new data on Wednesday. One outlying factor that has flummoxed some analysts has been a series of increases in U.S. inventories at the key oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. Flynn said this rise had been largely offset by a drop in Gulf Coast inventories. Crude stocks fell more than expected last week, feeding expectations for another large drop in this week's figures.
The market pulled back in the early afternoon after Libya's National Oil Corp said pipelines from its western fields had been reopened. It expects to add 270,000 barrels a day in state production in the next three months. Protesters agreed last week to end a longstanding blockade. and political disputes have cut Libya's production to just 600,000 barrels a day, far below output of 1.6 million before uprisings in 2011. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' recent agreement to cut supply did not include Libya, so its added production may undermine the group's efforts to reduce a glut. The deal to cut global supply among OPEC and non-OPEC producers struck this month has boosted oil prices to 17-month highs. The gains have set up 2016 to be the first year Brent has risen since 2012.

Asia will post its biggest net refining capacity addition in three years in 2017, further boosting demand for crude in the world's biggest and fastest growing oil consuming region. New and expanded refineries from China to India will offset closures in Japan, adding a net 450,000 barrels per day of crude processing capacity in 2017, the highest since 2014, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie says.
The increase amounts to about an additional 1.5 percent of refining capacity on top of Asia's total installed capacity of nearly 29 million bpd, "Heavy crude demand in particular is expected to rise in 2017 as more Asian facilities undergo upgrading and new ... refineries come online," The rise in capacity will tighten Asia's crude market as it coincides with planned output cuts by oil producers like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia in a bid to end oversupply and prop up prices. National Offshore Oil Corp plans to start a new 200,000-bpd refinery in southern China , while PetroChina aims to start a 260,000-bpd refinery in Yunnan, pending talks with the Myanmar government. independent refiners are also expected to import an extra 200,000-400,000 bpd of crude, research consultancy Energy Aspects estimates and an upgrade by Taiwan's CPC at its Talin refinery will raise crude and condensate demand by 100,000 bpd. is due to complete a new 200,000-bpd refinery while India's Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd BPCL.NS is trialling an expansion in Kochi that will include a new 210,000-bpd crude oil distillation unit. additions will more than offset a 400,000 bpd decline in refining capacity in Japan by early April due to shrinking local demand, according to Wood Mackenzie. meet Asian demand, Iraq has already inked new Basra Heavy deals, while Iran expects to complete a pipeline and terminal to export heavy crude West Kharoon next year. said it is preparing to restart production from oilfields jointly operated with Saudi Arabia. expect a slow ramp up of production from mid-2017. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will have to manage this growth within their agreed OPEC production cuts. Still, traders see no outright supply shortage for Asian refineries, as OPEC is shielding most of its Asian customers from the planned cuts. crude supplies are also available, including heavy crude from Latin America and Angola, as well as shale supplies from the United States.




BASE METAL’S OUTLOOK :
BASE METAL GUIDE -

Trading Strategies : Nickel

Nickel trading range for the day is 687.2-736.2.
Nickel prices dropped on profit booking after prices remained supported as the nickel supply chain continues to tighten.
The World Bureau of Metal Statistics said that nickel market was in a deficit of 57,100 mt in the first 10 months of year.
The Chinese smelter/refinery production during the initial ten-month period of the year witnessed decline of 35.4 kt compared to 2015.
The resistance is now likely to be seen at 748.70, a move above could see prices testing 760 for Next Week The Crucial Levels for the week is 685-698 is Down Side and 715-738 is Up Side.
ZINC :
Zinc trading range for the day is 170.8-179.
Zinc prices dropped as profit-taking and book-squaring towards year-end weighing on prices.
Zhuzhou, China’s biggest zinc smelter, is meeting its commitment to cut 50,000 tonnes of refined zinc production this year, sources said.
China’s refined zinc output in January-November 2016 was in fact 1.2% higher year-on-year.
Zinc Prices Dropped As Profit-Taking Weighed

Copper :
Copper trading range for the day is 369.2-379.4.
Copper prices dropped as growing doubts about demand growth in top consumer China reinforced the idea that recent gains were overdone.
Expectations of stronger global economic and demand growth have helped copper rise nearly 20 percent since October.
According to the ICSG fell to 29,000 tonnes in the Jan-Sept period from a deficit of 227,000 tonnes between January and June.


