Gold ETPs recorded US$552.1mn inflows last week, the largest weekly inflows ever. While European banks recovered slightly last Friday, the market sell-off during most of last week weighed on investors’ confidence towards the stability of the European financial system….
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As a result, the market pressure is rising for the European Central Bank to add more stimulus at its next meeting. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve chair Yellen’s testimony last week left investors on the sideline as her tone gave no fresh clues to whether the FOMC will continue to raise rates in March. Concern over the situation overseas and its potential impact on the US economy has reduced the probability of a rate hike in the US in 2016 to under 30%. The USD consequently fell nearly 1% over the past week, lending further support to gold. The safe haven asset played its role very well, surging to US$1,241/oz. last week. As a result, US$552mn flowed into gold ETPs, of which US$345mn occurred in one day.
Oil ETPs continue to record inflows as the commodity gave back all its recent gain. Last week saw net inflows of US$50mn into long oil ETPs while short oil ETPs saw US$8.5mn of inflows. US oil inventories are reported down 755,000 barrels for the first since early January. While better-than-expected, the decline in US oil inventories failed to support prices. Last week saw the price of Brent and WTI falling 13% and 17% respectively, as both monthly reports from the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration reaffirmed the state of oversupply of the global oil market. According to both, there have been little fundamental changes to justify a solid price recovery with oil prices forecast to remain low this year. While there is no evidence of discussion among the OPEC cartel at the moment, the number of countries calling for talks is increasing and a rumour on a potential meeting could suffice to trigger a price rally in the short term.
Copper prices at an attractive level for bargain hunters. With Chinese markets being closed for the entire week last week for the New Year of the monkey celebrations, recent price momentum faded. Soft investor sentiment due to European banks rout weighed on copper price, down below the US$4,500/ton mark again, reviving some interest from bargain hunters. Long copper ETPs saw US$12.3mn inflows last week while short copper ETPs saw net outflows of US$1.4mn, indicating that sentiment towards the metal may be recovering as positive momentum towards metals and mining builds.
Key events to watch this week. Mario Draghi speech later today should provide further clues on whether the central bank will step in if the situation with European banks deteriorates. Investors will also be following January consumer price index for UK and the US while studying the latest FOMC minute to be released on Wednesday