As with the global stock markets, the Chinese economy and the lingering tension between Russia and Ukraine are dominating the commodities markets on Wednesday.
Gold futures (April 14 delivery) are currently trading at 1,363.10, a 1.22% rise on the day’s open and the precious metal’s highest level since September 2013. Similarly, silver futures (April 14 delivery) are up 1.46% for the day, currently trading just below morning session highs at 21.103.
The rise in both metals comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses crisis talks with Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov. “Unfortunately, for now Russia is rejecting a diplomatic solution to the conflict,” he told the press. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is travelling to the U.S. to discuss the situation with President Barack Obama, though as-yet, Putin remains unwilling to entertain any U.S. diplomatic involvement in the dispute.
Staying with the metals, copper futures (May 14 delivery) are down 0.04% for the day, currently trading at 2.951. The decline in copper comes as a result of investor speculation that the Chinese economy is slowing, with a stream of recent economic data falling short of expectations. China is the world’s largest copper consumer and if Thursday’s Chinese industrial production release falls short of the forecast 9.5%, it could escalate the current sentiment and hold copper below $3, a price below which the industrial metal has not traded since October 2009.**relatedarticle**
Elsewhere, crude oil futures (April 14 delivery) dipped to their lowest level since February 6. The fuel fell 1.54% to 98.49, driven by the American Petroleum Institute’s report that inventories rose by 2.6M barrels in the week ended March 7, well in excess of the forecast 2.3M barrels.
Natural gas remains at key support/resistance, with the April 14 contracts trading at 4.575, a 0.65% decline for the day. The third consecutive down day for the fuel comes as the weather turns mild across the U.S., and forecasters continue to reinforce their prediction for warmer weather throughout March and heading into April.
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