Commodities Key Highlights March 18, 2021
Gold and silver prices on Wednesday settled mixed. Higher T-note yields on Wednesday, which hit a new 13-month high of 1.687%, weighed on gold prices. However, precious metals saw some underlying support from Wednesday's increase in U.S. 10-year inflation expectations to a 7-3/4 year high.
Metals prices jumped overnight after the FOMC’s new dot plot forecast showed no interest rate hike through 2023, unchanged from December.
WTI Crude oil prices on Wednesday closed moderately lower. Crude prices gave up early gains Wednesday and moved lower after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that global crude demand would not recover to 2019 levels until 2023. Energy prices remained under pressure Wednesday after the EIA reported that weekly gasoline and distillate inventories unexpectedly increased.
The EIA, in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report, reported crude inventories rose +2.4 million bbl, a smaller increase than expectations of +2.7 million bbl. EIA gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly rose +472,000 bbl versus expectations of -3.5 million bbl. Also, distillate supplies unexpectedly rose +255,000 bbl versus expectations of -2.6 million bbl.
Natural gas prices on Wednesday posted moderate losses on a mixed U.S. weather forecast that may reduce heating demand. The Commodity Weather Group on Wednesday said the eastern half of the U.S. should see warmer-than-normal temperatures next week, while cooler temperatures are expected in the West.