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Gold rallies in electronic trade as Middle East tensions intensify and comments from Fed's Williams back a rate cut

Gold futures extended their gains into the electronic trading session on Thursday. "News of the U.S. navy shooting down an Iranian drone always adds fuel to the market, but the underlying buying momentum after a break of the $1,425 area has propelled gold back to the next bit challenge" the $1,450 area, said Peter Spina, chief executive officer of GoldSeek.com. He also pointed to speculation in the market that a "large supranational organization" is acquiring all ounces of gold produced in North America, citing a tweet from Roy Sebag, founder of GoldMoney. Traders also saw comments from the New York Fed President John Williams as endorsing an interest-rate cut at the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this month. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index also declined on the back of the comments, providing support for dollar-denominated gold prices. August gold was at $1,448.40 an ounce in electronic trading. The contract had climbed by $4.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,428.10 on Comex. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since mid-May 2013, according to FactSet data. 3:49 p.m. July 18, 2019

Kinder Morgan’s stock falls after earnings, Chesapeake Energy’s hits 20-year low

Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. dropped Thursday in active trading, dragged down by a disappointing earnings report and a selloff in crude oil and natural gas prices. 3:24 p.m. July 18, 2019

Oil prices drop nearly 3% to lowest settlement in a month

Earlier gains for oil futures on the back of increased tensions in the Middle East give way to sizable declines Thursday, pushing prices to their lowest settlement in a month. 3:08 p.m. July 18, 2019

Commodities Headlines

Oil drops by nearly 3%, with U.S. prices at lowest in a month

Oil futures dropped by nearly 3% on Thursday, sending U.S. prices to their lowest finish in roughly a month. Prices reversed earlier gains, "reacting to the weakness in U.S. equities and over expectations of a production rise from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region, coming back into service after last week's Hurricane Barry disrupted production," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive officer of Sun Global Investments. August West Texas Intermediate oil lost $1.48, or 2.6%, to settle at $55.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since June 19, according to FactSet data.

2:36 p.m. July 18, 2019
 - AFP/Getty Images
Silver rallies to its highest in over a year, plays ‘catch up’ to gold’s gains

Silver futures mark a fifth straight session gain on Thursday, to their highest finish in more than a year as tight supply concerns, along with strength in gold, help lift prices

2:08 p.m. July 18, 2019
EIA reports a weekly rise of 62 billion cubic feet in U.S. natural-gas supplies

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 62 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 12. The data were expected to show a build of 65 billion cubic feet, on average, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 2.533 trillion cubic feet, up 291 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 143 billion below the five-year average, the government said. August natural gas traded at $2.325 per million British thermal units, up 2.1 cents, or 0.9%, from Wednesday's settlement. It was trading at $2.335 before the data.

10:35 a.m. July 18, 2019
 - Bloomberg News/Landov
China, trade wars dent Alcoa’s demand hopes

Alcoa predicts lower demand growth for aluminium amid trade wars and the global economic backdrop.

7:28 a.m. July 18, 2019
Anglo American cuts diamond output forecast

Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) said on Thursday that second-quarter diamond production from its majority-owned De Beers business fell 14% as it follows a strategy of producing to market demand, and revised its diamond-production guidance downwards.

4:02 a.m. July 18, 2019
 - Bloomberg News/Landov
Oil prices at two-week low as U.S. crude supplies fall less than expected and product stocks climb

Oil futures mark their lowest finish in roughly two weeks Wednesday as U.S. government data reveal that domestic crude supplies fell for a fifth straight week, but inventories were down by less than the market expected and product stockpiles climbed.

3:18 p.m. July 17, 2019
Oil prices end lower as U.S. crude supplies fall less than expected and product stocks climb

Oil futures ended with a loss on Wednesday, with U.S. prices at their lowest in about two weeks, as U.S. crude supplies posted a smaller-than-expected weekly decline and stockpiles of gasoline and distillates saw sizable gains. August West Texas Intermediate oil lost 84 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $56.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since July 2, according to FactSet data.

2:45 p.m. July 17, 2019
Gold prices settle at a more than 6-year high

Gold futures climbed Wednesday to settle at their highest since May 2013, finding support from weakness in the dollar and expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut key interest rates later this month. "The dollar has eased back a little...allowing buck-denominated gold and silver to break further higher," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. "As well as a weaker dollar, these precious metals have found support from safe haven flows amid weakness on Wall Street, where positive bank earnings have failed to keep the indices at record levels." Traders await the Fed's Beige Book analysis of economic activity, due out shortly for further indications of the central bank's plan for interest rates. August gold rose $12.10, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,423.30 on Comex. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since mid-May 2013, according to FactSet data.

1:39 p.m. July 17, 2019

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