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Vladimir Vyun

Vladimir Vyun

Vladimir is an online journalist with background in computer science and work experience in pension funds. He contributes news reports, fundamental analysis and sentiment forecasts to TopForexNews.com and CommodityBlog.com. His main specialization is the currencies of emerging economies and inter-market correlations with commodity and bond trading.

Articles by Vladimir Vyun

Crude Oil Logs Small Losses After China’s Growth Slows

1 day ago

Futures for crude oil logged small losses today after data showed that China’s economic growth slowed last quarter. Annual growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 was the slowest in almost a decade. Furthermore, the growth for the whole 2018 was the slowest in 28 years. That is a bearish sign for crude oil as China is the world’s second biggest consumer of the commodity.
Losses of crude were limited as trading activity was subdued due to a holiday in the United States. Additionally, positive fundamentals that were supporting the commodity previously remained in place.
Futures for delivery of WTI crude oil in February fell 0.28% to $53.65 per barrel as of 11:47 GMT on NYMEX today. March contract for Brent crude declined 0.32% per barrel on ICE.
If you have any questions and comments

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Positive Fundamentals Lead to Daily & Weekly Gains for Crude Oil

4 days ago

Prices for crude oil rallied strongly on Friday due to a range of positive fundamental factors. The commodity was also heading to weekly gains.
One of such factors was the rumor that the United States are considering lifting additional tariffs on Chinese imports. While US officials denied such plans, markets remained in the risk-on mode. Together with China’s plans to stimulate growth, chances for an end to the Sino-US trade war promise stable demand from the world’s second biggest economy and a major consumer of oil.
Adding to the bullish momentum of crude was yesterday’s report that showed a decrease of OPEC oil production by 751,000 barrels per day to 31.6 million bpd in December. Saudi Arabia cut its output by 468,000 bpd to just over 10.5 million bpd, more than was expected. Today,

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Crude Oil Prices Down More than 1% on China’s Data

8 days ago

Prices for crude oil dropped more than 1% today after disappointing trade data released in China. While the Chinese trade balance surplus widened, both imports and exports declined. It is just that imports fell more than exports. Overall, the data pointed at slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy. And that does not bode well to the commodity, which is linked to economic growth. With that said, data compiled by Reuters showed that oil consumption in the Asian nation remained strong so far, with imports surging 30% in December from a year ago.
Market analysts were not particularly bearish on oil, hoping that production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies should buoy prices. The OPEC and several non-OPEC countries, including Russia, agreed

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Metals Decline as Dollar Rebounds

12 days ago

Metals declined today due to the rebounding US dollar. While the currency fell yesterday on dovish monetary policy minutes released by the Federal Reserve, the greenback managed to rebound today thanks to hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. That put pressure on commodities priced in the US currency. Nevertheless, CME FedWatch shows 65% probability that interest rates will stay unchanged by the end of the year. The outlook for no hikes in 2019 can yet hurt the dollar and provide support for the market of metals.
Copper had additional negative factor in the form of US-China trade dispute. US delegation is visiting the Asian nation in an attempt to find a compromise. The Chinese commerce ministry said that the talks “established a foundation for the resolution of each others’

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Crude Oil Volatile Ahead of Weekend, Heads to End Week with Loss

December 21, 2018

Prices for crude oil were rather volatile today. Initially, crude was following global stocks in decline, trading near the lowest levels since the third quarter of 2017 and heading to end the week with about 10% loss. The commodity and equities often move hand-in-hand because both are risk-sensitive assets. And today the market sentiment was negative towards risk. North American crude reversed losses later, but only to fall back down afterwards, while world’s benchmark Brent grade did not stop its downward movement at all.
Market analysts speculated that prices for oil were collapsing because traders did not think that the OPEC+ production cuts will be enough to compensate for increasing supply from the United States and to erase global glut. To counter that, Saudi Arabia is planning

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Aluminum Prices Sink to 16-Month Low As USA Lifts Sanction on Rusal

