In this month's market roundup, we'll discuss how crude oil rebounded slightly after months of losses and how a big announcement in gold could irrevocably change otherwise bearish futures trading.
Crude oil manages to level itself out
According to MarketWatch analysts, NYMEX West Texas Intermediate plunged by almost 50 percent in 2014 and very little indicates prices will be returning anytime soon in 2015. Prices continued to fall in the first quarter of the new year by 10 percent.
March exclusively saw a very wide dip in the middle of the month, but somewhat rallied its losses, beginning the month at $51.71 per barrel and ending at $47.60. However, May settlement has risen 3.4 percent, or $1.62, as of today at 11:38 a.m., putting crude on NYMEX at $49.20. May Brent as well saw a sharp increase today, posting a more than $1.58 – or 2.8 percent – increase on the London ICE to $57.79 per barrel. However, Brent has a much wider gap to try to close a nearly 7.65 percent gap, finishing out February at $62.58.
However positive March appears to have turned out, this last upward tick may be market reaction to the extended talks between Iran and U.S. over the former's nuclear stockpiles. The original agreement deadline passed while both sides continue to stand in opposition. If the U.S. was to back down, Iran's oil sanctions – imposed by the United Nations – would remain in effect, driving oil prices up.
Gold spirals further
March was another disappointing month for gold, as the the precious metal battled against a strong dollar and a rate hike hinted by the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen according to CNBC.
"Our best case scenario is a June rate hike and in the interim there is certainly scope for more weakness in gold," said Natixis analyst Nic Brown.
At March's open, the price per ounce started at $1,217.90, but by the 31st gold saw a nearly 2.85 percent dip down to $1,183.20. April delivery saw a promising upswing toward the end of the month, even rising above the $1,200 mark before diving below in the last week. Hard to believe prices in late January were almost hitting $1,300.
Gold scarcity, however, may be on the horizon, says a report released by Goldman Sachs toward March's end. The study predicts all minable resources will be completely tapped in as little as 20 years.
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