Gold ETPs recorded US$42m of inflows last week as tensions escalate between the US and Russia….
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Investors took profits on oil as prices rose over 3% on production outages and US military strikes in Syria
Investors increased their long position into EUR ETPs as Eurozone recovery gains momentum
Investors poured US$42m into long gold ETPs as sentiment turned bearish following the launch of US missiles strikes on Syria in response to the chemical attack. In turn, Russian President Putin condemned the US air strikes on Syria and suspended its agreement with the US to avoid hostile standoffs in the Syrian airspace. The escalation of tensions between the US and Russia led gold price to rise 1.7% to US$1,270 an ounce on the news, the highest level since last November, posting a 10% increase year-to-date. What’s more, the 10yr US Treasuries yield is down 3bps to 2.31% also reflecting defensive strategies and a weaker-than-expected US employment report (nonfarm payrolls came at 98k versus a consensus of 180k).
After five consecutive weeks of inflows, crude oil ETPs saw US$19m of outflows as investors secure profits. The unexpected rise of US inventory by 1.6m barrels was not enough to offset the positive price-effect from the current production outages in the North Sea and Canada. Besides, oil prices jumped as much as 2% in intra-day trade in reaction to the news of US military strikes on Syria. We believe that was an overreaction as Syria is not a significant producer of oil. Market concerns may be more centered around how Syria’s allies such as Russia and Iran will react. But with Iran able to increase production while other OPEC members are cutting. Russia is still far from cutting production back enough to meet its obligations under the OPEC/nonOPEC deal. We see a short-term correction to oil prices after the knee-jerk reaction to this missile strike.
Industrial metals ETPs saw US$11m of inflows reflecting stronger global macroeconomic data. Industrial metals prices found support from improving economic data and rising stock markets. However, metals prices edged down slightly after the news of US air strikes on Syria, reflecting the rotation from cyclicals to defensive assets.
Last week there was US$18.8m of outflows from short EUR ETPs, while long EUR ETPs saw US$3.2m in inflows. Investors’ sentiment toward the euro may be edging upward after ECB President Draghi stated that “the recovery is progressing and now may be gaining momentum” at a conference at Frankfurt’s Goethe University last Thursday.
This week. The G7 foreign ministers will hold a press conference on Tuesday after the publication of UK inflation (Mar) and Germany ZEW survey (Apr). A strong Chinese trade report for March (Thu) will further support cyclicals. US and UK markets closed for Good Friday.