5 things for Thursday, April 13: North Korea, Syria, Trump

Posted April 14, 2017

Uncertainty about the result of the upcoming French presidential election and possible United States military strikes against Syria and North Korea also boosted demand for safe-haven assets among jittery investors.

Rising global tension around Syria and North Korea have pushed gold prices to their highest level since November as investors shift to safe haven assets, RT reveals.

USA gold futures were up 0.9 per cent at $1,290.10.

The unsteady dollar continues to push gold's increase to a 5-month high, the rising tension between the U.S. relationship with Russian and North Korea continues to drag the dollar down.

Concurrently, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was 0.30% or 16 cents lower at $52.95 per barrel, as the EIA also forecast a rebound in U.S. crude production by 3.9% this year to 9.22m barrels per day (bpd), and a rise of another 7.4% to an all-time high of 9.9m bpd in 2017.

On Tuesday, North Korean state media warned of a nuclear attack on the United States if provoked.

The Japanese yen continues to appreciate against the dollar this morning, as the two major flashpoints on the world stage both involve U.S. military action, or the threat thereof. "Gold has finally broken and closed above its 200-day moving average at $1,257.50, which now becomes a support".

Russian Federation must withdraw support from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime if it wants an "important role" in talks about Syria's future, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday in Italy, where he was attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations.

Silver was little changed at US$18.3219 an ounce in London. While the drop only has a marginal impact on the inventory levels that have risen by 50m barrels since the start of the year, the market took some bullish cues from it in light of higher refinery runs, ahead of the approaching U.S. summer driving season, with oil trading higher in Asia.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), rose 0.50 per cent to 842.41 tonnes on Tuesday.

Spot silver was up 0.1 percent at $18.50, after hitting a 5-month high of $18.56. This ETF has been trading between the two indicators for much of this month, but I suspect it's on the verge of making a move that will determine the direction of the entire sector.

In commodities, the May crude contract climbed for a sixth day in a row, up 32 cents at US$53.40 per barrel, while the May natural gas contract fell nine cents at US$3.15 per mmBTU. Platinum was 0.2 per cent higher at $970.85, while palladium rose 0.9 per cent to $804.