Commodities: Oil and copper futures fall on growth worries

14 August 2019

(Sharecast News) - Commodity prices gave back most of the prior session's gains amid a darkening outlook for economic growth, with weakness in energy futures the main culprit.
As of 1905 BST, front month Brent crude oil futures were falling by 3.96% to $58.87 a barrel on the ICE, alongside a 4.38% fall in RBOB gasoline on NYMEX to $1.6604 a gallon.

In the background meanwhile, the Bloomberg commodity index was retreating by 1.10% to 76.74 as the US dollar spot index edged up by 0.15% to 97.9610.

Earlier, Germany's <em>Federal Office of Statistics</em> had confirmed a 0.1% quarter-on-quarter contraction in growth in the Eurozone's largest economy for the three months to June.

And overnight, the latest batch of economic reports out of China, covering industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment in July had all come in well short of market forecasts.

The combined effect of those new data points was to flip the US and UK interest rate curves into so-called inversion, further adding to growth concerns.

US Department of Energy oil inventory data for the week ending on 9 August revealed a smaller than expected increase in the country's commercial oil inventories of 1.6m barrels (consensus: 3.7m barrels).

However, the same set of figures also showed weaker demand for gasoline.

"Looking ahead, we expect the US economy to slow sharply and think that this will lead to crude stocks increasing over and above seasonal norms," said <em>Capital Economics</em>'s Samuel Burman.

Gold futures on the other hand bounced back despite those growth concerns, with December gold on COMEX adding 1.0% to trade at $1,529.30/oz..

Three-month copper futures on the LME also fell back, finishing the session at $5,765 per metric tonne after a start from $5,842 per tonne.