(MT Newswires) – – Crude ended Friday’s session higher but marked a loss on the week that saw a bigger-than-expected rise in US stockpiles of the key commodity in Wednesday’s data, raising concerns about supplies even as investors looked ahead to the resumption of trade talks between the US and China that could cool geopolitical tensions. But the US-China trade dispute has weighed on sentiment amid concerns about slower growth and demand in the world’s second-biggest economy. Underpinning the weakness is the prospect of more sanctions on Iran after the US hit the country with a round of penalties recently. And new protests by workers at Libya’s Zawiya oil export terminal are threatening again to hinder production at a time when crude output from the North African nation is at a two-month high of over one million barrels a day, according to a report from S&P Global Platts. Back in the US, Baker Hughes (BHGE) reported that the active rig count was unchanged week on week at 869, a level that’s the highest since early March 2015. With the gas rig tally also flat, the US count overall was at 1,057. A year ago, the oil count was at 763 and the overall US tally was at 946.
Over the last five days, light, sweet crude oil for September delivery fell 2.80% and settled at $65.91 per barrel. In other energy futures, gasoline declined during the week, down 3% and settled at $1.98 per gallon at the close of Friday’s session. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 0.4% this week and was up in Friday’s session at $2.95 per 1 million British thermal unit.
The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 0.04% this week, from a drop of 0.27% in the previous week.
Gold rose 0.6% on Friday to $1,184, but ended the week down 2.3% — the sixth straight weekly decline as the rallying US dollar has made prices for the precious metal more expensive for buyers using other currencies. The dollar has jumped and earned status among investors as a haven in turbulent times over gold as Turkey’s financial crisis sent its lira currency spiraling and spread worries that the upheaval could extend into other emerging markets.
Copper ended Friday’s session higher at $2.68 but closed with a weekly loss of about 3% after it entered a bear market at midweek, according to CNBC. The strength in the US dollar was hitting that commodity too, along with worries about how the global trade wars could impact international growth. Prices seemed to take little comfort from reports that a strike at the giant Escondida mine in Chile might be averted when managers at the world’s biggest copper mine, run by BHP Billiton, said they had reached a deal with union officials, according to Reuters.
Agriculture commodities ended the week on a mixed note. Sugar had a weekly decline of 3.23% and settled at a price of $0.102 on Friday as India ramps up production of the sweetener. Coffee was at $1.047 per pound at Friday’s close, with a weekly decrease of 5%; and cocoa rose 1.2% in the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,149 as Bloomberg reported on an outbreak of caterpillars in part of Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer. Among grains, corn was up 2.1% in the week and settled at $3.79 per bushel Friday; and wheat rose 1.8% for the week to end at $5.79 per bushel by Friday’s close. Meanwhile, soybeans jumped 4.3% for the week, closing at $8.98 per bushel on Friday amid optimism about the restart of US-China trade talks, although S&P Global Platts said Chinese buyers can’t benefit from the renewed talks until the market starts pricing in a better trade relationship that would allow US soybeans to again be competitive in the Chinese market. US soybeans have been subject to Chinese tariffs in a retaliatory move taken by the Asian nation.
The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 1.68% for the week, compared with a fall of 2.74% in the prior week.
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