Crude oil price edges higher in European morning after china's trade data showed an increase in oil import in July. Pullbacks in USD and recovery in equity markets also lend supports.

According to Chinese Customs, oil imports jumped +18% mom to a record high of 19.6M metric tons in July. Since the beginning of the year, the world's fastest growing economy purchased 110.4M metric tons of crude oil, 7-fold from 15M metric tons in the same period last year. Net imports of crude oil also surged to a record of 19.2M metric tons, suggesting china is stockpiling the commodity and is good for price.

Stock markets rebound. UK's FTSE 100 Index opened higher after as International Power reported 50-fold 1H09 earnings. However, the index pares gain and is currently trading +0.04% above yesterday's close. In Asia, stocks advanced as boosted by China's trade data. Both the MSCI Asia Pacific Index and Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained +0.6%.

On the data front, Germany's CPI declined for the first time in annual rate in 22 years in July. According to the Federal Statistics Office, CPI plunged -0.7% mom during the month. Wholesale price was also down -10.6% yoy, the biggest decline since the gauge began in 1968. The data suggested that inflation pressure remains subdued in the Eurozone.

Apart from silver, platinum has also outperformed gold so far in 2009. Gaining +4.5% last week and +33% year-to-date, the white noble metal's price movement has been supported by better economic outlook. Although collapse in auto market in the US and other countries in the world posed threat to PGMs, such overhang seems to have been lifted recently. Auto sales have shown improvement and the car rebate programs are working very well.

Investment demands for PGMs have soared in recent months. There are several reasons for that (other than improvement in auto market and better economic outlook). Apart from crude imports, Chinese purchase of PGMs is also strong as both jewelry and industrial demands in the world's third largest economy are robust.

Moreover, speculations on SEC's approval of PGM ETF in the US are still in play. Traders anticipate that PGMs prices will rally sharply before the US-listed ETFs are actually launched, just like the case in silver. Silver price rocketed before launch of the iShares product and the uptrend remained after 2-3 years.

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