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Israel-Iran tension behind oil price gains

By Published On: April 11, 20247.8 min readViews: 2310 Comments on Israel-Iran tension behind oil price gains
Source: Sosland Publishing Co.
Recap for April 5
  • US crude oil prices rose more than a dollar per barrel during trading Friday as markets closely watched for signals of direct conflict between Israel and Iran that could tighten crude supplies. Both Brent crude and WTI oil prices trimmed gains by the close but settled at their highest levels since October. The May West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added 32¢ to close at $86.91 per barrel. 
  • Wheat futures climbed Friday, some contracts to one-month highs, in technical trading and short covering with support from Black Sea geopolitical tension and deteriorating crop conditions in France. Technical trading and short covering boosted soybean futures, though the commodity was mixed for the week on lackluster demand and increasing supplies from South America’s harvest. Corn futures dropped on ample supplies and a favorable outlook for Midwest planting later this month. May corn dropped 1¢ to close at $4.34¼ per bu; May 2025 and beyond posted gains. Chicago May wheat added 11¢ to close at $5.67¼ per bu. Kansas City May wheat added 4¾¢ and closed at $5.82¼ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat added 1¾¢ and closed at $6.48 per bu. May soybeans were 5¢ higher and closed at $11.85 per bu; later months were mixed. May soybean meal was down 40¢ to close at $333.10 per ton. May soybean oil gained 0.74¢ to close at 48.89¢ a lb.
  • US equity markets resumed their rallies Friday after the Labor Department said US employers added a seasonally adjusted 303,000 jobs in March, significantly more than the 200,000 economists expected. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.8% versus 3.9% in February, in line with expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 307.06 points, or 0.8%, to close at 38,904.04. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 57.13 points, or 1.11%, to close at 5,204.34. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 199.44 points, or 1.24%, to close at 16,248.52. 
  • The US dollar index broke its three-day losing streak with a higher close Friday. 
  • US gold futures resumed their rally Friday. The April contract added $36.90 to close at $2,325.70 per oz.

Recap for April 4

  • Soybean futures were pressured Thursday by lower-than-expected export sales and abundant South American production. Kansas City and Chicago wheat futures ended mixed while Minneapolis wheat futures closed with solid gains. Traders processed news that a Russian grain trader had refuted prior reports that some of its exports were being restricted by local authorities. Strong export sales gave support to corn futures, as did a weakening US dollar, but gains were limited by ample supplies and a forecast for good planting weather. May corn added 3½¢ to close at $4.35¼ per bu. Chicago May wheat ticked up ¼¢ to close at $5.56¼ per bu; later months were narrowly mixed. Kansas City May wheat declined 3¢ and closed at $5.77½ per bu; later months were narrowly mixed. Minneapolis May wheat added 6¾¢ and closed at $6.46¼ per bu. May soybeans were 2¼¢ lower and closed at $11.80 per bu; March 2025 and beyond were slightly higher. May soybean meal was up $3.50 to close at $333.50 per ton. May soybean oil lost 0.7¢ to close at 48.15¢ a lb.
  • US crude oil prices continued to climb Thursday. The May West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added 1.16¢ to close at $86.59 per barrel. 
  • US equity markets dropped on Thursday after a Federal Reserve official alluded to the possibility that interest rate cuts may not happen in 2024. Rising oil prices and escalating tensions in the Middle East also pressured stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 530.16 points, or 1.35%, to close at 38,596.98. The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 64.28 points, or 1.23%, to close at 5,147.21. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 228.38 points, or 1.4%, to close at 16,049.08. 
  • The US dollar index closed lower for a third straight day Thursday. 
  • US gold futures ended their rally streak Thursday. The April contract gave back $5.60 to close at $2,288.80 per oz.

