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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Renewed Trade War Jitters Weigh on Precious Metals, Agricultural Commodities; Oil Slumps on Higher Crude Supplies

(MT Newswires) – – Crude ended in negative territory for the week, as the the possibility of a higher crude supply continued to rattle global markets. Next week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will hold a meeting where heavyweights Russia and Saudi Arabia will probably signal an increase in production, ending a policy of curtailing output to remove excess supply. Saudi Arabia is looking at raising production by 500,000 to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and Russia is mulling lifting it by as much as 1.5 million barrels a day, according to media reports. However, certain OPEC members such as Iran and Venezuela look to be resistant to the move, and so the increase may not be as much as Saudi Arabia and Russia want. In the US, Baker Hughes (BHGE) reported that the number of oil rigs operating in the US over a rolling seven-day period ending June 15 rose by one to 863, its highest level since March 13, 2015. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US fell by three to 1,059 as gas rigs slipped by four to 194. Expectations for the increase in crude supplies had been bolstered earlier in the week by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which revised up its estimate for 2018 non-OPEC production growth to 2 million bpd and a “bumper growth” of 1.7 million bpd in 2019. The US shows by far “the biggest gain” in output, about 75% of the total across 2018 and 2019, the IEA noted.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for July delivery was down 1.4% and closed at $65.06 per barrel. In other energy futures, gasoline fell during the week, down 4.42% and settled at $2.01 per gallon at the close of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 3.89% higher this week and was higher in Friday’s session at $3.02 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 2.66% this week, from an decline of 0.09% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday lower, settling at $1,278.50 to finish the week down 1.62%, and reversing mid-week gains as the dollar continued to rise amid rekindled trade war fears. President Donald Trump approved tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese goods, as the US ratcheted up its trade fight with Beijing over China’s alleged pressure on US firms to transfer technology to Chinese partners. China is expected to retaliate with its own tariffs in return. Earlier in the week, the yellow metal held modest gains despite a much bigger-than-expected increase in US retail sales in the month of May. The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped by 0.8% in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4% in April. That will likely result in US GDP above 4% in the second quarter. The Federal Reserve said this week that it intends to raise interest rates twice more in 2018 in order to prevent the economy from overheating. Copper, meanwhile, settled at $3.14 at the end of Friday’s session, and was down 5.08% for the week — the biggest weekly drop since April. Throughout the week the markets have been grappling with concerns over the slowing of growth, particularly in China, which is the top metals buyer. The new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods could put more pressure on China’s economy. This is coupled with China’s weaker-than-expected industrial output, investment and retail sales for May.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly lower: sugar had a weekly decline of 1.36% and settled at a price of $0.12 per ton on Friday; coffee was at $1.15 per pound at Friday’s close, with a weekly drop of 1.58%; and cocoa rose 3.71% for the week and closed Friday’s at $2,519. Among grains, corn was down 3.46% in the week and settled at $3.82 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat was down 4.86% for the week and settled at $5.13 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Soybeans took another weekly tumble, down 6.11%, closing at $9.31 per bushel on Friday as most traders saw the fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods as largely negative for the soybean market. China could impose its own tariffs, particularly on agricultural products like soybeans and beef. Previously, China had threatened to impose a 25% tariff on American soybean imports.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) fell 1.73% for the week, compared with a decline of 1.84% in the prior week.

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

US FED

Powell Looks to Separate Himself From Yellen, Stresses `Practical’ Approach to Interest Rate Hikes

9:35 AM, Jun 14, 2018 — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a generally soothing news conference on Wednesday, stressed his “practical” approach to rate hikes, keeping pace with a strengthening economy while being careful not to do too much.

The chair confirmed that he will indeed begin holding a news conference after every Federal Open Market Committee meeting to an unprecedented amount of Fed guidance to the markets beginning in January — and making clear the Fed is moving past the Janet Yellen era with a new chairman in place.

“That will give us more opportunities to explain our actions and answer questions,” he said.

The latest dot-plot projections, which Powell said will continue to be updated only quarterly, pegged median growth up 0.3 points to 2.8% this year, 2.4% next year and just 2% in 2020, less than the at least 3% projected by the Trump administration steadily through the next three years.

Yet Powell, on that question as well as on whatever is the neutral rate of unemployment, suggested he is willing to let future data resolve any discrepancy rather than being concerned about forecasts for which precision is impossible.

