Crude oil slipped below 90 after initially climbing to a 5-day high of 90.95 as disappointing European data hurt sentiment. Yet, the benchmark contracts are expected to record gains on monthly basis. Brent crude contract probably rose +9% during in July while WTI contract added +5%. Iran's oil minister Rostam Qasemi stated that the fair price for crude oil is 100/bbl and there's currently no urgency for holding an emergency meeting to address price falls. He last month called for such a meeting to boost prices.

Gold is expected to record gains for the second consecutive month after the excessive selloffs over the 4 months from February to May. While further quantitative easing by central banks are expected to lend some supports to gold, it's hard for the yellow metal to stage the sharp rise experienced last year. Weaknesses in the economic outlook, poor performance in financial markets and relatively high price levels have tamed demand.

As investors await the outcomes of the FOMC and the ECB meetings later in the week, economic data released continued to be alarming. In Germany, retail sales contracted -0.1% m/m in June, compared with market expectations of a +0.5% gain and May's -0.3% drop. Concerning the job market, the number of unemployed in the Eurozone's biggest economy increased for a 4th month, by +7K, with the unemployment rate staying at 6.8% in June. For the Eurozone as a whole, the jobless rate stayed at 11.2% during the month. It is, however, increased from 10% last year. The number of people unemployed grew by +123Kfrom May as the economy weakened and national governments adopted fiscal tightening. With the economic outlook deteriorating further, it's expected that positions in both private and public sectors would decline further, leading to continual rise in the jobless rate.

The US will release a series of data today. Chicago PMI probably dropped -0.4 points to 52.5 in July while consumer confidence might have slid -0.5 points to 61.5. Personal income might have gained +0.4% in June, following a +0.2% gain a month ago, while personal spending climbed +0.1% in June from flat reading in May. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite is expected to have dropped -1.5% in May from a year ago.