Commodities: Dollar strength and weak Chinese data weigh on gold, cocoa (not oil)
Commodities were broadly lower on Tuesday, but not by much, despite a sharp move higher in the value of the US dollar that took it to its best level in six months.
Also serving to dampen sentiment was the release of weaker-than-expected reading on Chinese retails sales and fixed asset investment for the month of March.
Late in the session, traders could again be seeing pushing crude oil futures higher following a small bout of weakness earlier in the day,
after reports of a constructive meeting between Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif and his European Union counterpart, Federica Mogherini.
Thus, by 1911 BST front month Brent crude oil futures were trading 0.50% higher for the day at $78.62 a barrel and near their strongest level since the end of 2014.
In parallel, the Bloomberg Commodity index was lower by 0.25% to 90.14 points as the US dollar spot index jumped 0.62% to 93.1630.
To take note of, gold futures buckled as the greenback continued its recent push higher, with the June 2018 COMEX contract erasing 2.16% to change hands at $1,289.70/oz..
Nevertheless, one of the weakest contracts was July 2018 cocoa on ICE, which fell back 3.78% to $2,674.00 per metric tonne.
Base metals also finished on a down note, albeit what Sucden Financial described as lacklustre trading volumes.
Three-month copper closed at $6,808 per metric tonne after starting the day from $6,870 per tonne.