BASE METAL

Steel
Major domestic steel companies are planning to raise product prices by a whopping Rs. 6,000 per tonne from January as an unprecedented rise in coking coal rates and weak retail sales due to demonetisation are hurting margins. “Not just us, all domestic steel producers are planning to raise product prices from January. There is no option for us. Coking coal prices have gone to Rs. 22,000 per tonne from Rs. 7,000. The cost push is huge and we have to pass it on whether the market can absorb it or not,” Nitin Johari, director at Bhushan Steel told Business Standard.
India is likely to turn a net exporter of steel this year, on the back of an improvement in international prices, led by cost-push and a slump in retail sales, courtesy demonetisation. During April-November, exports increased 53 per cent over the same period last year to 4.24 million tonnes. Imports, on the other hand, dropped 39 per cent to 4.73 million tonnes. Given that there is still a quarter to go, the sector is expecting exports to surpass imports. The previous year saw a record level of imports at 12.7 million tonne while exports were at 4.6-4.7 million tonne.

Nickel
Amid low demand at the domestic spot market, nickel prices dropped 0.33 per cent to Rs 730.40 per kg in futures trade on Thursday as traders cut down their bets. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, nickel for delivery in current month was trading Rs 2.40, or 0.33 per cent down, at Rs 730.40 per kg, in a business turnover of 307 lots. The metal for delivery in January also fell by a similar margin to trade at Rs 735.90 per kg in a turnover of 27 lots. Analysts said the fall in nickel prices in futures trade is mostly attributed to a weakening trend in select base metals at the domestic spot markets due to sluggish demand form alloy-makers.

Copper
Copper futures fell 0.45 per cent to Rs 337.40 per kg today as speculators trimmed positions amid a weak trend in global markets. Besides, muted demand from consuming industries at the spot market, too weighed on prices. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, copper for delivery in far-month April 2017 declined by Rs 1.70, or 0.45 per cent, to Rs 377.40 per kg, in a business turnover of nine lots. The metal for delivery in February fell Rs 1.45, or 0.39 per cent, to Rs 373.85 per kg, in a business volume of 623 lots. Analysts said a weakening trend in select base metals in global market amid low demand at the spot markets, mainly weighed on copper prices in futures trade.

Aluminium
Continuing for a third straight day, aluminium prices eased further by 0.21 per cent to Rs 117.30 per kg in futures trade as participants engaged in trimming their positions, tracking a weak trend at spot market on subdued demand from consuming industries. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, aluminium for delivery in December shed 25 paise, or 0.21 per cent, to Rs 117.30 per kg, in a business turnover of 56 lots. Similarly, the metal for delivery in January traded lower by a similar margin to Rs 116.85 per kg in one lot. Market analysts said that offloading of positions by traders, tracking a weak trend at the spot markets due to muted demand from consuming industries, mainly kept aluminium prices lower at futures trade.

Zinc
Prices fell by 1.07 per cent to Rs 175.10 per kg in futures trading as traders engaged in offloading their positions, taking weak cues from spot market due to tepid demand. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, zinc for delivery in January declined by Rs 1.90, or 1.07 per cent, to Rs 175.10 per kg in business turnover of 23 lots. Likewise, the metal for delivery in December contracts moved down by Rs 1.80, or 1.02 per cent to Rs 174.80 per kg in 366 lots. Analysts said cutting down of positions by participants owing to slackened demand from consuming industries in the spot market mainly led to decline in zinc prices at futures trade.

Copper
Comex copper prices were little changed on Friday December 23 amid soft volumes and a general winding down of the market ahead of Christmas. Copper for March delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.2 cents or 0.1% to $2.5015 per pound. Yesterday the contract hit its lowest since mid-November. Despite losing ground over the past few weeks, copper has risen roughly 17% this year on hopes of further Chinese stimulus measures and a possible US infrastructure spending bill that would boost demand for metals. But with the Christmas holiday approaching, profit-taking and a lack of liquidity have resulted in listless trading conditions across commodities. Market participants will return on December 27.

