Archive for December, 2013

GOLD
Gold moved higher overnight to open at the session low of  1210.00/1211.00. The metal then climbed to a high of  1218.75/1219.75 on low volumes as the Euro appreciated against  the Dollar and major world equities rallied while U.S. government  bond yields rose to a two-and-a-half year high of 3.02 percent,  which is indicative of an improving economy and supports  expectations that the Fed will continue with tapering of its  monthly bond buying program. Quiet trading in the afternoon led  the metal to close at 1214.50/1215.50.
Gold closed slightly higher on the week at 1214; the metal has  been alternating between lower and higher weekly closes for the  past eight weeks. However, the down candles have been stronger  than the up ones, taking us from 1361 in early November to a low  of 1187. The major low of 1180 is likely to be tested. From an  Elliott Wave perspective, we feel we are in Wave C, the last wave  of the corrective 3-wave sequence off the 1921 high in September  2011. Possible targets for Wave C are 1155, which is the 61.8%  retracement of the 2008 to 2011 uptrend; or 1044, which is the  bottom of Wave 4 of this same uptrend. RSI is at 35.2, with  support just above 20, thus gold has further to go before it  reaches ‘oversold’ levels.
Gold settled flat as prices recovered from lows on the back of increased physical demand.
Expectations that the U.S. economy can stand on its own as monetary stimulus is withdrawn were buoyed by data showing a decrease in weekly jobless claims
SPDR gold trust holding dropped by 3.00 tonnes to 801.22 tonnes from 804.22 tonnes. 
Technical Levels

  S1 S2 S3 S4
GOLD 1205 1200 1218 1221
Commodity Contract: S2 S1 R1 R2

SILVER
Silver edged higher overnight to open at 19.88/19.93, which was  also the low of the day. It followed gold to a high of 20.09/20.14  prior to concluding the session at 20.00/20.05.
Silver closed higher this week at 20.05, trading inside of last  week’s range. Support is at 18.23 from the 2013 low. The trend  remains bearish, and a test of this level is likely. There is resistance  from the weekly downtrend off the August 2013 high, which  currently comes in at 21.30.
Silver ended with gains amid short covering after the dollar retreated further but remained on track for its annual loss as rallies in equities dented its appeal.
Gains were limited on sentiments that Fed’s plans to trim USD10 billion in monthly bond purchases in January will lead to further cuts to the stimulus program.
Holdings at ishares silver trust dropped by 50.90 tonnes to 9958.64 tonnes from 10009.54 tonnes. 
Technical Levels

  S1 S2 S3 S4
SILVER 19.70 19.55 20.04 20.27
Commodity Contract: S2 S1 R1 R2
 

COPPER
Copper settled down -0.38% at 468.2 on profit booking after gaining due to tightening supplies and expectations that economic recovery in China will help boost demand. China’s economic growth is likely to come in at 7.6 percent this year, according to a cabinet report, just above the government’s target of 7.5 percent and slightly below last year’s 7.7 percent. Its industrial output is likely to grow by about 9.8 percent in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.Buying in China is expected to wind down during the Lunar New Year holidays in January. Also supporting copper prices has been a lack of readily available metal due to falling exchange stocks. The latest LME data showed copper stocks in exchange-registered warehouses dropped to their lowest since January at 370,950 tonnes. Still, ample copper concentrate seen flowing into the market next year will eventually feed into more stocks of refined copper, swelling supply and overhanging prices.
Copper dropped on profit booking after gaining due to tightening supplies and expectations that economic recovery in China will help boost demand.
State Reserves Bureau (SRB) is working on plans to buy about 300,000 tonnes of copper
Buying in China is expected to wind down during the Lunar New Year holidays in January. 
Technical Levels

