Traders and investors seem to have turned a blind eye to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, as the risk-off commodities start the week down.
The secession referendum closed at 20:00 GMT on Sunday, and the results, announced Monday, revealed the overwhelming majority of Crimean residents voted in favour Russia taking control of the region. Global leaders have labeled the referendum illegal, and will likely impose economic sanctions on Russia throughout this week. Traditionally, in times of political and military uncertainty, investors redirect capital towards risk off assets such gold and silver.
However, heading into the U.S. afternoon, this traditional play looks invalid. Gold futures (April 14 delivery) are currently down 0.46% at 1,372.80, trading just shy of key resistance at 1,373.80. Silver futures (May 14 delivery) are following suit, down 0.47% (0.100) for the day, currently trading at 21.313.
Whether this risk-on sentiment will support the prices of the precious metals throughout the week remains to be seen, but the proposed sanctions that will befall Russia will likely put pressure on any bullish momentum.**relatedarticle**
Elsewhere, crude oil futures (May 14 delivery) are down 1.42% at 97.17, while natural gas futures (April 14 delivery) are up close to 3%, currently trading at 4.554. The rise in natural gas comes on the back of the return of cold weather across the U.S., going against last week’s forecasts for the beginning of spring.
Analysts expect the temperature in New York to reach -2 degrees Fahrenheit before the end of March, which will likely support the price of the heating fuel heading into mid-week.
Copper futures (May 14 delivery) are also up, currently trading at 2.956, a 0.18% (0.005-point) premium to the day’s open. The rise sees the industrial metal regain some strength following a dismal previous week, as a stream of disappointing Chinese data fuelled a sell-off.
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