Commodities: Oil trims early losses, gold and corn move lower
Commodities were a tad softer on Thursday as the Greenback stabilised a bit following its recent correction, although both remained near their 52-week lows and highs, respectively.
Against that backdrop, traders in Brent crude oil futures paused for breath following the recent relief rally in black gold, although the March ICE contract finished well-off its lows of the session of $60.44 a barrel, ending the day down by just 0.07% at $61.40.
Gasoline, heating oil and natural gas futures on NYMEX meanwhile all managed small gains.
Sounding a bit of a discordant note, Caroline Bain at Capital Economics trimmed their 2019 price forecast for Brent from $55 a barrel to $50.
Bain cited the "slight" deterioration in the outlook for the global economy as one reason, citing now lower GDP forecasts for the euro area and the UK, on top of the expected weakening in the US and China.
Hence, she now expected global oil demand growth of 1.0%, versus 1.2% in 2018 and a five-year average of 1.5%.
Nevertheless, she also expected 'risk aversion' in financial markets to be sustained and a "resilient" dollar.
"To wrap up, our estimates of supply and demand suggest that the market will be in surplus by end-year which, coupled with persistent investor risk aversion and a resilient dollar, point to renewed weakness in the oil price."
According to Bain, the then current consensus for Brent was $70.
Base metals ended the day mixed, with copper slipping from $5,956 per metric at the open to $5,964, amid 'market chatter' around the announcement of job cuts at Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.
"Both companies cited a downturn in China sales as well as prod problems linked to European emissions tests and a sharp consumer shift to petrol from diesel vehicles," explained analysts at Sucden Financial.
Precious metals on the other hand were down across-the-board as the US dollar advanced, with the February gold contract on COMEX down by 0.36% to $1,287/oz..
The main soft commodity contracts were generally a bit weaker too, with March wheat down by 1.4% to $3.7650 a bushel on CBoT and cotton#2 on the ICE dipping 0.10% to $0.7306 a pound.
As of 1841 GMT, the Bloomberg commodity index was off by 0.54% to 79.48, alongside an advance of 0.26% to 95.650 for the US dollar index.