  S1 S2 S3 S4
COPPER 3.4346 3.3993 3.4876 3.5053
Commodity Contract: S2 S1 R1 R2
 

CRUDE
 On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February rose 0.77% on Friday to settle the week at USD100.32 a barrel by close of trade. U.S. oil prices rose to a session high of USD100.75 a barrel earlier, the strongest level since October 21.
Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD99.05 a barrel, the low from December 26 and resistance at USD101.22 a barrel, the high from October 21.
The February contract settled 0.33% higher on Thursday to end at USD99.55 a barrel. On the week, U.S. crude futures, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, rose 0.99%.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report released Friday that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.7 million barrels in the week ended December 20, compared to expectations for a decline of 2.3 million barrels.
New York-traded crude oil futures ended the week at a nine-week high on Friday, climbing above the key USD100-a-barrel level after government data showed that U.S. oil supplies fell more-than-expected last week.
Crude gained driven by the fourth straight weekly decline in oil inventories and also drew support from civil unrest in Africa that has cut off supplies.
EIA said that U.S. Crude Oil Inventories fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of -4.731M, from -2.941M in the preceding month.
US crude stocks fall even as output hits 1988 high –EIA
Technical Levels

  S1 S2 S3 S4
CRUDE 99.54 98.78 100.90 101.52

Commodity Contract: S2 S1 R1 R2

Global Economic Data
DATE 30.12.13
TIME :IST 8.30P.M
DATA Pending Home Sales m/m
PRV -0.6%
EXP 1.1%
IMPACT STRONG
Pending Home Sales m/m
Source National Association of Realtors (latest release)
Measures Change in the number of homes under contract to be sold but still awaiting the closing transaction, excluding new construction;
Usual Effect Actual > Forecast = Good for currency;
Frequency Released monthly, about 28 days after the month ends;
Next Release Jan 30, 2014
FF Notes This data is released about a week later than Existing Home Sales, but it’s more forward-looking as a contract is signed several weeks before the home is counted as sold;
Why Traders
Care
It’s a leading indicator of economic health because the sale of a home triggers a wide-reaching ripple effect. For example, renovations are done by the new owners, a mortgage is sold by the financing bank, and brokers are paid to execute the transaction;
Also Called Pending Resales;
Source National Association of Realtors (latest release)
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After the holiday week ended up being not that quiet, with some big movements and new lows for the currency. Some highlights of this week are US Pending Home Sales, consumer confidence and unemployment claims. Let’s see the outlook on the major events closing 2013 and starting 2014.491be-1186133_602860789764394_1899045011_n
In the last days before the year ended, the US released a batch of positive indicators, backing the Fed’s decision to taper its asset purchase program just before the holidays. The first piece of good news came from durable goods orders, surging 3.5%, amid growing demand for a range of goods. The high reading was way above the 1.7% increase predicted by analysts. Meanwhile core durable goods orders also climbed above market consensus rising 1.2% in November after a 0.4% gain in the previous month. Another good reading came from the housing sector where new home sales reached a five-year high of a 464,000 annualized pace, following a revised 474,000 rate in October. The massive increase came despite the high mortgage rates and may be attributed to the improvement in the labor market conditions and the relatively low housing prices. The final piece of good news came from the labor market where the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338,000.Although claims tend to be volatile around the holiday season, the overall picture is encouraging and the US economy is ending 2013 in a positive note. Let’s start,

US Pending Home Sales: Monday, 15:00. Signed transactions for acquisitions of existing homes fell 0.6% in October posting the fifth straight monthly decline. Economists expected a 2.2% rise. On a yearly base the reading was down 1.6% from October 2012. The government partial shutdown contributed to this decline deterring potential buyers. However limited inventory and high mortgage rates continue to weigh on the housing sector. Pending home sales are expected to rise 1.1% this time.