December 20, 2018

Back in April, the United States imposed sanctions on companies with shares owned by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, citing “malign activities” by Russia. Among companies suffering from the sanctions was Russian aluminum giant Rusal as well as its parent company En+. Prices for aluminum surged to the seven-year high after the announcement of the measures. Yet after lobbying from European countries, Washington agreed to lift sanctions if Deripaska relinquishes control of Rusal. That led to a surge of Rusal shares and a slump of prices for aluminum.
Aluminum for delivery in three months dropped 0.8% to $1,912 per metric ton on LME today. Earlier, the metal sank to $1,905.5 per ton — the lowest since August 4, 2017.
If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use

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Precious Metals Reverse Losses After Fed’s Dovish Rate Hike

December 20, 2018

Gold and other precious metals rallied today, reversing losses they have posted earlier on Thursday. Market analysts universally attributed the rally to the reaction to the policy statement and economic projections from the Federal Reserve, though different experts had opposing reasons for the exact logic behind the gains. Some argued that the dovish statement sent the US dollar down, helping commodities priced in the greenback as a result. Others speculated that Fed’s stance was less dovish than was expected, and caused risk aversion, increasing the attractiveness of bullion as a safe haven. Whatever the cause, precious metals demonstrated solid gains during Thursday’s trading session.
Futures for delivery of gold in February advanced 0.88% to $1,267.5 per troy ounce as of 18:10 GMT

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Gold & Silver Decline As Fed Sounds Less Dovish than Expected

December 20, 2018

Gold and silver fell during Thursday’s Asian trading session, while platinum and palladium managed to avoid losses. Bullion was under pressure after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates. Such move was expected, but market participants were also counting on a dovish statement and significant reduction of the number of planned rate hikes in 2019. But the Fed was not as dovish as some people expected, and the number of planned hikes was reduced just by one to two hikes in total next year. That disappointed gold bulls as prospects for higher borrowing costs mean further downside risk for the metal.
Contract for delivery of gold in February declined 0.71% to $1,247.5 per troy ounce as of 3:04 GMT on COMEX today. Silver for delivery in March plunged 1.17% to $14.65 per ounce. At the same

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Gold Holds onto Gains, Other Metals Decline

December 18, 2018

Gold was attempting to hold onto yesterday’s gains today as the US dollar extended its decline. The greenback was falling ahead of tomorrow’s policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. While markets consider an interest rate hike at the coming meeting almost guaranteed, the outlook for the next year is far less clear, and that uncertainty was driving the US currency down. And that was beneficial to gold as the metal usually trades inversely to the dollar.
Other precious metals were less lucky, logging losses during the current trading session, even those that managed to rise yesterday. Unlike gold, which finds most use in jewelry and as an investment asset, other metals are used extensively in industry, therefore they often behave more like base metals, not like precious ones.
Contract

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Crude Oil Extends Losses, WTI Crude Falls Below $48

December 18, 2018

Prices for crude oil continued to sink today, extending yesterday’s losses, with the West Texas Intermediate grade falling below the $48 level. It seems fears of global glut and slowdown of word’s economic growth overshadowed whatever bullish factors oil had.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and several nonmember allies agreed last week to cut oil production to support prices. But some of the members of the pact, most notably Russia, were increasing their output, not decreasing. And that on top of increasing supply from the United States. That is because the agreement will take effect only in January, giving the participants time to ramp up production before cutting it. With that said, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak promised that Russia’s oil production should

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Crude Oil Futures Sink on Global Glut Concerns, WTI Crude Below $50

December 17, 2018

Futures for crude oil attempted to rally during the Monday’s trading session, but failed, and ended the session with huge losses. US crude fell below the $50 mark and was trading at the lowest level in more than a year. Market analysts explained the sharp drop by a report from industry data provider Genscape, which showed an increase of crude oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, the major delivery hub for US oil. The news reignited fears that the OPEC+ production cuts may be not enough to erase global glut of the commodity.
The US Energy Information Administration will release its official report on inventories of crude on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters predicted that the report will show a decrease of 2.5 million barrels last week. If that is indeed the case, it will be the third

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Gold Gains at Start of Week as US Dollar Weakens Ahead of Fed

December 17, 2018

Futures for gold rallied on Monday. Other metals were mixed, with silver and palladium logging gains, while platinum and copper posted losses. The likely reason for such behavior was the fall of US and European stocks, which added to the risk aversion sentiment on markets. Another reason for the gains of bullion was the weakness of the US dollar, which made commodities priced in the greenback cheaper to buy. The US currency weakened due to uncertainty about Federal Reserve’s plans for monetary policy in the next year.
The rally was limited, though, as markets were counting on an interest rate hike from Fed on Wednesday. Higher interest makes it less attractive for investors to hold assets, which do not bear yield by themselves. Furthermore, despite the uncertainty about Fed’s policy going