Recap for April 3

  • Wheat futures launched a rebound Wednesday after sliding lower since the new week, month and quarter began. Lifting wheat was a round of short covering, technical trading, a weakening dollar and geopolitical news after Russia halted exports on some ships owned by one of the biggest local grain trading houses. Corn futures, too, firmed on short covering as the dollar weakened, though gains were limited by ample supplies and forecasts for good planting weather later this month on the heels of rainy, snowy conditions this week that improved soil moisture. Also, technical buying and short covering were behind soybean futures’ bounce from one-month lows induced by lackluster demand and increasing South American supplies. May corn added 5¼¢ to close at $4.31¾ per bu. Chicago May wheat jumped 10¾¢ to close at $5.56 per bu. Kansas City May wheat soared 17¼¢ higher and closed at $5.80½ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat added 12¢ and closed at $6.39½ per bu. May soybeans advanced 8¼¢ to close at $11.82¼ per bu. May soybean meal was up $1.70 to close at $330 per ton. May soybean oil added 0.25¢ to close at 48.85¢ a lb.
  • US crude oil prices hit the highest levels since late October Wednesday on concerns about supply disruptions due to Ukraine’s attacks on Russian refineries and a vow of revenge against Israel by Hamas-backer Iran, the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel. The May West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added 28¢ to close at $85.43 per barrel. 
  • US equity markets were mixed Wednesday, the Dow industrial index slipping while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 gained, the latter snapping a two-day losing streak after Fed chairman Jerome Powell said a strong economy hasn’t changed the expectation interest rate cuts will be warranted later this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 43.10 points, or 0.11%, to close at 39,127.14. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 5.68 points, or 0.11%, to close at 5,211.49. The Nasdaq Composite added 37.01 points, or 0.23%, to close at 16,277.46. 
  • The US dollar index closed lower again Wednesday. 
  • US gold futures jumped higher again Wednesday. The April contract added $33.40 to close at $2,294.40 per oz.

Recap for April 2

  • US wheat futures continued lower Tuesday, a day after the USDA said winter wheat was in the best early spring shape since 2019. Beneficial rains in the forecast for the dry southern Plains added pressure as did cheap grain on the global market that limited US export demand. Corn futures also dipped as forecasts indicated good spring planting weather ahead that eased concerns about the USDA’s lower-than-expected acreage outlook issued late last week. Soybean futures trended higher before breaking through previous support levels, which initiated technical selling and lower closing prices. May corn fell 9¢ to close at $4.26½ per bu. Chicago May wheat declined 11¾¢ to close at $5.45¼ per bu. Kansas City May wheat fell 12¼¢ and closed at $5.63¼ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat dropped 7¼¢ and closed at $6.27½ per bu. May soybeans shed 11¾¢ to close at $11.74 per bu. May soybean meal was down $5.10 to close at $328.30 per ton. May soybean oil added 0.36¢ to close at 48.6¢ a lb.
  • US crude oil prices were higher again Tuesday, pushing the Brent benchmark above $89 a bu for the first time since October. Support came from escalating Middle East conflict and a Ukrainian drone strike on one of Russia’s biggest refineries. The May West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added $1.44 to close at $85.15 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index closed lower Tuesday. 
  • US gold futures jumped higher Tuesday. The April contract added $24.50 to close at $2,261 per oz.
  • US equity markets closed lower Tuesday, pressured by climbing bond yields, rising crude oil prices and widening doubts that the Federal Reserve fully contained inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 396.61 points, or 1%, to close at 39,170.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 37.96 points, or 0.72%, to close at 5,205.81. The Nasdaq Composite fell 156.38 points, or 0.95%, to close at 16,240.45. 

Recap for April 1

  • Ample supplies weighed on US grain and oilseed futures Monday. Traders took profits off last week’s steep gains in the corn market precipitated by the USDA pegging corn acreage below expectations. Some surmised seeded area would increase due to good planting weather in forecasts. Wheat futures were pressured by expectations for improved crop conditions that did not materialize. Soybeans followed wheat and corn lower while under pressure from seasonally slowing US export demand. May corn fell 6½¢ to close at $4.35½ per bu. Chicago May wheat shed 3¼¢ to close at $5.57 per bu; later months were mixed. Kansas City May wheat fell 9¾¢ and closed at $5.75½ per bu. Minneapolis May wheat dropped 10¼¢ and closed at $6.34¾ per bu. May soybeans lost 5¾¢ to close at $11.85¾ per bu. May soybean meal was down $4.30 to close at $333.40 per ton. May soybean oil added 0.29¢ to close at 48.24¢ a lb.
  • The US dollar index closed higher Monday. 
  • US gold futures climbed Monday despite the strengthening dollar. The April contract added $19.10 to close at $2,236.50 per oz.
  • US equity markets posted mixed closes to open the second quarter Monday. The Nasdaq advanced while the Dow industrials index and S&P 500 slipped after a closely watched report, the ISM manufacturing index for March, based on a survey of purchasing managers, came in at 50.3, up from 47.8 in February and above the 48.1 reading anticipated by economists in a Wall Street Journal survey. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 240.52 points, or 0.6%, to close at 39,566.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 10.58 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,243.77. The Nasdaq Composite added 17.37 points, or 0.11%, to close at 16,396.83. 
  • US crude oil prices were higher Monday. The May West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude future added 54¢ to close at $83.71 per barrel. 

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