Source National Association of Realtors (latest release)
Measures Change in the number of homes under contract to be sold but still awaiting the closing transaction, excluding new construction;
Usual Effect Actual > Forecast = Good for currency;
Frequency Released monthly, about 28 days after the month ends;
Next Release Jan 30, 2014
FF Notes This data is released about a week later than Existing Home Sales, but it’s more forward-looking as a contract is signed several weeks before the home is counted as sold;
Why Traders
Care
It’s a leading indicator of economic health because the sale of a home triggers a wide-reaching ripple effect. For example, renovations are done by the new owners, a mortgage is sold by the financing bank, and brokers are paid to execute the transaction;
Also Called Pending Resales;

 

US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00. The Conference Board confidence index among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in November to a seven-month low, posting 70.4 points, following an upwardly revised reading of 72.4 in October. This decline came amid fresh concerns over the labor market outlook. Economists expected a minor drop to 72.2. The Conference Board’s barometer of consumer expectations for the next six months declined to 69.3, the lowest since March, from 72.2 a month earlier. A gauge of present conditions dropped to 72 from 72.6 in October. The slow pace of recovery in the US economy is a drag on consumer confidence, a pickup in employment conditions may spark household confidence in the coming months. Consumer Confidence  is expected to climb to76.5.

Source The Conference Board Inc. (latest release)
Measures Level of a composite index based on surveyed households;
Usual Effect Actual > Forecast = Good for currency;
Frequency Released monthly, on the last Tuesday of the current month;
Next Release Jan 28, 2014
Why Traders
Care
Financial confidence is a leading indicator of consumer spending, which accounts for a majority of overall economic activity;
Derived Via Survey of about 5,000 households which asks respondents to rate the relative level of current and future economic conditions including labor availability, business conditions, and overall economic situation;
Acro Expand The Conference Board (CB);

 

US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits declined by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000, the biggest drop registered since November 2012. However seasonal volatility may still be blamed since figures around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays tend to be unsteady. The four-week average increased 4,250 to 348,000. Nevertheless the Fed tapered its stimulus in December claiming the job market has improved. The economy expanded at a 4.1% annual pace from July through September, the fastest rate since late 2011 and much greater than previously expected. A further decline to 334,000 is expected now.

Source Department of Labor (latest release)
Measures The number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week;
Usual Effect Actual < Forecast = Good for currency;
Frequency Released weekly, 5 days after the week ends;
Next Release Jan 9, 2014
FF Notes This is the nation’s earliest economic data. The market impact fluctuates from week to week – there tends to be more focus on the release when traders need to diagnose recent developments, or when the reading is at extremes;
Why Traders
Care
Although it’s generally viewed as a lagging indicator, the number of unemployed people is an important signal of overall economic health because consumer spending is highly correlated with labor-market conditions. Unemployment is also a major consideration for those steering the country’s monetary policy;
Also Called Jobless Claims, Initial Claims;

 

US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Thursday, 15:00. U.S. factory activity hit a 2-1/2-year high in November reaching 57.3 following 56.4 in the previous month amid pick up in construction spending in October. Following this release, Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York said US economic recovery is gaining momentum despite the fiscal headwinds and the tapering threat. The ISM report was in line with a separate index released by financial data firm Markit, suggesting a solid improvement in the manufacturing sector. Factory activity is expected to reach 56.8.

Source Institute for Supply Management (latest release)
Measures Level of a diffusion index based on surveyed purchasing managers in the manufacturing industry;
Usual Effect Actual > Forecast = Good for currency;
Frequency Released monthly, on the first business day after the month ends;
Next Release Feb 3, 2014
FF Notes Above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction;
Why Traders
Care
It’s a leading indicator of economic health – businesses react quickly to market conditions, and their purchasing managers hold perhaps the most current and relevant insight into the company’s view of the economy;
Derived Via Survey of about 400 purchasing managers which asks respondents to rate the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries, and inventories;
Also Called Manufacturing ISM Report On Business;
Acro Expand The Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI);

