Weekly outlook for Crude oil, Natural gas and Gold 14-18 February

Here is a weekly outlook for the week of February 14th to 18th showing the news items and reports that will be published this coming week mainly related to the US, Europe, China and Canada economies.

The news besides these reports that could affect the commodities markets is the continuous uprising in the Egypt: now that Mubarak has resigned, the uncertainty about the future stability of the Middle East is still in question and how it will affect energy commodities (see here for further elaboration).

This forecast shows how prices of major commodities such as crude oil price could be affected from the following reports (all times GMT):

  1. Sunday 13th of February Tentative – China’s foreign trade balance: This monthly report shows the main changes in trade balance for January 2011. In the previous report, as of December 2010, the country’s exports grew by 31.3% (Y-2-Y) in 2010 compare to 2009 reaching  1.58 trillion U.S. dollars while imports surged 38.7% to reach 1.39 trillion U.S. dollars (see here the last report). China’s consumption of energy products could have a further substantial impact on the world demand for crude oil;
  2. Tuesday 15th of February– Main Europe’s economy’s GDP 4Q report: Germany, France and Italy will publish their preliminary fourth quarter GDP reports. This will show how these major economies’ growth rate changed during the year 2010. According to the recent third quarter report, Germany’s growth rate was at 0.7%, France grew in Q3 by a moderate 0.3%, and Italy even less by 0.2%;
  3. Tuesday 15th of February 10.00AM – Euro zone foreign trade balance: The release will be for December data regarding the Euro (27 countries) foreign trade balance. The previous report, pertaining November, showed that EU27 had a deficit of 14.7 bn euro, compare with 7.3 bn euros in November 2009; while EA16 showed a 0.4 bn euro deficit, compared with 3.1 bn euros surplus in October 2009.  EU27 increased its deficit in energy goods from -192.8 bn euros in Jan-Oct 2009 to -238.6 in Jan-Oct 2010. This report shows the changes in demand for energy commodities in Europe, and thus Europe’s role in influencing the energy market in general and crude oil price in particular (see here the last report).
  4. Wednesday 16th of February 15.30PM – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will issue its weekly report on the main changes in demand (consumption and storage) and supply (production and imports) for crude oil in the U.S. and how these changes might affect crude oil price. Last week’s report showed a rise of 0.2% in petroleum stocks, an increase of nearly 3.2 million barrels of crude oil. Last week, the imports (mainly from Canada), refineries input of crude oil and US production inclined compare to previous week. This  rise in stocks is probably relate to the incline in refineries despite the rise in energy demand due to the cold weather (see here my previous review on crude oil stocks);
  5. Thursday 17th of February 13.30PM – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on Feb 5th, the report showed a decrease in initial claims of 36,000, settling on 419,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate remained unchanged on 3.1% for the week ending on Jan 29th ; finally, the number of insured unemployment for the week of Jan 29th was 3.888 million, a decrease of 47,000 compare to the previous week;
  6. Thursday 17th of February 15.30PM – EIA report about Natural gas storage: The EIA will also issue its weekly report on the main changes in natural gas storage and consumption in the US. The EIA report showed an ongoing rise in domestic consumption but a fall in prices compare to the previous week; the underground natural as storage decreased by 8.9% and reached 2,144 (Billion Cubic Feet) for all lower 48 states (see here my previous review on last week’s figures update);
  7. Friday 18th of December 13.00PM – Report on Canadian CPI: This monthly report shows the main changes in the core consumer price index which excludes the most volatile components such as energy, fruit and vegetables. According to the Canadian statistics report for December 2010, the CPI rose by 2.4% in 12 month up to December compare to a 2% increase up to November 2010. The main reason for the rise is related to the gasoline prices which rose by 13% between December 2009 and December 2010.

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