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Symmetrical Triangle on Daily Chart of WTI Crude Oil

December 16, 2018

A symmetrical triangle pattern has formed on the daily chart of West Texas Intermediate crude oil. Such pattern occurs when prices consolidate, often after a period of moving in one direction. Usually, it suggests that the market took a breather before prices will continue to move in the same direction.
On the present chart, the yellow lines show the symmetrical triangle pattern itself. As crude was falling before the current period of sideways movement, the chart provides suggestions for a downside breakout scenario. The cyan line is drawn below the pattern, offset by 10% of the triangle’s width, and offers an entry position for bears. The green line is situated below the pattern by the triangle’s width and provides the profit target for short positions.
You can click on the image to see

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Crude Oil Falls Further Even as US Drillers Reduce Number of Oil Rigs

December 14, 2018

Crude oil extended its previous losses today, heading to end the session with more than 2% decline. Prices continued to sink even as US drillers decreased the number of oil rigs for the second week in a row. Baker Hughes reported that the oil rig count fell by 4 this week. At 873, the number of rigs was the lowest since October but higher than a year ago. Energy firms were reducing the number of active rigs in a response to the collapse of oil prices last month.
Despite the news, the negative market sentiment continued to weigh on the commodity. Lackluster economic data in the eurozone and China led to concerns about global growth. And performance of crude usually directly linked to growth as growing economy means higher consumption of the commodity as a source of fuel and energy.
Contract

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Commodities Trade in Red During Friday’s Session

December 14, 2018

The vast majority of commodities posted losses during the Friday’s European trading session.
Crude oil reversed yesterday’s gains today. Yesterday, the commodity surged about 3% on the news that Saudi Arabia is going to limit its exports to the United States in effort to drain US stockpiles of crude. Yet today, futures for oil declined as the market sentiment got hit by disappointing macroeconomic data released in China. Futures for delivery of WTI crude oil declined 0.7% to $52.21 per barrel as of 11:52 GMT on NYMEX today. February Brent crude dropped 0.93% to $60.88 per barrel on ICE.
Gold, as well as silver, followed the euro in the decline as negative news from the eurozone hurt the shared 19-nation currency, giving boost to the US dollar in the meantime. Precious metals often trade

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Crude Oil Gains as Russia Announces Production Cuts

December 11, 2018

Crude oil rallied on Tuesday thanks to the news that Russia agreed to join production cuts after all. The positive general market sentiment, caused by the news of potential reduction of tariffs on US cars by China, also helped the commodity.
Previously, it was uncertain whether Russia will join the new output reduction deal. On Tuesday, at last, the matter became clear. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that the country is going to slash oil production by 50,000 to 60,000 barrels per day in January.
Meanwhile, Libya declared force majeure on exports from its El Sharara field after militants seized the facility on weekend. This will result in a loss of 315,000 bpd of supply.
Futures for crude backed off from the daily highs by the end of the session, and market analysts had

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Symmetrical Triangle on H4 Chart of Natural Gas

December 9, 2018

A symmetrical triangle pattern has formed on the 4-hour chart of natural gas. Being a continuation pattern, it suggests that prices will likely continue to go in the same direction they were moving before the period of consolidation. In this instance, that direction is up.
On the present chart, yellow lines indicate the triangle, which is drawn through lower highs and higher lows of price moves. The cyan line is plotted 10% above the triangle’s width and provides an entry point for long positions in case of an upside breakout. The green line is situated at the triangle’s width above the pattern and offers a profit-taking objective.
You can click on the image to see a full-size version:

The chart was built using the ChannelPattern script. You can download a MetaTrader 4 chart template

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Metals Fall amid Increasing US-China Tensions, Gold Stable

December 6, 2018

Almost all metals fell today amid risk aversion caused by the arrest of a top executive of China’s tech giant Huawei. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada and is going to be extradited to the United States to face charges of dealings with Iran that violate US sanctions. The news led to increasing fears of a trade war between the USA and China, just when it looked like the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies is improving.
Gold managed to avoid losses on Thursday, etching small gains. Some markets analysts said that the metal rallied due to risk aversion, profiting from its role as a safe haven. The weak US dollar and falling chances for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve also played in favor of bullion.
Contract for delivery of gold in February