Base metals
Base metals prices were little changed on the London Metal Exchange on Friday December 23 as activity slowed, with few investors willing to take big positions ahead of the year-end holidays. “The overall underlying trends seem to remain bullish but short-term profit-taking ahead of year-end seems to be weighing on prices. “With the Christmas and New Year holidays ahead, we would expect more choppy trading, especially because liquidity is likely to shrink too. pointing to a bullish sentiment for 2017. The three-month copper price fell $ 3 to $ 5,515 per tonne recently, with just 3,270 lots changing hands so far. LME copper stocks fell for the fourth day in a row on Friday, dropping a net 1,275 tonnes to 334,525 tonnes. But inventories are still up by nearly 100,000 tonnes so far this month following large deliveries since December 12. Deliverable copper stocks at Shanghai Futures Exchange-approved warehouses also fell this week, falling 9,649 tonnes or 6.7% to 134,377 tonnes on Friday, having increased by 12,076 tonnes in the previous week.


NCDEX - WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW
India's Apr-Oct guar gum exports up 7% YoY on rise in crude prices India's guar gum exports rose 7% on year during Apr-Oct because the recent rise in crude oil prices has spurred demand for the gum, which is used as a fracking agent in oil drilling and shale gas exploration. The country exported 195,602 tn of guar gum during Apr-Oct, higher than 182,723 tn shipped overseas a year ago, according to data available on the website of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Crude oil prices rose 7.6% during Apr-Nov following as major oil exporting countries initiated talks to cut production in a bid to trim the global glut. The US, however, is not a part of the deal, and higher prices in global markets have triggered more production of crude oil in the country.

Chinese cotton price expected to rise in Q2, 2017 Zhengzhou cotton futures market continued to decrease from last week and began to dive on Dec 19. The most actively contract, May contract, has slumped to 14,905 yuan/mt on Dec 20, down nearly 840yuan/mt in the first two days of this week. From the technical analysis, MACD and KDJ indicators showed signs of adjustment. From the fundamental analysis, cotton futures were affected significantly by the commodity market with the retreat of capital. Moreover, the physical market remained weak. On one hand, the downstream yarn and grey fabric market kept lackluster. Spinning mills’ operating rate decreased slowly and cotton inventory in mills also declined. Grey fabric plants also cut operating rate to face the dull sales. On the other hand, the ginning volumes of new cotton in Xinjiang have exceeded 3.60 million tons, so the total output may reach 4.00 million tons, much higher than market anticipation, weighing on the market.

Pulse buffer-stock seen missing 20-lakh-tonne target The Central government’s ambitious plan of creating a 20 lakh tonnes buffer stock of pulses in 2016-17 to ensure remunerative prices to farmers is most likely to fail if the tardy progress of procurement so far is any indication. The 20-lt target comprises 10 lt of imported pulses and procurement of five lt each from domestic kharif and rabi harvests. Pulse growers are sure to feel short-changed because in many marketing centres prices of kharif pulses are ruling below the minimum support price and the pace of government purchase is rather slow.
Minister says Maharashtra sugar mills may end crushing ops early Low availability of sugarcane may force sugar mills in Maharashtra to end their crushing operations two months earlier than usual, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today, even as industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association said the country will not face shortage of sugar this year. Cane is likely to be in short availability following two years of drought in the state, which is a key producer of sugar. Crushing operations, which normally end in March, might end in January this time, Gadkari said. The roads minister was speaking at the annual general meeting of the Indian Sugar Mills Association today. Gadkari's company Purty Group also has interest in the sugar business. The president of the industry body, Tarun Sawhney, said that there will be no shortage of sugar this year, and stocks in the next year, 2017-18 (Oct-Sep), are likely to be in surplus. The food ministry has estimated sugar output in the current season that began Oct 1 at 22.5 mln tn, down from 25.1 mln tn a year ago.