Gold prices could bottom out next year with so much of the potential bad news for the yellow metal, such as rising economic confidence and the US Federal Reserve’s intentions to taper its bond purchasing programme already well known. ImageThe outlook for gold for next year remains very uncertain. There are plenty traders betting that it will rack up further losses in 2014 and it is highly likely that there is still some more to come on the downside. Since peaking at $1,921 per troy OZ in July 2011 it’s been pretty much all downhill for gold, especially since August 2012. It is now hovering just above its 2013 low of $1,180 seen in June.
When the Fed does announced its taper – it triggered some knee jerk selling of gold. It’s decade long bull run was very much fueled by easing monetary conditions. The prospect of it returning to ‘some sort of normal’ should be bad for gold. Another factor is the generally improving economic sentiment around the world driven by the US economic recovery. It lowers the need to hold risk insurance assets such as gold.Gold down December 19 2013 after QE tapering technical view for 2014
Below $1,000 would be heartbreak for many gold bugs
Gold is very likely to breach its 2013 lows of $1,180 per troy OZ. Support levels to watch out for are clustered around $1,196, $1,155 and $980. Fibonacci levels of $1,087 and $890 are key support levels, but are also potential targets for the bears. Certainly, anything below the psychologically important $1,000 level will lead to a great deal of despondency towards gold. Periods of maximum pessimism often represent the end of bear markets.
Summer tends to be important for gold in terms of turning points and if the $1,000 level is to be breached it could happen then. The Summer of 2014 could see the gold price bottom out or merely confirm that the current bear market has much further to run.
Gold’s bull market may well be over, but there are still some reasons why that may not be the case.
Unconventional monetary policy probably here to stay
Though the Fed’s taper is almost a forgone conclusion quantitative easing is by no means on the way out for good. The US recovery has required the most aggressive monetary stimulus of all time and even then it is hardly amongst the most impressive rebounds.
Given the deflationary bias in the world economy ultra low interest rates may now be part of a new normal. Once the US economy starts to lose steam or even slip back into recession quantitative easing will likely become one of the measures of first resort to rekindle growth.
Since 2008 the US monetary base has increased dramatically in size and the Eurozone’s has also increased substantially. This has been caused by unconventional monetary policies, which in turn undermine confidence in fiat currencies.
Heavily indebted Western governments, which are struggling to promote sustainable economic growth, also have a big incentive to ignite inflation to erode away their liabilities. It’s been practiced by governments of all political colours through out the ages.
Central banks funding government
However, inflation has been difficult to stimulate with real demand being so weak. In future the role of quantitative easing may simply be to help fund governments rather than stimulating growth especially if the inflation alternative is not there.
For instance, the UK’s stock of government bonds is already one third owned by the Bank of England. It pays the interest on those bonds back to the UK government. Therefore it is almost as if those bonds no longer exist and the central bank is effectively funding government expenditure.
Unless a formula is found for sustainable economic growth it is highly likely that unconventional monetary policies will continue to be used for years to come. Creating fiat money at a faster pace than gold can be mined should favour prices for the latter.

GOLD
Gold edged higher overnight to open at 1201.00/1202.00. It  dropped slightly to a low of 1200.00/1201.00 before climbing to a  high of 1205.50/1206.50 on low volumes ahead of Christmas as  positive U.S. data pointed to an increase in sales of durable goods  while the monthly home price index increased slightly. The metal  traded within range for the rest of the day before finally closing at  1204.00/1205.00.

Gold closed higher today at 1204, reversing yesterday’s losses. The  metal remains in a bearish trend, support is at the major low of  1180, with resistance at the high from Thursday, December 19th  around 1227. The last signal in MACD on the daily chart was a sell  signal on December 19th.
Gold rose as bearish traders continued to leave the market ahead of the year’s end and a weaker dollar burnished gold’s allure to foreign buyers.
Gold set for its biggest annual loss in three decades as investors switch to rallying equities on optimism about a global economic recovery.
SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings declined 0.19 percent to 804.22 tonnes on Thursday from 805.72 tonnes on Tuesday.

Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
GOLD 1208 1203 1217 1221

Commodity Contract S2 S1 R1 R2

 SILVER
Silver remained unchanged overnight to open at 19.40/19.45,  which was also the low of the day. Thereafter, it followed gold to a  high of 19.55/19.60 before concluding the day at 19.52/19.57.
Silver closed very slightly higher at 19.52, grinding out three days  of small gains, but all inside the range from December 19th. This is  not indicative of bullish price action, and we expect the metal to  retest the major low of 18.90, followed by a test of the 18.22 low  from June. Resistance is at the December 19th high around 19.92.

