The oil price was barely changed on Monday. The front-month contract on Brent settled just shy above 108 USD per barrel (USD/bbl) while WTI fell from a sixteen month low after expiration of August contract.
Worse than expected US housing data for June also added some pressure on WTI prices. The spread between the two oils (September contracts) thus slightly widened yesterday after touching nearly athree year low (defined as Brent – WTI) on Friday.
Copper outperformed its peers on Monday and the price of the three-month contract (LME) even breached 7000 USD/t level and hit a one-month high. Speculations about possible introduction of pro-growth measures in China might have added minor support to base metals prices – the Prime Minister Li Keqiang was quoted by the state press agency saying that expansion below 7 percent would not be tolerated.
The gold price surged on Monday after breaching resistance at 1300 USD per troy ounce and eventually gained more than three percent. According to CFTC data, recent sharp decline in gold prices (more than 20 percent year-to-date) spurred producers of the metal to hedge against further drop. Number of traders holding short positions in COMEX gold futures has doubled over the past few weeks.