Weekly outlook for Crude oil, Natural gas and Gold 17-21 January

Here is a weekly outlook for the week of January 17th to 21st showing the news items and reports that will be published this coming week mainly related to the US, Canada and EURO economies; This forecast will provide some insight on how the prices of major commodities such as crude oil price, and gold prices could be affected from these reports. The reports include the following (all times GMT):

  1. Monday 17th of January tentative (postponed indefinitely) – Publishing the US Treasury Currency Report by the Department of Treasury: This report which is published twice a year provides information and analysis such as economic policies and economic conditions, on the US and major countries. Last time the report (July 2010) showed that the US is still on a high unemployment rate of 9.5%, however it did show an economic growth of an average 3.5% per quarter (annual basis), which was higher then the weighted-average of 2.4% of the other G7 countries. This report could provide insight into the economic growth and stability of major countries and thus inform us how their condition could affect commodities prices;
  2. Wednesday 19th of January 09:00AM – Euro area balance of payments report by the European Central Bank: This monthly report will present the seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area (i.e. the difference between the value of imports and exports of goods and services. In the last report (for October 2010) it showed a deficit of 9.8 billion Euros, which was a decrease of 3.3 billion Euros compare to September 2010. This decrease was mainly due to the decrease in income deficit. Further, for the 12 months cumulative seasonally adjusted current account there’s a deficit of EUR 49.3 billion up to October 2010; however, the euro area recorded an increase in goods surplus from 20.6 billion euros to 30.6 billion euros. The report shows the economic condition of the euro area and, among other, its supply and demand for goods and services to and from other countries; this could provide insight as the Europe’s progress in getting out of its recession and, consequentially its demand for major commodities;
  3. Wednesday 19th of January 13:30PM – Monthly Survey of Manufacturing – Canada Statistics: This monthly report shows the manufacturing sales of Canada for the month of November 2010. In the previous report for the month of October 2010, was an increase in sales in petroleum and coal products of 4.3% to 6$ billion which reflects a rise of 4.4% in prices; for the primary metals industry, sales increased by 5.8% to 3.8$ billion compare to the previous month, which was due to rise in prices but also in volume. Since Canada is among the most important non-OPEC supplier of energy, the changes in its manufacturing industries could explain the changes in supply not only of energy but also of metals;
  4. Thursday 20th of January 13.30PM – Department of Labor report about US unemployment claims: The weekly report presents the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted data of last week’s unemployment claims. For the week ending on Jan 8th, the report showed an increase in initial claims of 35,000, settling on 445,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percent points for the week ending on Jan 1st with a 3.1% rate; furthermore, the number of insured unemployment for the week of Jan 1st was 3.879 million, a decrease of 248,000 compare to the previous week. This is one of the indicators for the US economy’s condition; if the report this week will show an improvement in unemployment claims; this could indicate that the U.S. economy is on its way to recovery. Further, this indicator could also provide a signal for investors to reconsider investing in the US; consequentially, this might increase the value of the US dollar compare to major currencies and thus reduce the appeal of commodities such as gold and crude oil as an investment which could decrease their prices.
  5. Thursday 20th of January 15.30PM – EIA report about Natural gas storage: The EIA will also issue its weekly report on natural gas and the main changes in storage and consumption in the US. The EIA report showed a rise in domestic consumption of over 19% compare to the previous week, mostly due to increase in demand for residential and industrial markets, due to the cold weather (see here my previous review on last week’s figures update). The Natural Gas Working Underground Storage  decreased by 4.5% compare to the previous week, reaching 2,959 (Billion Cubic Feet) for all lower 48 states;
  6. Thursday 20th of January 16.00PM – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will issue its weekly report on the US crude oil & petroleum related products (such as gasoline and propane), inventories and consumption of the passing week. These data show the main changes in demand and supply for crude oil in the U.S. and how these changes might affect crude oil price. Last week’s report showed a rise of 0.1% in crude oil stocks, which is an increase of nearly 1 million barrels of crude oil. This rise was mainly due to the increase in Stocks of Total Gasoline, which inclined by 2.3% a 5 million barrels rise – reaching 223.2 million barrels; this rise in stocks is despite the incline in energy demand in the U.S. as the winter progress (see here my previous review on crude oil stocks);

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