- The TDCI in U.S. dollars surged 8.1% last week, reaching its highest level since early January. The increase was driven largely by an 11% rise in energy prices and an 8% jump in base metals prices. Due to a strengthening loonie, the index in Canadian dollar terms was up by a more modest 5.2% and sits at a 1-month high.

- Crude oil prices hit a 6-month high of US$58 per barrel last week, prompted by better-than-expected economic data reported in the U.S. However, the fundamental picture suggests that the recent run-up in prices has been overdone, as inventories remain elevated and demand is still contracting. As such, prices have lost some ground this morning as markets refocus on the fundamentals.

- Halting a 5-week slide, natural gas prices surged 15% last week, settling back above the US$4 per MMBtu mark on Friday. Much of the gains were driven by technical buying and speculation that the massive reductions in active rig counts will slow production. Nonetheless, short-term fundamentals remain weak, with U.S. storage levels 23% ahead of the 5-year average, and demand unlikely to pickup anytime soon.

- Base metals prices were up across the board, led by a 12% gain in nickel and zinc prices. Like energy prices, metals prices are rising on optimism that the global recession is easing. Furthermore, a rise in manufacturing activity in China has triggered speculation that Chinese demand for metals will pick up. A drop in LME inventories also provided support to prices.

- The 8% weekly drop in hog prices masks the uptrend seen during the second half of the week. Indeed, prices rose from US$55 to just under US$60 by Friday on expectations that the impact from the H1N1 flu on the pork market will begin to ease, leading to a recovery in exports.

  • Trump Wants To Increase Nuclear Capacity

    The president said he wanted to build the largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world, surpassing the eight other countries believed to possess such weapons of mass destruction.