China in focus - Higher exports, brighter prospects for copper and spike in iron ore prices

06th Apr - 12th Apr

1. China’s exports for the month of March came in much higher than expected

April 12, 2019

China’s exports for the month of March came in much higher than expected, while its imports came in much lower than expected. Dollar-denominated exports rose 14.2 percent for March from a year ago, topping expectations of a 7.3 percent rise from a year ago.

Source: CNBC

2. Supply disruption in Brazil and Australia pushed iron ore prices higher

April 07, 2019

Chinese iron ore futures have continued the bullish move to the highest level over supply disruptions from Australia and Brazil. Stronger steel prices in China is another factor behind the price gains after VAT reduction and other economic measures taken by the Chinese government. Warmer weather in China after a long winter production break may witness an increase in demand for steel as construction activity is renouncing.

Source: Business Insider

3. Stimulus hope lifts copper in China

April 09, 2019

China would step up its policy of targeted cuts in banks' required reserve ratios, which will encourage financing for small and medium-sized businesses. China said on Monday it would relax residency curbs in many of its smaller cities and increase infrastructure spending to boost economic growth. On Sunday, China also announced measures to encourage financing for small and medium-sized businesses.

Source: Business Line

4. Las Bambas Copper mine in Peru is expected to restore normal mining

April 07, 2019

Las Bambas Copper mine in Peru is expected to restore normal mining, production and transport operations after indigenous villagers agreed to end a two-month blockade. An indigenous village in Peru agreed to end its two-month road blockade of MMG Ltd’s copper mine Las Bambas in exchange for a commitment from the company to pay it for transiting through its farmland, according to a document detailing the deal on Saturday.

Source: Reuters

5. US oil rig count rose first time in seven weeks

April 06, 2019

According to private survey report, US oil rig count rose by 15 to 831 while US gas rig count rose by 4 to 194 till last week. Total rig count rose to 1,025 from 1,006 from a week earlier. An increasing rig count would lead to an increase in oil and gas production in the US which may put a lid on rising oil prices.

Source: Reuters

6. FOMC meeting minutes – doesn’t look to raise interest rate in a hurry

April 11, 2019

Fed doesn’t look to raise interest rates again in this year; however, policymakers also suggested that they would remain somewhat data dependent. If US economic data picks up over the coming months, the conversation might be re-opened in the second half of 2019. Fed policymakers are sitting on the fence in regard to the monetary policy. Fed members also voiced the need for flexibility which is likely to be digested as a near-term negative for the Greenback.

Source: CNBC

7. Oil production disrupted in Libya after violence

April 08, 2019

Oil supply disruption is in focus in Libya as eastern forces are advancing towards the country’s capital, disregarding global appeal for a truce. Violence in Libya may intensify further and is likely to result in low oil production in the coming weeks.

Source:Bloomberg

8. U.S. crude production was expected to rise

April 10, 2019

According to an EIA report, U.S. crude production was expected to rise 1.43 million bpd in 2019 to average 12.49 million bpd, from its previous forecast for a rise of 1.35 million bpd, whereas U.S. crude inventories rose 7 million barrels to 456.6 million barrels in the last week, their highest since November 2017.

Source: Reuters