On Friday, Brent crude strengthened and the front-month futures contract (ICE) settled at 111.23 USD per barrel (USD/bbl). Crude however lagged behind other cyclical commodities such as base metals and the gains were rather small. Still, Brent posted first monthly gains since August last month. Regarding the situation in the physical market, agencies reported that the North Sea market slightly tightened due to talks about possible shipments of oil to South Korea.
Today in early trading, Brent slightly extends Friday’s gains and at the time of writing is hovering at 200 days average.
The base metals complex led gains on Friday – both LME copper and aluminium hit multi-week highs. Aluminium posted strong gains in a second consecutive session (in both cases, traded volumes were significantly above the average) and thus settled at the highest price level since early October.
Regarding China’s HSBC PMI for November released today, it confirmed a modest improvement in overall conditions indicated by its flash estimate. The final figure stood at 50.5 which is the best result in last 13 months and was, among others, driven by higher new export orders.