Weekly outlook for Crude oil, Natural gas and Gold 21-25 February

Here is a weekly outlook for the week of February 21st to 25th showing the news items and reports that will be published this coming week mainly related to the US, Europe, and Japan economies.

The news besides these reports that could affect the commodities markets is the continuous uprising in the Middle East (see here for further elaborations).

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

  1. Tuesday 22nd of February 23.50PM – Report of Japanese Trade balance (for January): The Japanese trade balance for the month of December increased by 31.9% compare to November, to reach  707 billion YEN surplus (seasonally adjusted figures). This increase is mainly due to the rise in exports by 5.7%, compare to a 3% increase in imports. Japan is among the leading importing countries of commodities, such as crude oil and gold, and its trade balance could provide insight into Japan’s changes in demand goods and services;
  2. Wednesday 23rd 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 petroleum stocks, after rising for five weeks straight, had declined by 0.5%, a decrease of nearly 8.4 million barrels of crude oil to reach 1,796 million barrels (see here my previous review on crude oil stocks);
  3. Thursday 24th of February 13.30PM – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on Feb 12th, the report showed an increase in initial claims of 25,000, settling on 410,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate remained unchanged on 3.1% for the week ending on Feb 5th; finally, the number of insured unemployment for the week of Feb 5th was 3.911 million, an increase of 1,000 compare to the previous week;
  4. Thursday 24th of February 13.30PM – US Department of Commerce – Report on Durable Goods: This monthly report shows the changes in orders of durable goods in the US in the manufacturing sector. The expectations are that for the January 2011 there will be a rise in purchases of durable goods. During December 2010, the Census showed a decline in manufactured durable goods by $5.0 billion or 2.5% to $191.0 billion, and Non-defense new orders for capital goods decreased by $4.2 billion or 6.3% to $61.4 billion (for the full report);
  5. Thursday 24th 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, consumption and production in the US. In the EIA recent report natural gas storage continued to decline for the thirtieth straight week, this time by 10.9%, a fall of over 233 billion cubic feet; this draw is much larger than the 5-year average draw of 150 BcF; furthermore, the natural gas storage is also lower than the five year average by 6.3% BcF (see here my previous review on last week’s figures update);
  6. Friday 25th of February 9.00AM – Monetary developments in the euro area: This monthly report shows the changes in M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area. This upcoming report will refer to January 2011. In the last report pertaining December, the annual growth rate for M3 declined to 1.7%, from 2.1% annual rate in November. Furthermore, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector declined from 2% in November to 1.9% in December. These data show a decline in economic activity along in the Euro Area that could influence investors’ perspective on the economic condition of the EURO zone (see here the last report);
  7. Friday 25th of February 09:30AM– Great Britain GDP 4Q report: This is a revised report about the calculation of the fourth quarter GDP of Great Britain. According to the preliminary report for Q4, Britain’s GDP had declined by 0.5%. There aren’t supposed to be in drastic changes. Just blame it on the cold weather… This is also backed up by the numbers as services (e.g. hotels, restaurants), construction and transportations had declined, while energy supply, and total production had increased in the last quarter of 2010.
  8. Friday 25th of February 13:30PM– US GDP 4Q report: This will be a second estimate report pertaining fourth quarter GDP of US. In the first estimate the 4Q2010 GDP growth rate was 3.2%, while 3Q was 2.6% and 2Q2010 was 1.7%. If there won’t be much of a change in the 4Q2010 estimate then this will present a steady rising trend in GDP in the US (for the first estimate of 4Q GDP).

For further reading (in this site):

Oil prices’ erratic behavior – Weekly recap 14-18 February

Previous Reports: