Commodities: Gold stabilises after US NFP excitement

Gold was fairly stable on Monday, with the precious metal stagnant, trading within a four dollar range ($1,256/$1,260) throughout much of the overnight and UK trading sessions to end 0.01% lower on the day to $1,258 per ounce.

Friday saw the release of the US Non-Farm Payroll figure, with a print of 209,000 jobs created, beating market expectations for 182,000. The resulting optimism helped fuel a sell-off in gold from $1,270 to $1,254.

In other precious metals news, silver was down 0.07% on the day at $16.27/oz. with similarly-dated platinum and paladium up by 0.51% and 0.72%, respectively.

Energy markets saw a slight dip on Monday with Brent crude down 1.02% at $51.91 per barrel and WTI crude off by 1.20% at $49.05.

Gains in both contracts were seen last week as reduced inventories in the US and rising tensions in Venezuela gripped the market with uncertainty.

Monday sees a meeting of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC members take place in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways to boost compliance with an agreement to reduce output reached two weeks before in Russia.

“The market is looking for comment from Saudi Arabia signaling OPEC will meet its agreed target,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist with ABN AMRO, said. “The possibility for (price) movement seems limited unless OPEC comes out with a statement.”

Among base metals, copper rose 1% to $6,431 per metric tonne by 1600 BST, tracking gains in steel and iron ore prices after Beijing called on four northern provinces, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandiong and Henan to reduce steel output by half over the coming winter.

Paul Gait, an analyst at Bernstein said, “Admittedly steel and iron ore price gains are more to do with capacity curtailment but its capacity curtailment in the context of China looking to ensure a healthy price for its industrial commodities. We have a pro growth, pro inflation policy in Beijing and that has implications for copper.”

On the agricultural front, corn and cotton also traded higher on the day, tacking on 0.37% and 0.30%, respectively, while soybean futures were fairly flat at $9.67 per bushel as at 1600 BST.

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