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Crude Oil Crashes as OPEC Doesn’t Finalize Production Cut Deal

December 6, 2018

Prices for crude oil logged big losses today as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to finalize the deal to cut oil production as a measure to buoy prices. While the OPEC agreed to reduce output, it did not decide on volumes, waiting for Russia, the biggest non-OPEC producer involved in the deal, to commit. The delay led to speculations that the agreement will not be reached. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporter:
I’m not confident but I hope to reach a deal.
The Energy Information Administration reported that US crude oil inventories slumped by 7.1 million barrels last week, much more than was expected. Usually, such a big drop would support prices, but today it was overshadowed by negative news.
Talking about news that is bad for crude, exports from

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Precious Metals Drop on Interest Rate Outlook, Palladium Rallies to Record High

December 5, 2018

Gold and other precious metals dropped today, dragged down by the outlook for interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Curiously, palladium was an exception, touching the record high during the Wednesday’s trading session.
Last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made remarks that were considered dovish by markets. Yesterday, though, New York Fed President John Williams contradicted the dovish stance of the Fed Chair somewhat, saying that he thinks that the Fed should continue raising interest rates “over the next year or so.” He did not mentioned specific dates, saying:
The timing of exactly when to adjust policy is something we’ll discuss and decide on.
Markets consider a hike in December almost guaranteed, with the CME FedWatch page showing nearly 80% probability of the such an event.

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Grain Prices Surge on US-China Truce

December 3, 2018

Grains demonstrated big gains today thanks to the news about truce in the trade war between the United States and China. Soybean demonstrated biggest gains as China is the major importer of the US crop. But experts voiced concerns that the best window of opportunity for US exports has passed as Brazil’s harvest nears, and China buys soy from Brazil as well.
Contract for delivery of soybean in January gained 1.23% to $9.0575 per bushel as of 20:21 GMT on CBoT today. March contract for delivery of corn advanced 1.13% to $3.82 per bushel. Wheat added 1.07% to its value, trading at $5.2125 per bushel.
If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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Crude Oil Jumps on US-China Truce, Anticipation of Production Cuts

December 3, 2018

Crude oil started the week with significant gains due to a range of factors. One of such factors was the news about a 90-day truce in the trade war between the United States and China. Trade wars threaten economic growth, and demand for crude usually directly linked to growth.
Another positive factor for oil prices was the upcoming meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Experts speculated that Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia will agree to prolong production cuts that were supporting prices for crude. The news that Qatar is going to leave the OPEC did not bother oil traders much as the country’s oil production is relatively insignificant, and the country mostly relies on export of natural gas.
Surprising everyone, Canada’s western province Alberta also announced

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Crude Oil Drops, Heading to Worst Monthly Decline in 10 Years

November 30, 2018

Crude oil dropped today amid uncertainty whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, will agree to reduce oil production at the meeting next week. There were conflicting reports on the matter. Reuters said yesterday that “Russia is becoming increasingly convinced it needs to reduce oil output in tandem with OPEC.” But Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Russian news agency TASS today:
To me, the current price range is comfortable for producers and consumers.
Additionally, market participants were concerned about the Group of Twenty meeting over the weekend. In particular, they were interested in the meeting between the US and China’s leaders, which may determine how the trade war between the two countries proceed.
Futures

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Precious Metals Rally on Fed Chairman’s Comments, Palladium Hits Record High

November 28, 2018

Gold and other precious metals rallied today after a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, with palladium reaching the record high for the most-actively traded contract. Platinum was an exception, falling more than 1%.
Markets focused on Powell’s statement that interest rates are “just below” the level that can be considered “neutral for the economy.” Market participants interpreted the phrase as a sign that the Fed may halt monetary tightening much sooner than was previously expected. Such outlook hurt the dollar, helping commodities priced in the US currency. Additionally, the news alleviated pressure from prospects for higher borrowing costs, which make it more expensive for investors to hold non-yield bearing assets.
February contract for delivery of gold gained 0.66%