The Powell Fed remains “grounded in the data,” he said, with a lean toward “practical” policy, perhaps in contrast to any more rigid academic theory. His answers to questions were notably free of economic jargon. The view of Fed officials implied that when this year is ended, there will have been four rate hikes, or one more per quarter.

Powell said the labor participation rate, having moved hardly at all, is actually sending a positive signal, since the retirement of Baby Boomers and other factors would be expected to show it declining.

“We expect the job market to remain strong,” he said.

The FOMC’s policy statement repeated “the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative” and Powell acknowledged that at some point that language will have to be dropped. That question, of when, is another that at this point is unanswerable, he suggested.

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1.75 to 2 percent,” the policy statement said. “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting strong labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.”

The dot plot suggested the unemployment rate at the end of this year will be 3.6%. a bit lower than was seen previously, he said. Inflation has moved close to the 2% target and Powell reaffirmed that the Fed not overreact if it slips above that mark for a time.

“We do not want to declare victory” on inflation, he said, until it can be shown that a 2% rate can be sustained, and at the same time the Fed would continue to be concerned if inflation persistently ran above or below the target. Higher oil prices, he said, will alone likely be enough to take inflation above 2% in the months ahead but nevertheless is a temporary influence with little lasting effect on the long-term.

The FOMC statement no longer said the federal funds rate is expected to remain accommodative for some time, something Powell said was to be expected as short-term rates approach whatever is the neutral interest rate.

“We expect to make further gradual increases in that rate,” he said.

The natural rate of unemployment, he said, moves very slowly with “wide bands of uncertainty.” On wages, he said it’s a “bit of a puzzle” as to why wages have not had a more positive reaction to the growing scarcity of labor.

The FOMC did not alter its announced program to shrink its balance sheet but it did what Powell termed a “minor technical adjustment” in its rate of interest on excess reserves, again, as expected, setting it five basis points below the Fed funds ceiling.

Powell, answering questions, said he is not overly concerned about being close to the “zero bound,” where the policy rate is zero, now that the fed funds rate tops out at 2%, and that risks are roughly balanced. In fact, Powell reflected few concerns about policy or the economy, other than non-financial corporate bonds, where leverage, he said, is above historical averages. The fact the yield curve is flattening, rather than being a warning sign, is what is to be expected when the Fed is raising rates, he said.

Staying with Yellen’s trajectory on rate hikes, Powell said, has borne fruit, but future data will determine whether that trajectory needs to change. Asked how the Fed is dealing as a regulator with the marijuana legalization by many states while banks are still constrained by the federal prohibition Powell said he wished Congress would resolve the legal confusion.

Asked if the Fed has a view of the Trump administration’s turbulent trade policy, Powell said he is not inclined to comment other than to say he would rate it another risk factor.

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Microsoft Unveils Office Apps Revamp With Simplified Ribbon, Search Functions

11:12 AM, Jun 13, 2018 — Microsoft (MSFT) is revamping its Office applications, which the company said is the world’s most-used productivity product, after it gathered feedback from users to guide design changes that it’s touting as a “balance of power and simplicity.”

Business and consumer customers will start getting the refreshed design of the software beginning from Wednesday, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said. The technology giant also said it’s conducted a survey within the product to “ascertain how features make people feel.”

“Through gathering feedback from thousands of people, we’ve found that people react most positively to feeling in control, productive and secure,” Trish Miner, Microsoft’s principal design researcher, said in a statement. The Office suite includes Word for documents, PowerPoint for presentations, Excel for spreadsheets and Outlook for email.

Initial changes including new icons and colors meant to modernize Office and make it “more inclusive and accessible,” Microsoft said. The revamp is offering a simplified version of the ribbon set of toolbars, and the search function will bring up suggestions when a user just places their cursor in the search box.

“Customers will benefit from a more simplified experience while maintaining the full power of Office and a design ethos that is more inclusive — empowering everyone to create, communicate and collaborate,” Microsoft said.

In a blog post, Microsoft said the updates will be deployed to select customers in stages and will be moved into production “only after they’ve made it through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement.”

