With the exception of natural gas prices, energy prices were higher, most of them significantly. WTI and Brent crude oil prices gained 31.8% and 14.8%, respectively and gasoline prices increased 12.7%. Gasoil and heating oil prices increased 0.8% and 0.2%, respectively. Natural gas prices fell 3.0%.
Grain prices were all lower last week. Chicago and Kansas wheat prices fell 3.9% and 3.0%, respectively. Corn and soybean prices dropped 4.4% and 3.1%, respectively.
Base metal prices were mixed again last week. Aluminum and nickel prices fell 4.5% and 1.1%, respectively, while copper and zinc prices increased 0.9% and 0.1%, respectively.
Precious metal prices were lower last week. Gold and silver prices decreased 0.3% and platinum prices fell 3.8%.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index decreased 0.83% last week. The energy sector was the only sector with positive performance last week. All other sectors had negative performance with grains and livestock sectors performing the worst.
Total assets in commodity ETPs rose significantly last week, increasing $2,153.7m, mainly driven by gold and crude oil ETP inflows. Gold ($1491.2m), crude oil ($687.2m), silver ($32.0m) and energy (ex-crude oil) ($24.8m) ETP inflows were slightly offset by broad commodity (-$62.8m) ETP outflows.
An up-and-down week for U.S. stock markets with all major U.S. broad market stock indexes ending lower on the week. U.S stock markets moved higher on Monday despite the Trump administration extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April. The continued increase in reported coronavirus cases and fatalities and the Trump administrations statement that there may be as many 240,000 U.S. coronavirus fatalities combined with a much larger-than-expected increase in jobless claims on Thursday and a worse-than-expected payroll report on Friday pushed U.S. stock markets lower for the week (though President Trump’s announcement on Thursday that Saudi Arabia and Russia would implement large oil production cutbacks helped boost not only the price of oil but also moved U.S. stock markets momentarily higher). At week’s end the S&P 500 Index lost 2.1% to close at 2,488.65, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate fell 9bps to 0.60% and the U.S. dollar (as measured by the DXY Index) strengthened 2.4%.
Falling almost 7% on Monday to an 18-year low and down 5% through Wednesday on continued oversupply and lower demand concerns, WTI crude oil prices rallied just under 40% after the Trump administration’s announcement Saudi Arabia and Russia would work to significantly cut oil production. Statements by Saudi Arabia indicating all of OPEC would need to contribute to cutbacks and by Russia tying any cutbacks to US cutbacks tempered, to some extent, market expectations of the size of actual cutbacks.
Signs of increased Chinese economic activity helped support most base metal prices through Thursday (Copper prices, for example, were up 2.1% through Thursday). Friday’s weaker-than-expected payroll report, portending decreased demand, moved all base metal prices lower.
Down almost 4% through Wednesday, gold prices moved higher on much larger-than-expected jobless claims and a weaker-than-expected U.S. payroll report. Silver and platinum prices moved off their Wednesday’s lows as well, but were pushed lower with base metal prices on Friday.
Despite higher oil prices, corn prices moved lower again last week after the USDA estimated much higher-than-expected acres of corn to be planted. Wheat and soybean prices moved lower but on no new news.
Coming up this week
- Light data week with inflation numbers and FOMC minutes.
- FOMC minutes released on Wednesday.
- PPI, Jobless claims and consumer sentiment on Thursday.
- CPI on Friday.
- EIA petroleum report on Wednesday and Baker-Hughes rig count on Friday.