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Gold Gains on Risk Aversion, Weakening Dollar

November 14, 2018

Futures for gold logged solid gains today, rising more than 1%. Other precious metals rallied as well, with the exception of palladium.
Market analysts speculated that the rally was a result of risk aversion caused by various geopolitical risks. Falling German gross domestic product and the stand-off between the European Union and Italy over the Italian budget deficit were among major reasons for investors to worry about. Uncertainty about the Brexit deal between the EU and Great Britain was another source of concern.
The US Dollar Index fell a bit today despite the solid inflation print. It helped bullion, which usually has inverse correlation with the US currency.
Futures for delivery of gold in December gained 1.03% to $1,213.8 per troy ounce as of 20:06 GMT on COMEX today. Silver

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WTI Crude Oil Heads to Longest Stretch of Losses in More than 30 Years

November 9, 2018

Futures for both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil fell today. North American crude was heading to the 10th consecutive daily loss — the longest stretch of losses since July 1984.
One of the possible reason for the decline was the decision of a US judge to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline due to potential environmental damage. The pipeline was designed to bring crude oil from Canada to the United States.
Another negative factor for crude was the report from Baker Hughes, which showed that the number of US oil rigs increased by 12 to 886 this week. It was the fourth increase in five weeks, and the oil rig count was the highest since March 2015.
December futures for delivery of WTI crude oil dropped 0.66% to $60.24 per barrel as of 20:07 GMT on NYMEX today. Contract

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Gold Declines for Third Day, Still Heads to Monthly Gain

October 31, 2018

Futures for gold fell for the third consecutive session today, meaning that the precious metal was falling every single day of this week. Nevertheless, the commodity was heading for the first monthly gain after seven straight months of decline.
Gold declined after the US employment report showed an increase that exceeded analysts’ forecasts. Additionally, big gains of stocks around the world reduced demand for the metal as a safe haven. Over the whole month, the stock market was extremely volatile, and that drove investors to the safety of gold, explaining the monthly gains of the commodity.
Futures for delivery of bullion in December declined 0.78% to $1,215.7 per troy ounce as of 18:54 on COMEX today. The most-actively traded contract for gold lost as much as 1.26% of its value to trade

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Crude Oil Rebounds After Declining on Saudi Arabia Supply

October 22, 2018

Prices for crude oil dipped during the Monday’s trading session but rebounded later. The decline was a reaction to the statement from Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih that his country will not implement embargo on Western countries similar to the one that happened in 1973. In fact, Saudi Arabia is planning to increase its oil output.
The rebound of oil prices was probably a result of the statement from Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh that exports from Saudi Arabia and Russia will not be able to replace Iranian supply lost due to the US sanctions. The minister said:
As I have repeatedly said there is no replacement for Iranian oil in the market. Saudi Arabia and Russia’s output is near their highest level ever and they have no spare capacity to pump more to replace Iran’s

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Symmetrical Triangle Pattern on H4 Chart of Gold

October 21, 2018

Yet another pattern has formed on the 4-hour chart of gold. Unlike the previous week’s bullish pennant, this week’s symmetrical triangle pattern is not inherently bullish. Yet analysts usually consider it to be a continuation pattern, meaning that prices will likely move in the previous direction after a period of consolidation. Considering that the previous move was up, a breakout to the upside seems more likely than to the downside. Furthermore, the technical indicators also support the bullish case for gold.
The converging yellow lines show the symmetrical triangle itself, which has formed after prices had started moving sideways. The cyan line suggests an entry point for long positions. It is situated 10% of the triangle’s widest part above the top border of the pattern. Above it

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Gold Gains, Other Metals Fare Far Worse After Fed Minutes

October 18, 2018

The market of metals demonstrated mixed performance today as gold gained, while palladium was flat, silver and platinum fell, and copper showed especially big losses. Bullion managed to carve out gains even as the US dollar rose against most of its major peers following the hawkish policy minutes of the Federal Reserve released on Wednesday. Some analysts explained the good performance of gold by the big losses of US stocks, which increased the attractiveness of the precious metal as a safe haven.
The minutes of the Fed meeting in September, which resulted in an interest rate hike, were hawkish, suggesting more hikes down the road. Specialists were divided over how that will affect gold. While many argued that high interest rates are a traditional enemy of the metal, others insisted that

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