Emerging markets woes and general sell-off of risky assets weighed on commodities prices on Monday and oil was no exception. The price of the front-month contract on Brent settled well below 107 USD per barrel (USD/bbl) although the situation in the North Sea market remains tight in comparison with historical standards (as indicated by high CFD prices).
Regarding the latest ICE Commitment of Traders report on positions in Brent futures, it unveiled that the number of traders holding long positions is more or less equal to the number of traders holding short positions. Taking into account that the long/short ratio (the number of long contracts divided by the number of short contracts held by money managers) is about 1.86, this signals that the oil price might be prone to a relatively sharp sell-off in days ahead as well (yesterday, the oil price posted the largest daily loss since the beginning of the year). The key risk events ahead are the meetings of the Turkey’s central bank (today in the evening) and the FOMC meeting tomorrow.
Precious metals prices fell across the board yesterday even though the factors that had supported them over the past few days remained in place. The gold price fell below 1260 USD per troy ounce while platinum lost 1.4%. Still, platinum has been one of the best performing commodities so far this year on strike of South African mine workers.
Regarding the strike, the talks between mining companies and unions have not brought any substantial progress yet and are expected to continue today and tomorrow. According to their spokesmen, two of the three affected major companies have stockpiles to cover their obligations up to eight weeks, which creates room for longer negotiations.