Soybean prices are surging thanks to ‘stunning’ demand from China China's growing middle class has propped up sales of luxury goods and box-office receipts of Hollywood blockbusters in recent years. Add another beneficiary to the list: Soybeans. Prices of the oilseed are on a tear this year after a torrid 2015, helped by buoyant demand from the mainland that has exacerbated supply disruptions due to weather uncertainties in Argentina and Brazil, two major producers of the commodity.

Indonesian palm oil shipments seen climbing to 13-month high Indonesian palm oil exports probably rose to the highest level in 13 months in November as some buyers replenished stockpiles. Exports of palm and kernels oils increased 5.4% from October to 2.54 million tonnes, according to the median of eight estimates from analysts, traders, refiners and plantation executives compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest since October 2015, data from the Indonesian Palm Oil Association showed. The association, known as Gapki, may release November data in January. “Rising exports in November were due to the tight stocks situation in main buyers such as China and India,” said Derom Bangun, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board. Shipments may have been even higher if a surge in prices hadn’t curbed some demand, he said.

Brazil should produce 39.814 million tonnes of sugar in the 2016/17 crop season, less than the projection given in August of 39.962 million tonnes,
government agency Conab said on Tuesday. Sugar output in the main center-south cane belt is now expected to amount to 36.3 million tonnes,
down from the 36.5 million tonnes previously envisaged. Forecast production in the Northeast region is expected to be up at 3.5 million tonnes from the 3.4 million tonnes predicted in August.

World cotton stocks are forecast to decline 8 percent (7.7 million bales) in 2016/17 to 89.1 million bales, the lowest in 5 years. Despite the considerable decrease from 2014/15’s peak of 111.7 million bales, global ending stocks remain at relatively high levels as excess supplies that have
been stored in China’s national reserve are reduced. In 2016/17, China’s total ending stocks are projected at 47.8 million bales, compared with
66.9 million bales just 2 years ago, or an estimated 54 percent of global stocks at season’s end. China has announced that reserve sales would
begin again in March 2017 in an effort to reduce the excess supplies further.

China: Grain and Feed Update
In spite of China’s economic growth slowdown, Chinese feed demand remains strong. Swine numbers are forecast to recover and poultry production is forecast slightly higher in MY2016/17 and MY2017/18. 2016 has also been a dynamic year for Chinese agricultural policy and market prices. The Central Government has abandoned price support policies for all commodities except wheat and rice. Several new Central and Provincial Government reforms for corn and other feed grains have started liquidation of government surpluses through auctions and processor subsidies, tightened market access for cheaper imports, and ended China’s long-standing price policy supports.


Sugar
Sugar Futures closed higher on Thursday as output for the next season is expected to be lower than the consumption demand and on lower level
buying by the market participants. The most-active March sugar contract closed 1.23% higher to settle at 3,608 per quintal. The country is likely to produce 23.4 mt sugar in 2016/17, down about 7% from a year earlier as back-to-back droughts ravaged cane crops in the top producing western state of Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, according to ISMA press release on 16-Dec-16, sugar production in India has increased by 11.2% this season compared to corresponding period las year. Indian sugar mills produced 53.3 lakh tonne of sugar between Oct. 1 and Dec 15 Vs 47.9 lt. Output in Maharashtra, the top sugar-producing state, was 17.3 lt as on 15-Dec-16, down from 22.5 lt a year ago while Uttar Pradesh produced 17.7 lt of sugar this season compared to 8.52 lt a year ago. The Indian Sugar Mills Association has estimated closing stock at the end of current season at 60-61 lt, equivalent to three months' domestic consumption which was earlier forecasted at 55 lac Tonn.

Global Updates
ICE raw sugar boosted by a pick-up in physical demand after recent declines helped to tighten nearby supplies. Moreover, Brazil trims sugar output forecast for 2016/17. As per government agency, CONAB, Brazil should produce 39.814 mt of sugar in the 2016/17 crop season, less than the projection given in August of 39.962 mt. The prices have fallen last week due to a weakening of the Brazilian real, which could stimulate sugar exports. Moreover, sugar prices also down due to signs of a lower 2016/17 world sugar market deficit and expectations of a surplus in the next season. As per CFTC data, speculators cut a bullish bet in raw sugar by 20,781 contracts to 136,190 in week to December 13. As per, the International Sugar Organization, world sugar production and demand will come back into balance in 2017-18, ending the run of deficits which has left inventories at a "critically low level" in the current season.