The gold-silver ratio is trading higher at current 61.74. Support is  at 61.06, the 38.2% retracement of the July-August downtrend.  Resistance is at 62.28, the 50% retracement level
Silver rose after data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more-than-expected.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly a month, a hopeful sign for the labour market
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended December 14 rose to 2.923 million from 2.877 million in the preceding week.

Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
SILVER 19.82 19.71 20.04 20.27

Commodity Contract S2 S1 R1 R2

COPPER
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.375 a pound during U.S. morning trade, flat on the day. Comex copper prices traded in a range between USD3.368 a pound and USD3.375 a pound.
Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.304 a pound, the low from December 24 and resistance at USD3.420 a pound, the high from December 24 and the strongest level since April 12.

The March contract surged to an eight-month high of USD3.420 a pound on Tuesday, before settling at USD3.374 a pound, up 2.01%.
Copper futures were little changed in subdued trade on Thursday, with volumes expected to remain light as holidays in many countries limit activity.
Copper rose on growing confidence about the global economy, year-end covering and the prospect of purchases from China’s state reserves.
Strong U.S. economic data and a bullish growth forecast for China, fuelled hopes about stronger demand for copper and other industrial metals.
Japan’s output of rolled copper product rose to 67,751 tonnes in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier.

Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
COPPER 3.4298 3.4101 3.4590 3.4690

Commodity Contract S2 S1 R1 R2

CRUDE
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Crude oil futures for February delivery traded at USD99.39 a barrel at time of writing falling 0.16%.
It earlier traded at a session low USD99.38 a barrel. Crude oil was likely to find support at USD98.53 and resistance at USD99.76.

US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.18% to trade at USD80.52.
Elsewhere on the ICE, Brent oil for February delivery fell 0.26% to trade at USD111.70 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent oil and Crude oil contracts standing at USD12.31 a barrel..
Crude oil futures were lower in Asian trading hours on Friday.
Crude oil gained boosted by demand for refined products after industry data earlier this week showed a steep decline in gasoline and distillate inventories.
Supply outages in Africa are also in focus and added some geopolitical risk premium to prices.
Today crude oil inventories: EXP: -1.9M PREV: -2.9M. Actual is at 9.30PM.

 Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
CRUDE 99.20 98.78 99.81 100.46

Commodity Contract S2 S1 R1 R2

Global Economic Data

TIME DATA PRV EXP IMPACT
9.30P.M Crude Oil Inventories -2.9m -1.9m MEDIUM

Crude Oil Inventories

Source Energy Information Administration (latest release)
Measures Change in the number of barrels of crude oil held in inventory by commercial firms during the past week;
Usual Effect No consistent effect – there are both inflationary and growth implications;
Frequency Released weekly, 4 days after the week ends;
Next Release Jan 3, 2014
FF Notes While this is a US indicator, it most affects the loonie due to Canada’s sizable energy sector;
Why Traders
Care
It influences the price of petroleum products which affects inflation, but also impacts growth as many industries rely on oil to produce goods;
Also Called Crude Stocks, Crude Levels;
Acro Expand Energy Information Administration (EIA);

Rex Int’l Hldg Suspends Drilling Activity In Exploration Well

Rex International Holdings suspended drilling activity at its first exploration well, Masirah North North #1  (MNN #1) in Block 50 Oman due to safety reasons.Rex-Logo
The MNN #1 well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 1,000 metres below mean sea level. Mud losses in two carbonate sections of the well obstructed the planned target depth to be reached.
A comprehensive data acquisition coring and logging programme of the formations that were drilled was completed on 21 December 2013. Data analysis indicates presence of non-commercial hydrocarbons.

Although a disappointment for Rex considering this is its first exploration well, however, the data acquired has assisted Rex’s partners in the Oman Block 50 project to identify a second exploration well as the next drilling location. It is anticipated that drilling at the new location will commence within the next two weeks.

GSCC

GOLD
Gold edged lower overnight to open at 1201.50/1202.50. It rose slightly to an intra-day high of 1203.50/1204.50 as strong U.S. data pointed to an increase in personal consumption. Thereafter the metal dropped, while global stock markets rose to record highs, to finally close at the session low of 1997.00/1998.00.
Gold closed lower today at 1198. Support is at the major low of 1180, with resistance at Thursday’s high around 1227. RSI is at 37.48 with support down at 19.74 from previous lows; thus gold can fall further before reaching ‘oversold’ levels.

Gold dropped as players limited their exposure prior to year-end holidays in a market and facing further downside forecasts for 2014.
Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
GOLD 1195 1190 1203 1209

Commodity Contract  S2 S1 R1 R2
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 8.40 tonnes to 805.72 tonnes.

SILVER
Silver remained largely unchanged overnight to open at 19.48/19.53. It rose marginally to a high of 19.51/19.56 before declining to a low of 19.38/19.43 and prior to concluding the day at 19.40/19.45.
Silver closed slightly higher today at 19.45. Support is at the major low of 18.90, with resistance at 19.93, last Thursday’s high. The trend remains bearish, with RSI at 42.29 and RSI support down at 22.42.
The gold-silver ratio is trading lower today at current 61.61. The ratio looks poised for near-term weakness, and may test its uptrend support which currently comes in at 60.63. Nevertheless, the ratio remains in an uptrend off the September low.
Silver ended with losses as some investors continued to mull the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce stimulus efforts.
Last week the Fed announced it would begin tapering its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases from next month.U.S. consumer sentiment hit a 5-month high heading into the end of the year and spending notched up its strongest month since the summer.
Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
SILVER 19.35 19.15 19.54 19.70
 COPPER
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.306 a pound during European morning trade, down 0.05%. Comex copper prices traded in a range between USD3.299 a pound and USD3.315 a pound.
Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.291 a pound, the low from December 20 and resistance at USD3.323 a pound, the high from December 19.
The March contract settled 0.38% higher on Friday to end at USD3.308 a pound.
The Commerce Department said Friday that the U.S. economy expanded by 4.1% in the third quarter, well above initial estimates for 3.6% growth, adding to signs that the economic recovery is gaining traction.
Copper futures fluctuated between modest gains and losses on Monday, as market sentiment remained mildly supported after Friday’s upbeat U.S. economic growth data, while lingering concerns over higher borrowing costs in China weighed.
Copper ended with losses as prices were not significantly boosted, as trading activity was dull before the Christmas.
Data out showed China’s imports of refined copper in November jumped 31.22 percent to 328,907 tonnes.
Technically market is under long liquidation as market has witnessed drop in open interest by -3.24% to settled at 12276.
Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
COPPER 3.3453 3.3401 3.3545 3.3581
CRUDE
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at USD99.11 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.21%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD98.70 and a high of USD99.32. The February contract settled up 0.28% at USD99.32 a barrel on Friday.
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD96.53 a barrel, the from low Dec. 16, and resistance at USD99.48 a  barrel, Thursday’s high.
The Commerce Department reported on Friday that the U.S. gross domestic product expanded by 4.1% in the third quarter, well above consensus forecasts for 3.6% growth, which sent oil prices rising on hopes for faster economic recovery.
The Federal Reserve’s Wednesday decision to trim its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program by USD10 billion beginning in January also bolstered prices as well by further stoking expectations for more pronounced economic growth down the road.
Oil prices slid on Monday after investors locked in gains from Friday’s robust economic growth data and sold the commodity for profits, especially after a widely-watched U.S. consumer sentiment report missed expectations.
Crude oil slipped as traders booked profits though refinery strikes in France and internal strife in producers Libya and South Sudan checked losses.
Escalating violence in South Sudan threatens the country’s 245,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil output.
Technical Levels

S1 S2 R1 R2
CRUDE 98.50 97.92 99.26 99.62

China’s crude oil imports in November from Iran were 2.21 million tonnes, up 25.9 percent from the same month last year.

