Crude oil rises to 72.15 in Asia Monday. However, trading volume is thin as Japan, US and Canada markets are closed on holidays today. Last Friday, Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed +4% to 9684.94 and S&P 500 rose +4.5% to 1071.49. Rallies in stock indices to 1-year high spurs interest in oil markets as investors anticipate recovery in energy market consumption.

Despite the improved sentiment, crude oil price will continue to gyrate within recent trading of 65-75 until concrete evidence of demand recovery is seen. Over the weekend, Kuwait's oil minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah said that 'oil prices between 60 and 80 are suitable for exporters and importers'. Judging from outcomes from recent OPEC meetings and comments from member countries, OPEC seems to be satisfied with current price level. The likelihood for further output cut is low in coming few months. In fact, rising spare capacity and rise in oil price have triggered some members to produce more than their quotas. The International Energy Agency estimated OPEC's compliance has fallen to 62% in September, compared with 66% in August and over 80% in the first quarter.

Gold price has little change after plummeting -0.7% last Friday. Although currently recovers to 1051, the yellow metal may still have risk to decline on long liquidation and USD's technical rebound. However, gold should resume its uptrend after consolidation. Global central banks' diversification away from the dollar is expected to pressure USD further. At the same time, diversification would increase central bank's purchase of gold.

Commitments of Traders

  • Crude Oil: Net speculative long positions rebounded to 50006 contracts last week as oil price recovered. While staying below the peak of 62216 contracts 2 weeks ago, net longs in crude oil continued to hover around high level in 2009, suggesting traders were not much affected by stricter CFTC regulations
  • Natural Gas: Net shorts contracted for the second consecutive week. Gas price has rebounded strongly in recent weeks but we worry that high gas price would delay demand recovery. Record high gas storage should continue pressure on the cash market which in turn forces the futures market to move lower
  • Gold: Net speculative long positions reached record high of 239668 contracts. At long positions have become more stretched, we feel it more necessary for gold price to correct
  • Silver: Net speculative long positions pulled back after rising for 7 weeks. Recent rally in silver have been simply an amplification of gold's rise. Similar to gold, silver is prone to a correction before resuming the uptrend
  • Platinum: Net long positions recovered to 17955 contracts

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