Companies: Microsoft Corporation
Price: 101.56 Price Change: +0.25 Percent Change: +0.24

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Oil Slips Lower on Higher US Output, Possible Venezuela, Iran Production Cuts; Gold Sees Weekly Gain on Trade War Jitters Ahead of G7 Summit

(MT Newswires) – -Crude ended in negative territory for the week, with the weakness in oil prices as traders mulled signs that the US again inched closer to becoming the world’s largest oil producer; this, however, was counterbalanced by risks to the global output from geopolitical worries in Iran and cuts in Venezuela. Data from energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE) showed the number of oil rigs operating in the US over a rolling seven-day period ending June 8 rose by one to 862, its highest level since March 13, 2015. Earlier in the week, the EIA reported that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 92 billion cubic feet for the week ended June 1. The increase was in line with average expectations of analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 1.817 trillion cubic feet, down 799 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 512 billion below the five-year average. Meanwhile, oil prices have been undermined by the continuing economic crisis in Venezuela, which has forced cuts to the beleaguered country’s oil production. Additionally, the US plans to reinstate sanctions against Iran, the third-biggest producer in the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which also is likely to hit crude production and exports.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for July delivery was down 0.12% and closed at $65.74 per barrel. In other energy futures, gasoline fell during the week, down 0.09% and settled at $2.12 per gallon at the close of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, natural gas fell 2.68% lower this week and was down in Friday’s session at $2.89 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 0.09% this week, from an increase of 0.45% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session higher, settling at $1,302.70 to finish the week 0.40% higher, benefiting from its safe haven appeal, and equities floundered as tensions flared between long-time allies ahead of the G7 summit in Canada.  President Donald Trump sent out a series of provocative tweets aimed at France and Canada in retaliation to their support of excluding the US from a joint G7 statement. Earlier in the week, gold had seen some modest gains as the  dollar weakened versus the euro, amid hopes that Italy’s coalition government can get the nation’s economy into high gear. Meanwhile, copper was up at Friday’s session, settling at $3.30, and was 6.63% higher in the last five days. The surge in prices was sparked by concerns over the labor talks at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile, which have remained unresolved, and consequently raised fears that mine output, which contributes to about 5% of global copper supply, could be affected.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly lower: sugar had a weekly decline of 2.16% and settled at a price of $0.12 per ton on Friday; coffee was at $1.23 per pound at Friday’s close, with a weekly drop of 4.44%; and cocoa fell 3.42% for the week and closed Friday’s at $2,393. Among grains, corn was down 3.52% in the week and settled at $3.78 per bushel in Friday’s session; and wheat was up 0.05% for the week and settled at $5.20 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Soybeans had a weekly decline of 5.37%, closing at $9.69 per bushel on Friday. This weekly decline is the biggest since August 2017 amid expectations for a bumper crop in North America, following forecasts for beneficial rains in the US Midwest.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) fell 1.84% for the week, compared with an increase of 3.13% in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER  

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

North Korea & USA Flag_Stock Images

Summit With US May Open North Korea Economy That’s Already Seeing Seeds of Growth

9:49 AM, Jun 5, 2018 — A June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore is seen as a calculated gamble that could end almost seven decades of hostility that started with the Korean War in June 1950.

If successful, the summit could transform economics on the Korean Peninsula.

Some business-minded North Koreans already have ties to Singapore, however, where the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel fronts the dazzling Gardens on the Bay on land reclaimed from the sea.

Singapore citizen Geoffrey See, who studied at Wharton School — as did Trump — created the Choson Exchange in 2007, which has grown into a program that brings North Korean entrepreneurs to the wealthy city-state for “mini-MBAs” and holds practical business workshops on business planning in the hermit kingdom. The program also takes business owners on field trips to Malaysia and Vietnam.

See’s associate program manager Ian Bennett told MT Newswires that thousands of policymakers, entrepreneurs and business managers in North Korea eager to understand the mysteries of balance sheets, networking, business law and economics.

“We see huge entrepreneurial spirit in North Korea right out in the open,” Bennett said in a telephone call from his home base in London. “The days of hiding goods for sale under a blanket gone. The gray economy is very big now.”

The country faces UN-backed economic sanctions on imports and exports as well as financial transactions. The sanctions are effective in limiting trade in some areas, but arms shipments and commodities are still moved, Bennett said.

Banking and money transfers too are surprisingly easy and “quicker than Western Union” under a system of transfers where a call from North Korea to money changers worldwide gets cash to places from New York to Seoul, he said.

“It’s still largely a cash system dollars, euro and North Korean won and Chinese yuan – but it has efficiencies,” he said.

That’s a bit different than the picture painted in the CIA World Factbook that says North Korea’s economy had an estimated gross domestic product of $28 billion in 2013 for its 25 million citizens who have a per-capita income of $1,700.

“Since 2002, the government has allowed semi-private markets to begin selling a wider range of goods, allowing North Koreans to partially make up for diminished public distribution system rations,” the Factbook says. “It also implemented changes in the management process of communal farms in an effort to boost agricultural output.”

