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With US markets closed yesterday for the holiday, and light trading elsewhere with little eco data and virtually nothing on the political front or in news flows, markets were fairly quiet, ahead of the anticipated ECB meeting and the marquee event of the week, the US nonfarm payroll report due on Friday. The commodities market was fairly steady.
Gold traded steadily near a 2-week high, after jumping 4% in the past three sessions, as investors kept their positive bets on the precious metal ahead of an expected European Central Bank rate cut and pivotal US jobs data.
Gold holdings of SPDR gold trust, the largest ETF backed by the precious metal, declined to 1,279.51 tons, as on June 29. Silver holdings of iShares silver trust, the largest ETF backed by the metal, declined to 9,681.63 tons, as on July 3.
The dollar index, which compares the US unit to a basket of other currencies, traded at 81.803, up from around 81.888.
The ECB on Thursday is widely expected to cut euro zone rates to a record low to try to contain the debt crisis, without resorting to buying of the sovereign bonds of heavily indebted nations such as Spain and Italy to lower their borrowing costs.
Copper eased slightly, as investors locked in profits after recent steep gains, waiting for more signs from central banks to revive a faltering global economy that has dented demand for industrial metals.
Copper futures for Sept. delivery closed up by 2.1% at $3.5405 per pound on the COMEX of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent futures declined below $100 per barrel in early Asian trade session today, as fresh evidence of weakness in European economies triggered demand concerns, even as investors kept up hopes for stimulus measures to counter fragile global growth.
Tehran has been threatening to block shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, through which more than a third of the world's sea-borne oil trade passes, in response to increasingly harsh sanctions by the US and its allies to curb its nuclear research program.
Expected EIA inventories: Crude oil -2mn barrels Gasoline -0.5nm barrels & Distillate +0.5mn barrels