Soybean
Soybean futures continue its downtrend on Thursday due to higher production estimate by SOPA and arrivals also picked up in the physical market. The most-active Jan’17 delivery contract closed 1.20% lower to settle at Rs. 2,976 per quintal. There is an expectation that the arrivals of soybean in the domestic market keeping the supplies more than the demand. For India, USDA estimates 2016/17 soybean production 1.8 metric tonn higher this month to 11.5 mt based on reports of better than expected yields. As a consequence, Indian soybean meal exports in 2016/17 could recover to 1.8 MT.

Global update
CBOT soybean futures fell to a new one-month on Thursday due to forecasts for rain in Argentina may increase world soybean production. Rains in dry areas of Argentina, a major exporter, pressured soybeans as traders projected South America will stay on track to produce a bumper harvest that will compete with U.S. exports. Earlier this month, dryness in Argentina fuelled worries about planting problems, and soybean futures prices rose on hopes for increased demand. As per USDA report, world soybean production raised by 1.9 mt this month to 338 mt compared to 336.1mt last month on higher projected yields for India and Canada.

Rape/mustard Seed
Mustard seed futures fell for the fourth session this week on Thursday on good physical supplies from the last season crop and improved sowing progress in Rajasthan. The Jan’17 contract ended about 0.03% down to settle at Rs. 4,370/quintal. As per agriculture ministry data, Country’s mustard acreage in the ongoing rabi season touched 65.5 lakh hectares as on Dec 16 up 9.7% from a year ago. Rajasthan, the top mustard producing state, planted 27.6 lakh ha, up 16% from a year ago similarly acreage under mustard increase in Uttar Pradesh at 11.75 lh Vs 11.9 lh last year. In MP, mustard is sown in 6.84 lh Vs 6.2 lh last year same time. Govt increases mustard MSP by 350 rupees/100 kg to 3,700 rupees for FY16-17 which includes bonus of Rs.100 / quintals.


Refined Soy Oil
Refined soy oil futures continue to close lower on Thursday tracking international prices and expectation of good domestic soy crushing which may reduce export dependence. The most active Ref Soy oil Jan’17 expiry contract closed 0.78% lower to settle at Rs. 713.9/10kg. Despite the increase in tariff values the prices are under pressure as there is sufficient domestic soybean production. The tariff value of crude soyoil was raised by $42 per tn to $912 which was the sixth increase in three month by the government. The tariff value of soy oil has been increase by about 21.3% since mid july. Despite increase in tariff prices, the record oilseed production in country is weighing on the soy oil prices. As per SEA data, India import of soybean oil declined to 1,64,286 tonnes in Nov from 2,56,836 tonnes in the year-ago period while, India’s 2015/16 crude soyoil import 4.23 mt vs 2.99 mt – an increase of 41% y/y for the current oil year.

Crude Palm Oil
CPO Futures closed lower on Thursday tracking international prices. In the domestic market, the stocks are sufficient and the demand is also on lower side due to winter. The most active CPO Dec’16 expiry closed 0.55% lower to settle at Rs. 563.8 per 10 kg. On 15-Dec-16, the tariff value of CPO increase by $ 16 to $ 780/tonne for the 2nd half of Dec compared to previous fortnight. This is fourth straight increase but still lower than the September tariff price. In domestic market, the prices are following the international market as country is depending on the imports. As per SEA data, Palm oil imports fell by 8.27% to 8,01,311 tonnes in Nov this year, on expected bumper oilseeds crop and better domestic edible oils supply. As per USDA, the imports in 2016/17 will be higher by 14% to 10 mt and consumption too increases by 11% in India. Malaysian palm oil futures falls on Thursday on profit booking from higher levels due to lower export demand in December. Shipment data released on Tuesday by cargo surveyors Intertek Testing
Services and Societe Generale de Surveillance showed a 14.4% drop in exports for Dec. 1-20, compared with the Nov. 1-20 figures.