By contrast the 51 million people in South Korea have a $1.5 trillion GDP and a per-capita income of $39,400, making it a member of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

“There is a lot that needs to be fixed in North Korea, but economic sanctions and other controls have also sparked local products like electricity surge protectors that are surprisingly robust,” Bennett said. “There are a surprising number of such companies as there are mobile phones, point-of-sales transactions and technology despite a largely cash society.”

Initial public offerings on the Kospi, Hang Seng or the Shanghai Composite may be some ways off. But plenty of property and services firms in China, Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong would rush to North Korea for planned cities with Shenzhen-listed Vanke and Singapore’s City Development regularly on the hunt for such mega projects in developing Asia.

Bennett said much of the infrastructure in North Korea is linked to the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula in World War II. One way the country is trying to grow is by state-backed plans such as theWonsan-Kalma beach resort that’s now under construction “to make our people enjoy the highest civilization at the highest level,” Kim was quoted as saying by state-run news agency KCNA.

For his part, Trump said it’ll take work to make North Korea great again.

“North Korea has a chance to be a great country and it can’t be a country under these circumstances they are living right now,” he said in May. “I think they should seize the opportunity. His country would be very rich.”

Richard Koo, chief economist at the Nomura Research Institute in Singapore, however, said there’s skepticism about trusting the authoritarian regime in North Korea. Started by Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, and handed to son Kim Jong-Il under a cult of personality, North Korea operates an economic order known as juche (self-reliance). It is regularly cited for systemic human rights abuses, including the kidnapping of Japanese citizens and the death of US student Otto Warmbier.

But Koo said the grandson could be attempting to change the economic dynamic for the country in profound ways, which makes this summit particularly important, especially any perceived shift to influence by the US and regional players like Singapore.

“It really is high stakes,” Koo said in an interview. “China is certainly concerned about how far the younger Kim will go in talks with Trump. This could be an unprecedented diplomatic event.”

Still, China has its own aces in its Belt and Road Initiative to re-open the legendary Silk Road trading routes in greater Asia and its main backing of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank — a companion of sorts to the Japanese-backed Asian Development Bank for big regional development projects.

“China could bring a lot of money to bear on any major redevelopment of North Korea, taking the heat of South Korea to foot a costly aid effort that the US would be reluctant to spend too much on,” Bennett said. “More than a few companies in Asia, and elsewhere, would like to see that happen.”

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Apple Unveils iOS 12 With Augmented Reality Focus, Usage Tracking Functions

2:32 PM, Jun 4, 2018 — Apple (AAPL) unveiled the latest version of its iOS mobile operating system with an emphasis on augmented reality functions, and debuted applications that can help users take control of how much time they spend on their devices.

Apple iOS12 is “designed to make everyday tasks faster and more responsive,” the Cupertino, California-based technology giant said in a statement on Monday, released after the system was introduced at Apple’s developer conference.

“With iOS 12, we’re enabling new experiences that weren’t possible before,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering. “We’re using advanced algorithms to make AR even more engaging and on-device intelligence to deliver faster ways to get things done using Siri.”

The camera function under iOS12 launches up to 70% faster, the keyboard appears up to 50% quicker with more responsible typing, Apple said. The new ARKit 2 allows developers the ability to create augmented reality apps, “with new tools to integrate shared experiences, persistent AR experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking, making AR apps even more dynamic.”

Apple debuted new types of emojis, unveiled modifications to FaceTime including group chats, and the ability to customize the Siri personal assistant with shortcuts. The iPhone and iPad maker also said new tools will “help customers understand and take control of the time they spend interacting with their iOS devices.”

The operating system has the ability to track usage, deliver activity reports and set times to limit usage for children, Apple said. iOS12 will be available widely as a free update in the fall of 2018.

Companies: Apple Inc.
Price: 192.24 Price Change: +2.00 Percent Change: +1.05

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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: OPEC Output Curbs, Rising US Production Weigh on Oil; Gold Slumps on Strong Jobs Data; Geopolitical Concerns and Trade War Fears Wane

(MT Newswires) – -Crude ended in negative territory for the week — suffering its lowest finish since April, following reports of rising US production as well as the possibility that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies would taper production curbs, if not outright boost crude output to help offset output losses from Iran and Venezuela. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported that US crude supplies fell by 3.620 million barrels for the week ended May 25, confounding expectations for a draw of just 400,000 barrels. But, monthly data on Thursday showed that US crude production increased 2.1% to 10.474 million barrels a day in March, up from February. It was also up 14.6% from March 2017. Meanwhile, officials from Saudi Arabia had expressed their intent to step up production gradually while maintaining its quota agreement with OPEC. Earlier in the week, the organization has said it would maintain its output cuts. Finally, Baker Hughes’ (BHGE) rig count report showed the number of oil rigs operating in the US jumped by 2 to 861 — the third consecutive week of gains and near the highest level since mid March 2015.

Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for July delivery was down 2.71% and closed at $65.81 per barrel. In other energy futures, gasoline fell during the week, down 1.13% and settled at $2.14 per gallon at the close of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, natural gas edged 0.37% higher this week and was up in Friday’s session at $2.96 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 0.45% this week, from a decline of 0.69% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower, settling at $1,299.30; and finished the week 0.70% lower. In the first half of the week the yellow metal benefitted from its safe haven appeal, as concerns over developments in Italian politics, as well as more trade war fears, drove most traders away from equities. But equities took a higher turn on Friday, and gold slumped after Italian politicians agreed on a coalition government, averting the prospect of a snap election and ending the uncertainty in the eurozone’s third-largest economy. Back home, strong US jobs data also helped buoy stocks, with nonfarm payrolls rising ahead of expectations with a gain of 223,000 in May versus estimates for a 190,000 rise. The unemployment rate firmed at 3.8% versus estimates for 3.9% and also 3.9% for the previous month. Meanwhile, aluminum and copper made modest gains following President Donald Trump’s announcement of new US tariffs on  imports of steel and aluminum from three of its biggest trade partners — Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The European Union said it will open a case with the World Trade Organization questioning the tariffs, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will also file a challenge to the levies with the WTO, calling the tariffs “illegal and counterproductive.” Copper rose 0.41% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $3.09 per pound; aluminum had a weekly rise of 1.37% and settled at $2,292 per ton.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed, with grains trading mostly lower: corn was down 3.87% in the week and settled at $3.92 per bushel in Friday’s session; soybeans had a weekly decline of 1.70%, closing at $10.21 per bushel on Friday; and wheat was down 3.95% for the week and settled at $5.23 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, sugar had a weekly gain of 0.32% and settled at a price of $0.12 per ton on Friday; coffee was at $1.23 per pound at Friday’s close, with a weekly gain of 1.79%; and cocoa fell 4.03% for the week and closed Friday’s at $2,458. Cocoa prices slumped this week after the International Cocoa Organization lowered its global production estimates and boosted its demand forecasts for the 2017-2018 season, according to a report on MarketWatch. The organization said in its quarterly report that in 2017-18 cocoa supply will surpass demand by just 10,000 metric tons, a decline from the 105,000-ton surplus it forecast at the end of February. The ICC also said it projects production to be  4.587 million tons, a 3.3% annual drop.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 3.13% for the week, compared with an increase of 1.80% in the prior week.

 

Copyright © 2018 MT Newswires, www.mtnewswires.com.

Information Contact: Justin Hillstrom – 720.917.0770 Email: Justin.hillstrom@alpsinc.com, Website is www.uscfinvestments.com

Investing involves risks, including loss of principal.

Commodity ETP Disclosures:  Download a copy of a Fund’s Prospectus by clicking one of the following:
USCIUSAGUSOUSLUSOUDNOUSODBNOUNGUNL, UGAUHN, or CPER  

Please read any Prospectus carefully before investing.

These Funds are not mutual funds or any other type of Investment Company within the meaning of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and are not subject to regulation thereunder.

Commodity trading is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Commodities and futures generally are volatile and are not suitable for all investors. Investing in commodity interests subject each Fund to the risks of its related industry. An investor may lose all or substantially all of an investment. These risks could result in large fluctuations in the price of a particular Fund’s respective shares. Funds that focus on a single sector generally experience greater volatility. Leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products pursue daily leveraged investment objectives which means they are riskier than alternatives which do not use leverage. They are not suitable for all investors and should be utilized only by investors who understand leverage risk and who actively manage their investments. For further discussion of these and additional risks associated with an investment in the Funds please read the respective Fund Prospectus before investing.

Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Performance is historical and does not guarantee future results; current performance may be lower or higher. Investment returns/principal value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Most recent performance is available at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This information is intended for U.S. residents.

Funds distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. 

