The front-month contract on Brent settled barely changed yesterday. Later in the afternoon, however, the price hit a twoweek high at 105.31 USD per barrel (USD/bbl). Still, the oil market seems to remain well-supplied for now. Although the market has seen some recovery in refinery margins lately, the demand for North Sea oil remains muted. This is indicated by only small backwardation in the front-end of Brent futures forward curve.
After seven consecutive days of losses, the price of gold soared and closed at 1387 USD per troy ounce (USD/toz) yesterday. News that Moody’s may consider a downgrade in US rating later this year may have added some upside pressure on the price.
Regarding the rest of this week, it may bring some interesting news from the perspective of gold. Tomorrow’s publication of the Fed Minutes (of the April 30 meeting) and the testimony of Bernanke potentially are key events, but we don’t expect Bernanke to settle the issue of the starting tapering off the purchases. If we are correct, gold price may even see some recovery. On the other hand, yesterday’s comments of Indian finance minister who said that the country would take additional steps to curb imports of the metal (which has increased the pressure on current account deficits in the past) if necessary may weigh on the sentiment.