Jeera
Jeera futures closed lower on Thursday tracking drop in the physical market. The demand for exports has supported the jeera prices but the good sowing progress is weighing on prices. NCDEX Jan’17 Jeera closed 1.66% down to settle at Rs 16,935 per quintal. The progress of Jeera sowing in Gujarat is good. As on 12-Dec-16, Gujarat farmers have planted jeera in 2,56,800 hectares, up by 5.6% compared to last year acreage of 2,43,000 hectares same period. As per traders, India's jeera exports are likely to rise 30% to 88,000 tn in Apr-Dec, because of robust demand from overseas market and
negligible stocks in other exporting nations. The stock position in NCDEX warehouse as on 16-Dec-2016, new Jeera stock position at NCDEX approved warehouses in Jodhpur and Unjha is totaled at 206 tonnes while it was 173 tonnes last week. Last year stocks were about 4,840 tonnes. According Department of commerce data, the exports of Jeera in the first six months (Apr-Sep) of 2016-17 is recorded at 70,809 tonnes, higher by 51% compared to same period last year.

Turmeric
Turmeric futures closed little lower on Thursday on chart based trading. The prices have declined in recently as market is expecting a good crop this season. Turmeric Jan’17 delivery contract on NCDEX closed lower by 0.52% to settle at Rs 6,822 per quintal. The stock positions of Turmeric in the Exchange warehouses in the current season are only stock at Sangali (1142 tonnes as on 16-Dec-16) while last year the stocks were stored in Duggirala, Erode and Nizamabad too and recorded about 4446 tonnes. On the export front, country exported about 51,147 tonnes of turmeric during April-September period, up by 27% to 58,233 tonnes compared last year, as per government data. Expectations of increasing production in coming harvesting season and lowering export demand in recent months are putting pressure on turmeric prices at higher levels. Turmeric acreage in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was higher this year as compared last year.

Kapas
Cotton complex continue to trade sideways to lower on anticipation of good arrivals in physical market coupled with normal demand. For the current season, cotton arrivals in the country is expected to have reached about 20 % for total expected arrivals of 350 lakh bales at 68.25 lakh bales as on 15 Dec, 2016. As per latest release by CAI, the total supplies of cotton in the domestic market during 2016/17 will be lower at 408 lakh bales compared to last year supplies of 427 lakh bales due less carry over stock and imports. As per USDA monthly report, for India, the 2016/17 crop is forecast at 27.0 million bales, up 2% from 2015/16, despite a 12% reduction in area as farmers looked to alternatives in 2016/17. The cotton mill use is projected at 23.75 million bales, 500,000 bales below 2015/16 and a 3- year low while the stocks are projected at 11.8 million bales, 8% higher than a year ago, accounting for 13%of global stocks. On the trade front, 2016/17 export forecast is 5.3 million bales ( 170 kg bales)or / 914,000 mt. Recently, CAI estimated 356 lakh bales (170 kg each) for the season 2016-17 (Oct-Sep), as against the government’s first estimate of 321.2 lakh bales. Cotton area is down by 11.6% at 105.6 lh against 116 lh last year.

Global Cotton Updates
ICE Cotton futures closed little higher due to good export demand recently. Export demand for cotton has been robust in recent weeks and traders are largely anticipating strong demand again in Thursday's report. Cotton net sales exports for the period December 9-15, 2016 is 1,812,700 MT for 2016/2017 were down 10% from the previous week, but up 9% from the prior 4-week average. CFTC data showed that in the week to Dec. 13, speculators lifted their bullish position in cotton contracts to a record high for the fourth straight week, adding 630 contracts to their net long position, taking it to 103,645 contracts. As per USDA latest report, the global 2016/17 forecasts show higher production (22.7 mt Vs 22.5 mt)and increased ending stocks (19.4 mt Vs 19.2 mt) compared with last month. Production is raised for Australia(0.87 mt Vs 0.98 mt), the US (3.6 mt Vs 3.6 mt), and others (3.65mt Vs 3.63 mt). Consumption is reduced for India, the United States, and South Korea, and raised for China and Vietnam.



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