Latest News Commodities
(Reuters) -Gold prices eased in Asia as a strong dollar weighed and investors awaited further clues on the greenback from Federal reserve minutes due to be released later in the day.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gold for February delivery fell 0.26% to $1,159.00 a troy ounce, while silver futures eased 0.10% to $16.392 a troy ounce. Copper futures dipped 0.24% to $2.481 a pound.
Overnight, gold prices rose despite a stronger dollar against a basket of currencies surging to a 14-year high. Gold is prices in dollars, making it potentially more expensive countries such as India and China, the top buyers globally. At its December meeting the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in a year and forecast as many as three hikes in 2017, making the tone of the discussion of high interest to markets.
Oil edged higher on Wednesday, with top exporter Saudi Arabia expected to raise prices for its crude as part of planned supply cuts, although a strong dollar and moderate economic growth prospects restricted gains.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were trading at $52.65 per barrel at 0237 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, from the last settlement.
International Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $55.79 a barrel.
Traders said the gains were due to an expected tightening of physical oil supplies, as major producers like the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plan to cut crude output from this month in an effort to end a global fuel glut that has dogged markets for over two years.
Potentially reflecting a tightening market, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to raise the official selling price (OSP) for all its crude grades to Asia in February.
OSPs for crude delivered to customers around the world are a key indicator in determining the prices for crude futures like Brent or WTI.
“Crude oil has risen… on expectations of reduced supply excess,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
Despite the potentially tightening physical oil market, crude futures are being weighed down by a strong U.S.-dollar, which makes it more expensive for countries to import dollar-traded fuel.
The dollar hit a 14-year peak (DXY) this week on the back of strong U.S. economic data.