Weekly outlook for Crude oil, Natural gas and Gold 28 Feb – 4 Mar

Here is a weekly outlook for the week of February 28th to Match 4th showing the news items and reports that will be published this coming week mainly related to the US, Europe, Canada and Australia economies.

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

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

  1. Monday 28th of February 10:00AM– Euro Area annual inflation (January): As the Euro zone shows some signs of recovery (mainly Germany), there are ongoing concerns regarding the inflation in Euro zone, due to the low interest rate (currently basic interest rate is at 1%), and the bailouts granted to Ireland and Greece. In the last report of December 2010 the annual inflation rate was 2.2%, up from 1.9% in November for Euro Area. There are expectations that in the upcoming report of January 2011 there will a further rise in CPI (for the full previous report);
  2. Monday 28th of February 13:30PM– Canada GDP by industry: This monthly report will show the changes in major industrial sectors for the December 2010. In the last report pertaining November, the real gross domestic product rose by 0.4%, mainly due to the oil and gas extraction as it grew by 2.4% in November compare to October (for the full previous report);
  3. Wednesday 2nd of March 13.00PM – Chairman of Fed – Ben Bernanke testifies: The Fed chairman will address in his upcoming semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate, the outlook for the monetary policy of the Fed in the near future. Bernanke will face issues in global developments that might impact domestic conditions on the economic outlook and monetary and fiscal policy. This includes, among other, the progress of QE2 (quantitative easing), i.e. the 600 billion USD stimulus plan which the Fed first announced back in November 2010 (see here my analysis on the Fed’s policy);
  4. Wednesday 2nd of March 15.30PM – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will issue its weekly report on the main changes in consumption, storage, production and imports of crude oil in the U.S. and how these changes might affect crude oil price. Last week’s report showed petroleum stocks, continued falling for the second straight week after rising for five weeks straight earlier; last week they have declined by 0.7%, a decrease of nearly 12 million barrels of crude oil to reach 1,784 million barrels. (see here my previous review on crude oil stocks);
  5. Wednesday 2nd of March 12.30PM – Australian Bureau of Stat. will publish the trade balance report: This report shows the trade balance of Australia for the month of January. Australia is a key player in exporting major commodities such as coal, gold and crude oil. This report will present the changes in the supply of these commodities during January to major economies such as China. In the last report pertaining the month of December, there was a fall in non-monetary gold export of 118$ – a 10% decrease compare to previous month. In total, there was a decrease of 160m$, compare to November 2010, in the surplus in trade balance on goods and services, reaching 2,042m$. (For the previous report check in this link);
  6. Thursday 2nd of March 13.30PM – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on Feb 19th, the report showed a decrease in initial claims of 22,000, settling on 413,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percent points to reach 3.0% for the week ending on Feb 12th; finally, the number of insured unemployment for the week of Feb 12th was 3.790 million, a decrease of 145,000 compare to the previous week. These figures show that it could be an improvement in the US economy;
  7. Thursday 3rd of March 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 reached a total of 1,830 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states as it continued to decline for the fourteenth straight week, this time by 4.2%, a decline of 81 billion cubic feet; this draw, however, was much smaller than last week’s draw (233 billion cubic feet) and the 5-year average draw of 148 BcF; furthermore, the natural gas storage was lower than the five year average by 61 BcF. (see here my previous review on last week’s figures update);

For further reading (in this site):

Previous Reports: