(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher after a bigger-than-expected increase in US inventories, which wiped out the prior week’s decline. The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that stockpiles of crude oil rose by 6.8 million barrels to 483.3 million barrels in the week ended May 31. This compares with the American Petroleum Institute, meanwhile, which said Tuesday that crude inventories grew by 3.5 million barrels. Finally, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE) reported Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US dropped by 11 to 789 in the week that ended June 7, the fewest in operation since Feb. 2, 2018. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US fell by nine to 975 as gas rigs rose by two to 186. Meanwhile, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Friday fresh sanctions against Iran’s largest petrochemical company, Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries company, for providing financial support to the engineering conglomerate of the Revolutionary Guard. The foreign assets watchdog also designated Persian Gulf Petrochemical’s 39 subsidiary petrochemical companies and foreign-based agents.
Light, sweet crude oil for July delivery gained 1.37% for the week, settling at $52.59 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline was down 1.40% during the week and settled at $1.71 per gallon on Friday. Natural gas fell 5.03% for the week but closed up Friday at $2.32 per 1 million British thermal unit.
The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) rose 1.35% this week, compared with a decline of 1.95% the prior week.
Gold ended Friday’s session at $1,342.70, near its highest level in about five years. The yellow metal has ended in positive territory for eight consecutive sessions now, but this week’s gain of 2.67% was bolstered by weaker-than-expected US jobs growth in May, which also spurred declines in the dollar and US Treasury yields. In contrast, copper closed Friday’s session lower at $2.65 per pound, and fell 0.27% for the week — the eighth consecutive weekly decline amid worsening trade and signs that economic growth across the globe is slowing. Additionally, the disappointing US jobs data out Friday had weakened the demand outlook for metals. The US said May nonfarm payrolls increased 75,000 in May, down from the revised April figure of 263,000 and badly missing consensus for 180,000. The unemployment rate was steady at 3.6% versus the 3.7% expected.
In agriculture commodities, corn fell 2.75% in the week and settled at $4.16 per bushel in Friday’s session; wheat slipped 0.26% lower and settled at $5.05 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and soybeans was down 2.62% for the week, and closed Friday in the red at $8.56 per bushel. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that two Chinese state-owned companies — OFCO and Sinograin — will divert up to 7 million tonnes of soybeans bought from the US to state reserves. The amount to be stockpiled is what is remaining from the 14 million tonnes of soybeans that the two companies ordered in December 2018 from the US, the Tuesday report added. The beans are yet to be shipped. One of the sources reportedly said the move is Beijing’s preparation for “a long-drawn trade war.” Other commodities were mixed: sugar had a weekly increase of 3.48% and settled at a price of $1.25 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.01 per pound at Friday’s close, down 3.99% for the week; and cocoa was up 2.04% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,466 per tonne.
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The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total ReturnSM (SDCITR) is an index designed to reflect the performance of a portfolio of 14 commodity futures. The index is reformulated each month from 27 possible futures contracts. The 14 selected contracts are equally weighted and represent six sectors: Energy (WTI crude oil, Brent crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoil, RBOB gasoline), Precious Metals (gold, silver, platinum), Industrial Metals (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc), Grains (corn, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, wheat), Livestock (live cattle, feeder cattle, lean hogs) and Softs (coffee, cocoa, cotton and sugar). One Cannot invest directly in an index.
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USO001994 Ex. 9/30/2019