Edition:
India

Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

RPT-Asia Rice-Drought threatens Thai crop, Bangladesh braces for cold wave

10 Jan 2020

BENGALURU, Jan 9 Rice export prices in major Asian hubs held steady this week but a multi-month drought drove expectations of a rise in Thai rates, while a cold snap threatened crops in Bangladesh.

Asia Rice-Drought threatens Thai crop, Bangladesh braces for cold wave

09 Jan 2020

BENGALURU, Jan 9 Rice export prices in major Asian hubs held steady this week but a multi-month drought drove expectations of a rise in Thai rates, while a cold snap threatened crops in Bangladesh.

Gold tumbles as Trump allays Middle East worries

09 Jan 2020

Gold shed over 1% after vaulting above the $1,600 level for the first time in nearly seven years on Wednesday after remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump eased fears of a larger conflict with Iran.

PRECIOUS-Gold eases off 7-year peak as Middle East worries abate

08 Jan 2020

Jan 8 Gold retreated after vaulting above the $1,600 level for the first time in nearly seven years on Wednesday as fears of a larger conflict in the Middle East abated on milder rhetoric between Iran and the United States.

Gold edges up, but trades below seven-year peak as Middle East worries ebb

08 Jan 2020

Gold prices inched higher on Tuesday, having earlier retreated from the previous session's almost seven-year high as fears of a larger Middle East conflict following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general eased.

CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-PRECIOUS-Gold soars as Middle East tensions brew 'perfect storm' (Jan. 6)

07 Jan 2020

(Corrects spot gold's high to $1,582.59 from $1,579.72 in the second paragraph of Jan. 6 story after Refinitiv corrected the value) * Palladium hits all-time high of $2,031/oz * Gold eyes $1,600/oz- analyst * Wall Street pares losses, gold retreats from day's high By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri Jan 6 Gold surged on Monday to a near seven-year high as the U.S. killing of a top Iranian commander stirred fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East. Palladium surpassed $2,000 an ounce for the first time. Spot gold was up 1.1% at $1,568.19 per ounce as of 1:42 p.m. EST (1842 GMT), after rising to $1,582.59 earlier in the session, its highest since April 2013. U.S. gold futures settled 1.2% higher at $1,568.80 per ounce. "The markets are nervous about what comes next between the United States and Iran; there are political risks and there is safe haven buying in gold," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. "The equities are lower, and this is a perfect storm for higher gold between now and until we get some clarity on the situation." Iraq's parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and other foreign troops to leave while Iran lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump after he threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites, including targets important to Iranian culture, if Tehran were to retaliate. The conflict took a hit at risk appetite, sending world stocks down 0.3%. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq turned positive, a sign investors were taking a cautious approach. "Even though the stock markets pared its losses, and gold pared some gains, we still look for a higher extended range because gold has become a necessary haven," said George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management. Elsewhere, U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers agreed that interest rates were likely to stay on hold for "a time," minutes of the Fed's Dec. 10-11 policy meeting, released on Friday, showed. Gold is highly sensitive to interest rates, as higher rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Palladium was up nearly 2% to $2,024.64 an ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $2,031. The industrial metal added 53.93% in 2019, and is expected to remain in high demand this year. "It (palladium) seems to be unstoppable. Many market players are of the opinion that the market will remain severely tight, and that's the main driving force for prices," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. Silver gained 0.7% to $18.17, having earlier hit its highest in more than three months at $18.50. Platinum shed 2.2% to $958.94 an ounce. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Grant McCool and Tom Brown)

PRECIOUS-Gold soars as Middle East tensions brew 'perfect storm'

06 Jan 2020

(Updates prices, analyst comments) * Palladium hits all-time high of $2,031/oz * Gold eyes $1,600/oz- analyst * World stocks slump, erase new year's gains By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri Jan 6 Gold prices surged on Monday as the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander triggered fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East, prompting a rush to the metal's safety, while palladium soared past $2,000 an ounce for the first time. Spot gold was up 1.1% at $1,567.80 per ounce as of 10:29 a.m. ET (1529 GMT), after rising to $1,579.72 earlier in the session, its highest since April 2013. U.S. gold futures gained 1% to $1,568.40 per ounce. "The markets are nervous about what comes next between the United States and Iran; there are political risks and there is safe haven buying in gold," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. "The equities are lower, and this is a perfect storm for higher gold between now and until we get some clarity on the situation." Iraq's parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and other foreign troops to leave, while Iran lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump after he threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites, including targets important to Iranian culture, if Tehran were to retaliate. The conflict took a hit at risk appetite, sending world stocks down 0.3%, erasing all its new year's gains in its biggest two-day fall since early December. The dollar index was 0.2% lower against six other major currencies, making gold cheaper to buy. . "Gold flew through last year's highs in early trade and ... safe havens are back in vogue and the yellow metal is leading the way," said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam in a note. Elsewhere, U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers agreed that interest rates were likely to stay on hold for "a time," minutes of the Fed's Dec. 10-11 policy meeting, released on Friday, showed. Gold is highly sensitive to interest rates, as higher rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Palladium was up nearly 2% to $2,025.22 an ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $2,031. The industrial metal added 53.93% in 2019, and is expected to remain in high demand this year. "It (palladium) seems to be unstoppable. Many market players are of the opinion that the market will remain severely tight, and that's the main driving force for prices," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. Silver gained 0.7% to $18.16, having earlier hit its highest in more than three months at $18.50. Platinum eased 0.9% to $971.82. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps to 4-month peak as Middle East tensions spark safety buying

