(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session higher, as fears of disruptions to global oil supplies helped offset growth worries. An uptick in crude’s prices came on the heels of the news that Hurricane Michael made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a category 4 storm. Following hurricane warnings, offshore producers including Anadarko Petroleum, BHP Billiton, BP and Chevron reportedly evacuated workers from 13 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf — this is expected to cut oil production in the Gulf by about 40%. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Iran’s economy would contract over the next two years due to reduced oil production as US sanctions targeting Iran’s crude oil exports come into force on Nov. 4. However, it forecast increased growth in Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich neighbors in the Gulf on the back of higher oil production. Back home, the Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported that commercial crude inventories in the US increased by 6.0 million barrels from the previous week. This compares with the week earlier build of 8 million barrels and the American Petroleum Institute’s report Wednesday looking for a major build of 9.75 million barrels. Finally, Baker Hughes (BHGE) said late Friday the number of oil rigs operating in the US rose by eight to 869, the biggest advance in 10 weeks.
Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for November delivery was down 3.8%, settling at $71.34 per barrel at the close of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline declined during the week, edging 6.8% lower and settling at $1.940 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 2.7% this week but was down Friday at $3.088 per 1 million British thermal unit.
The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 1.2% this week, from an increase of 0.97% in the previous week.
Gold ended the Friday session lower as equities recovered from sharp selling, settling at $1.222 but eventually ended the week up 1.2%. The yellow metal slipped lower on Tuesday to a one-week low as the US dollar hit a seven-week high; gold, however, edged higher mid-week, benefitting from its safe- haven status as traders shunned equities amid mounting concerns over a budget showdown between Italy and the EU and on worries about a slowing Chinese economy. Concerns over Italy’s budget have eased somewhat following a statement from the country’s finance minister, reassuring traders that the government will do all it can to restore market confidence. Meanwhile, China’s currency slipped past a psychological bulwark as the IMF lowered its forecast for Chinese economic growth in 2019 to 6.2% from 6.4%, citing “negative effect of recent tariff actions.”
On the other hand, copper ended Friday’s session higher at $2.8005, and rose 2.01% for the week.
Agriculture commodities ended the week mostly mixed. Sugar had a weekly increase of 3.9% and settled at a price of $0.1312 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.165 per pound at Friday’s close, up 6.7% for the week; and cocoa climbed 6.3% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,160 per tonne. Among grains, wheat fell 1% and settled at $5.17 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session, while soybeans slipped 0.2% for the week, closing at $8.68 per bushel on Friday. Meanwhile corn was up 1.4% in the week and settled at $3.74 per bushel in Friday’s session, following President Donald Trump’s directive to allow the year-round sale of a higher concentration of ethanol in gasoline — a move that would benefit corn farmers, who have been affected by a slump in corn prices as a result of the US-China trade war. Trump is pushing to make available E15, or gasoline with 15% ethanol, throughout the year, hoping that it will expand biofuels and in turn, help farmers by spurring sales of ethanol. E15 had been banned in summer months due to smog concerns.
The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 1.1% for the week, compared with an increase of 1.63% in the prior week.
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