Gold and Crude Oil and other Important Commodities

By FX Empire Analyst - Barry Norman
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rose more than 1.5%, outperforming equities as renewed talks of US and European monetary stimulus boosted precious metal's appeal as a inflation hedge. Gold broke above the 1600 price level and in early Asian trading investors sold to take profits as the month draws to an end, but Gold bounced right back above and is trading at 1602.00 at present.

Gold holdings of SPDR gold trust, the largest ETF backed by the precious metal, declined to 1,252.53 tons, as on July 25. Silver holdings of iShares silver trust, the largest ETF backed by the metal, declined to 9,639.42 tons, as on July 24.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny has broken ranks with ECB colleagues, saying that giving Europe's permanent rescue fund a banking license to increase that would increase its crisis-fighting firepower.  The euro was able to rebound off a bottom of 1.20 to close at 1.2150 but continues to remain weak

Moody's Investors Service has changed the outlook on the provisional Aaa long-term rating of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to negative from stable.

, which compares the US unit to a basket of other currencies, fell to 83.755, from 84.009. US housing data fell below expectations giving the markets more hope that the Fed would offer some stimulus at its August 1st meeting.

Copper futures bounced back from one-month lows, as a rally in the euro against the dollar and hopes that Federal Reserve will bring in stimulus. However, major gains were capped by concerns over Euro-zone's debt crisis. Copper futures for Sept. delivery closed up by 0.65% at $3.3745 per pound on the COMEX of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil futures closed higher, changing direction in the last half-hour of floor trading. Prices declined earlier after a surprise increase for weekly crude supplies and above-estimate increases for crude products such as gasoline. Crude oil supplies increased by 2.7mn barrels to 380.1mn barrels, Gasoline supplies rose by 4.1mn barrels to 210mn barrels. Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 1.7mn barrels to 125.2mn barrels, as per EIA inventory. US refineries ran at 93% f total capacity on average, 1 percentage point up from the prior week, as per EIA report.

Japan's customs-cleared crude oil imports rose 5.2% to 16.19mn kilolitres (3.39mn barrels per day) of crude oil in June from a year ago, as per the Ministry of Finance.

futures closed lower, pressured by profit-booking after five straight session gains and ahead of the front-month August contract expiration on Friday. Natural gas inventories are expected to increase by 26-30bn cubic feet, actual data will be released by EIA later in the day. Natural gas prices are being supported by the ongoing drought in the US and AccuWeather forecasts of continued historical temperatures throughout the US, with June reporting one of the hottest months in years and July following the same numbers.

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