GOLD
Gold moved lower overnight to open at 1231.50/1232.50. It  climbed to a high of 1242.50/1243.50 as the U.S. Core Price Index  remained flat and global stocks dipped. It then declined to a low of 1227.00/1228.00 as investors turned cautious ahead of the  two-day FOMC meeting starting today as speculation continues on  the timing of the tapering down of the Fed’s monthly bond-buying  program. The metal concluded the day at 1230.50/1231.50.
Gold closed lower today at 1230, continuing to trade in its  sideways range. Support is at the recent 1210 low, and resistance  is at the recent 1268 high. The bear trend remains in place, thus  there is still risk of a test of the major 1180 low.
Gold dropped as investors shed some bullish bets on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may be poised to trim its bullion-friendly economic stimulus
Expectations that Fed will curtail its stimulus programme, which has driven gold prices higher by pressuring interest rates and fuelling fears of inflation
SPDR Gold Trust said its holdings fell 2.08 tonnes to 816.82 tonnes from 818.90 tonnes.

Technical Levels
SUPPORT 1 SUPPORT 2 RESISTANCE 1 RESISTANCE 2
GOLD 1228 1218 1237 1243
SILVER 19.77 19.47 20.00 20.30
COPPER 3.3585 3.3500 3.3770 3.3870
CRUDE 96.84 95.47 97.74 98.27

SILVER
Silver edged lower overnight to open at 19.73/19.78. It surged to a  high of 20.11/20.16 before declining to a low of 19.73/19.78 on  the back of gold and concluded the session at 19.85/19.90.
Silver also closed lower, at 19.85. Support is at the recent low of  18.90, and resistance is at the recent 20.51 high. Although the  metal made a “higher low” at 19.30 last week, it is much too early  to conclude that silver is trying to reverse out of its bearish trend.  The risk remains for a test of the major low at 18.23.

The gold-silver ratio is trading lower again today at current 61.92.  The ratio made a “lower high” at 62.61 on Friday, and so in the  very near-term, we could see the ratio trade back towards its  uptrend support line, which currently comes in at around 60.15.  There is also support at 61.06, the 38.2% retracement of the  August downtrend.
Silver declined as investors awaited a Federal Reserve meeting due to start later in the day to gauge the timing of stimulus cuts.
Data showing flat U.S. consumer prices in November also pressured prices.
Investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

COPPER
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for March delivery traded at USD3.329 a pound during European morning trade, down 0.02%. Comex copper prices climbed to a session high of USD3.335 a pound earlier, the strongest level since October 22.
Copper prices were likely to find support at USD3.300 a pound, the low from December 16 and resistance at USD3.353 a pound, the high from October 22.
The March contract settled 0.53% higher on Monday to end at USD3.329 a pound after upbeat manufacturing data out of the euro zone and the U.S. boosted optimism over the global economy.

Investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with some expecting the central bank to announce a small reduction in the pace of its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.
Copper futures were little changed near a seven-week high on Tuesday, as market players prepared for the start of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later in the day and news on the fate of the central bank’s bond-buying program.
Copper gained ahead of the start of the Fed’s policy meeting and news on the fate of the central bank’s bond-buying program.
Inflation data for US and European released were viewed as signs that the UK, US and eurozone were pressured by low inflation.
The bloc and Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment Index for December soundly exceeded forecasts and November’s readings.

CRUDE
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at USD97.58 a barrel, up 0.11%, after hitting an overnight session low of USD97.27 and a high of USD98.15. The February contract settled up 0.87% at USD97.77 a barrel on Monday.

Late Tuesday, The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, said its own data showed that crude stocks fell by 2.5 million barrels last week. Investors were also awaiting the release of official oil and refined products inventories by the EIA on Wednesday as well.
Many investors remained in standby mode ahead of the Fed’s Wednesday announcement on monetary policy as well as the fate of stimulus programs such as monthly bond purchases, which have supported oil for over a year by softening the dollar.
Oil prices rose in Asia on Wednesday as the market awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Crude oil slipped ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting in which the central bank may decide to scale back its stimulus programme.
Prices got some support on news that Libya had not reopened several oil-exporting ports.
Today crude oil inventories: EXP: -2.4M PREV: -10.6M. Actual is at 9.00PM.