04 Jan 2020

(Updates prices) * Gold set for best week since early-August * U.S. manufacturing data for Dec. dips to decade lows * Silver extends gains into fourth week * Minutes of Fed's Dec. 10-11 policy meeting due at 2 p.m. EDT By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and K. Sathya Narayanan Jan 3 Gold prices surged on Friday to a four-month peak, racing past the key $1,550 an ounce level after a U.S. air strike in Iraq killed the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, prompting a rush into safety assets. Spot gold rose 1.3% to $1,548.94 per ounce as of 1:31 p.m. EST (1831 GMT), having risen to $1,553.20 earlier in the session, its highest since Sept. 5. U.S. gold futures settled 1.5% higher at $1,552.40. The overnight attack was a dramatic escalation in a "shadow war" in the Middle East between Iran and the United States and its allies, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iran threatened to retaliate after the air strike. "With the U.S. air strikes overnight in Iraq from orders of President Trump and Iran's leader vowed revenge as a result, the equity markets are down and safe-havens are higher, causing a move higher in the precious metals," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures. "The market has been trading well since we broke out above the $1,490 level, making new recent highs this morning up above $1,550." U.S. 10-year yields fell sharply, while the Japanese yen hit a two-month high against the U.S. dollar. Gold, like other safe-haven assets, benefits during times of political uncertainty. The metal was set for its best week since early-August, up more than 2.5%. "We are seeing gold and silver continue to build on the gains we saw towards the end of December and there is no doubt that the latest developments with the attack in Iraq has taken us up to this level," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said. U.S. manufacturing sector data, which contracted in December by the most in more than a decade, further supported gold. Markets were also watching out for minutes of the Federal Reserve's Dec. 10-11 policy meeting, due out at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT). On the trade front, The United States and China are to sign an interim deal on Jan. 15, but investors await details regarding the fine print of the agreement. Elsewhere, palladium added 1.3% to $1,985.40 an ounce, after rising to $1,988.27 earlier in the session, not far from the all-time high of $1,998.43 notched in December. Platinum gained 0.4% to $982.84 an ounce and was set for its biggest weekly gain since October. Silver was up 0.3% at $18.08, extending gains into a fourth straight week. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Price surge dents physical gold demand; India flips to discount

03 Jan 2020

BENGALURU/MUMBAI Physical gold buying was subdued in major Asian hubs this week as a rally in prices dampened demand for the metal ahead of the Chinese New Year.

PRECIOUS-Gold races to 3-month peak on doubts over stocks rally

03 Jan 2020

(Updates prices) * Wall Street opens at record levels * Dollar index gains, but stands near 6-month low * Palladium jumps to 2-week high of $1,965.02/oz By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri Jan 2 Gold prices on Thursday began the year with a healthy start, boosted by doubts surrounding the strength of Wall Street's rally, while platinum added 3% on industrial demand. Spot gold was up 0.6% at $1,525.57 per ounce as of 1:49 p.m. ET (1849 GMT), having notched a three-month high of $1,531.20 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% higher at $1,528.10 an ounce. "Investors are coming back from the holidays and repositioning their portfolios," said Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM Group, citing the rally in equities as the main reason for diversification. "The fact that stock markets are at record highs is continuing to strengthen gold and silver. There is nervousness about why the stock markets are as high as they are, given the economical and political environment." U.S. stocks kicked off the new year at record levels as fresh stimulus from Beijing to prop up its slowing economy lifted risk appetite. Gold prices were further boosted by uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade negotiations. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that a "phase-one" of the deal would be signed on Jan. 15, though considerable confusion remains about its details. The much-awaited trade deal between the world's two largest economies was expected to have been inked by the end of 2019. However, with merely the initial chunk of the deal placed on the table for talks, investors remain apprehensive. The dollar rose 0.5% in the session, but was trading not far from a six-month low hit on Tuesday. Gold benefits from a weaker dollar, in which the precious metal is priced. "Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage as an accelerating price uptrend is in place on the daily chart," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note. Spot gold may test a resistance at $1,531 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $1,542, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Elsewhere, platinum jumped 3% earlier in the session to $991.19 an ounce, its highest since Sept. 5. It was currently up 0.7% at $969.29. Palladium gained 0.7% to $1,952.92. Prices advanced to $1,965.81 earlier in the session, their highest since Dec. 17. "Palladium and platinum are showing strength because people have backed away from fears of an imminent recession, or seeing that even with weaker growth, we are still growing," CPM Group's Christian said. Silver climbed 0.9% to $17.98 an ounce. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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