Gold prices dip in Asia with China economy, Middle East tension eyed
Gold prices inched lower in Asia on Wednesday in cautious trade as investors look for direction on China's economic policies and events in the Middle East. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for February delivery fell 0.07% to $1,077.50 a troy ounce. Silver futures for March delivery dropped 0.04% to $13.975 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery eased 0.10% to $2.093 a pound.
Overnight, gold ticked up in spite of a broadly stronger dollar on Tuesday, as widespread geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and fears of slowing global economic growth remained in focus.
NYMEX crude up in Asia as API estimates show sharp drop in stockpiles
Crude oil prices gained on Wednesday in Asia as industry estimates from the U.S. showed a sharp drop in crude stockpiles. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for February delivery gained 0.37% to $36.27 a barrel. A report said that the American Petroleum Institute estimates showed a 5.6 million barrel drop last week, while crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub gained 1.4 million barrels. Gasoline stocks rose by 7.1 million barrels and distillates gained 5.6 million barrels. On Wednesday, a government report is expected to show that crude inventories fell by 0.5 million for the week ending on January 1. Overnight, crude futures fell sharply on Tuesday ahead of the release of the American Petroleum Institute's weekly inventory report, as investors weighed the continued downside risks of oversupply with escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Over the last month, domestic crude futures are down more than 12% since OPEC rattled global markets by leaving its output quota unchanged at a closely-watched meeting. On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for February delivery wavered between $36.26 and $37.58 a barrel, before closing at $36.44, down 0.81 or 2.15% on the trading day. North Sea Brent futures reached near-three week highs on Monday, before sliding back in U.S. afternoon trading.
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