European Union to File Case With WTO Opposing US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

9:52 AM, Jun 1, 2018 — The European Union will open a case with the World Trade Organization over tariffs placed on steel and aluminum imports by the US, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday.

“The European Union will today proceed with the WTO dispute settlement case adding those additional duties on a number of imports from the United States,” Mogherini said. “The European Union measures will be reasonable, proportionate and in full compliance with WTO rules and obligations.”

US President Trump on Thursday said he would end the suspension of tariffs on steel or aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union under Section 232, which indicates the administration believes there’s an effect by imports on national security.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariffs “illegal and counterproductive” and said Canada will file a challenge to the levies with the WTO.

“It is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the US and we will continue to stand up for Canadian workers & Canadian businesses,” he said in a tweet. “These countermeasures will only apply to goods originating from the US and will take effect on July 1, and will remain in place until the US eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada. Canada will impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the US — we are imposing dollar for dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canadians by the US.”

The Mexican government said in a statement late Thursday that it will impose “equivalent measure” on products including flat steel, pork products and a bevy of fruits from the US.

“Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the government said.

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Bank of Canada

Bank of Canada Holds Target Rate as Expected But Tone Change Signals July Hike

12:33 PM, May 30, 2018 — Canada’s central bank held its benchmark lending rate on hold as expected Wednesday, but a change in language in the accompanying statement has analysts projecting a hike at the next meeting in July.

The target for the overnight rate was held at 1.25% by the Bank of Canada, in line with consensus on Econoday. Inflation in Canada has been close to the 2% target and will likely run higher given rising gasoline prices, the central bank said. Economic data is supporting the outlook for 2% growth in the first half of 2018, with signs of slightly stronger than expected activity in the first quarter.

“Developments since April further reinforce Governing Council’s view that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target,” the bank said. The council “will take a gradual approach to policy adjustments, guided by incoming data.”

The statement took out a reference made in April that “some monetary policy accommodation will still be needed to keep inflation on target” and changed wording from a previous comment that the council “will remain cautious with respect to future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data.”

The change caught analysts’ attention. “By dropping ‘cautious’ the BoC sent a hawkish signal to the markets,” said Derek Holt, vice president with Scotiabank Economics. “Nothing in this statement reads that the BoC views its work as done for the year; indeed, much to the contrary as the BoC took a further step toward teeing up a July hike and at least one more thereafter this year.”

Recent data “point to some upside to the outlook for the US economy” while ongoing uncertainty about trade politics is weighing on global business investment, the Bank of Canada said. The regulator also said “stresses are developing in some emerging market economies” and “global oil prices have been higher than assumed in April, in part reflecting geopolitical developments.”

RBC Economics’ Josh Nye said that while the odds of a July hike have increased, they’re also looking to affirm expectations with evidence of firming second-quarter growth, a positive business outlook survey, stabilization in home sales and household borrowing and further indications of core inflation around 2% and wage growth at 3%.

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Costco Sales Strong in March, April as Company Focuses on E-Commerce, RBC Says

7:59 AM, May 29, 2018 — Sales at Costco (COST) were strong in March and April and e-commerce continues to grow despite competition from major players including Amazon (AMZN) and Wal-Mart (WMT), RBC Capital Markets said on Tuesday.

“Continued in-store traffic growth coupled with a burgeoning e-commerce channel, makes Costco one of the best stories in Hardline/Broadline Retail,” the bank said. “(We) remain buyers.”

Same-store sales are still “robust” after two strong months. US comps, ex-foreign exchange and ex-fuel, for March rose 6.7% while Aprils gained 7.9%, well ahead of consensus for 4.3% and 6.6%, respectively, RBC said. Including FX and fuel, comps jumped 8.6% in March and 11% in April.

Gas and foreign exchange continue to add to the company’s topline results, and core comp trends remain among the bets in retail, RBC said. Costco has shown a consistent level of execution and e-commerce remains in focus.

E-commerce sales in March jumped 33% and 43% in April, the bank said. Costco is the best in the industry for per-unit pricing and its limited SKU count, low operating costs and GM structure enables them to pass savings to customers. Its ability to create value for consumers is one of the reasons for its success, RBC said.

“While players like Amazon and Walmart continue to battle for a competitive edge (both domestically and internationally), Costco continues to grind out impressive sales results, led by strong comps and continued traffic gains,” the bank said. “Additionally, the company’s focus on e-commerce efforts continue to augment core store-level growth.”

Companies: Costco Wholesale Corporation
Price: 198.36 Price Change: -0.53 Percent Change: -0.27

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