US oil production hits record highs, Fed likely to turn hawkish & India emerges as the top buyer of Venezuelan oil

16th Feb – 22nd Feb

1. Palladium ETF holding fell below 800,000 on heavy demand from Auto industry

Feb 20, 2019

Palladium is outperforming other precious metals as the market is undersupplied along with increased demand from the auto industry, as governments across countries are trying to replace orthodox high emission engines with low emission engines. Holdings of palladium-backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are now below 800,000 ounces compared with 1.3 million ounces in early 2018.

Source: CNBC

2. US oil production hit records 12 million barrels per day

Feb 22, 2019

Oil prices fell after the EIA report on United States crude output. Crude oil production hit a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd). This means that U.S. crude output has soared by almost 2.5 million bpd since the start of 2018, and by a whopping 5 million bpd since 2013.

Source: CNBC

3. Federal Reserve to hike interest rate later in the year

Feb 21, 2019

The U.S. Federal Reserve will not adopt as dovish a stance on monetary policy as previously thought and investors booked profits. The US Federal Reserve said that the U.S. economy and labor market remained strong, prompting some expectations of at least one more rate hike this year. Fed President James Bullard tells media that he thinks interest rate hikes and the reduction of bond holdings is near an end.

Source: Economic Times

4. After US sanctions on Venezuela, India becomes no.1 buyer of its oil exports

Feb 18, 2019

Venezuelan Crude oil exports have plunged since US President Donald Trump ratcheted up sanctions against the country’s oil company. But India is a beneficiary of this and it became the No. 1 buyer of Venezuelan crude in the first half of February, with imports jumping 66 per cent to 620,000 barrels a day.

Source: Times of India

5. India’s gold imports drop by 5% during April 2018-January 2018

Feb 17, 2019

India’s gold imports dipped about 5% in value terms to USD 26.93 billion during April-January 2018-19. As drops in gold import is expected to keep a lid on the Current Account Deficit (CAD). Total gold imports in the corresponding period of 2017-18 stood at USD 28.23 billion. Softening gold prices in the world markets is the key reason for the contraction in imports.

Source: Economic Times

6. Investors benefited investing into Sovereign gold bonds

Feb 18, 2019

Sovereign gold bonds have turned out to be better off as gold prices have risen supported with the 2.5 per cent interest on these bonds. Sovereign Gold Bond investors are having advance over as they get an additional interest of 2.5% per annum over and above price appreciation of gold. Even the RBI has awarded a discount of ₹ 50 per gram from the issue price to investors who purchased these bonds though in digital mode.

Source: Economic Times

7. China's auto sales fell by 15% for an eighth month in January

Feb 15, 2019

China's auto sales fell for an eighth month in January, extending a painful decline for the biggest global market as demand cooled off amidst a slowing economy and a tariffs standoff with the US. Purchase of sedans, SUVs and minivans fell 15% from a year earlier to just over 2 million vehicles, according to an industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Source: Reuters

8. India imported 300,000 bpd oil from Iran in Jan’19, 10% lower than December

Feb 16, 2019

India is restricted to buying 1.25 million tonnes per month, some 300,000 bpd. January imports from Iran were 10.4% lower than December. In the first 10 months of this fiscal year that began in April, India's oil imports from Iran rose by 14.5 per cent to 507,000 bpd as refiners boosted purchases ahead of the US sanctions drawn by discounts offered by Tehran. Iran was hoping to sell more than 500,000 bpd of oil to India in 2018/19.

Source: Times of India