Oil prices continue rally on Egyptian protest –January 31

The latest news from Egypt is that later on today a huge protest in Cairo will be held. The purpose of the rally is to demand from the President Hosni Mubarak to step down from his presidency.

In preparations for this huge protest, the uncertainly in the region has risen sharply. One of the major factors that were affected from this news item is crude oil price, which as expected sharply inclined yesterday.

Let’s closely examine the changes in major energy commodities market and precious metals for January 31st:

Oil and Gas prices:

Crude oil price (WTI spot) after sharply rising on Friday by 4.32%, yesterday it inclined sharply for the second time, by 3.19% as it settled on 92.19 $/b; As a result, despite the downward trend for most of the month of January, WTI spot price finished the month by a moderately rise of 0.7% from beginning to end of the week.

Brent oil (spot price) also inclined, however by a smaller percentage of 1.24% to reach 99.77$/b – very close to the 100$/b mark. Brent oil price rose during January by 4.1%.

Later on today, a rally will be held in Cairo, currently called the million man protest. Currently, reports estimate the protest brought roughly 15,000 people.

This Egyptian protest calls for President Hosni Mubarak to resign from office.

In an attempt to restore the confidence in the Egyptian people, Mubarak fired his government and appointed 13 new cabinet members.

Also, for the first time since the signing of the peace treaty with Israel back in 1979, Egypt deployed 800 of its soldiers in Sinai to maintain further riots by Bedouin people.  This deployment was approved by Israel officials.

If I would to speculate (and I am!!), this recent rally in crude oil prices could evaporate very quickly if the situation in Egypt will resolve or at least won’t further escalate.

Thus the next couple of days are pivotal: if the Egyptian riots will subside, it could be a good indicator that the attempted coup is over, if not then the riots could continue and only further escalate the stability in the Middle East (for more on this subject see here).

Natural gas spot price (Henry Hub) after it fell on Friday by 2.5%, it increased by 3.26% yesterday to reach 4.43$/mmbtu.  

Precious Metals prices:

Gold price, unlike crude oil, has moderately declined by 0.54%, as it reached 1,334 $/t oz.

Silver prices, on the other hand, inclined yesterday by 0.9% and reached 28.169$/t oz.

EURO/ USD, after the news Middle East riots, bounced back yesterday to increase by 0.6%, the USD also weakened against the AUD, as the USD/ AUD inclined by 0.34%. For a more detailed report on the EURO/USD check out Forex crunch.

A summary of yesterday’s Prices Changes:

The following table presents the main descriptive data from last business day – January 31st, for precious metals, energy commodities and exchange rates. The table includes: settled prices, daily percent change, and quantitative change in US dollars (except for USD/CAD, in which the change is in Canadian dollars):

Natural gas spot price, Crude oil price, current Gold prices Silver prices January 31

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