US$ Moving the markets? + Futures Trading Levels for Sept. 28th
Posted By:- Ilan Levy-Mayer Vice President, Cannon Trading Futures Blog
What you need to know for the last two trading days of the month
By Mark O’Brien, Senior Broker
Thanks in large part to higher yield opportunities, foreign purchases of dollars to buy U.S. treasuries have pushed the U.S. Dollar Index (basis Dec.) to a 10-month high today – trading to an intraday high of 106.24 – a climb of over $7,000 per contract since mid-July. The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at their September meeting, but chairman Powell reiterated the Central Bank’s goal of bringing inflation down to its 2% target, so further rate hikes were still on the table and “higher for longer,” remained the clarion call.
Conversely, the Euro hit 6-month lows today, down to 1.0538 intraday, marking a ±$9,500 per contract move in a little over two months. The Japanese yen is threatening its key 150 level, where Japanese officials are seen as potentially intervening to shore up the currency (divide the futures price by 1 to find the conversion rate).
New highs in the dollar have also translated to new lows in precious metals, particularly gold, which lost ±$29 per ounce today (basis Dec.) and broke through $1,900 per ounce, approaching early-February lows near $1883. This is a ±$225 per ounce decline (±$22,500 per contract) from its May 4 highs.
Despite China’s tenuous economy – a key measure of demand for crude oil globally – the supply side of the ledger has been the driving force behind rising energy prices. Production cuts made by OPEC+ and continuing through year’s end have contributed to a plunge in storage levels in Europe and the U.S. to multi-month lows. Today the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory draw of 2.2 million barrels for the week to September 22, spurring a ±$3.50 per barrel advance above $94.00 per barrel intraday (basis Nov.) Yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute estimated that stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub – where West Texas oil futures deliveries are processed – had slipped to below 22 million barrels, which is on the brink of the minimum operating level for that important terminal. The crude oil tanks around Cushing have approximately 91 million barrels of storage capacity.
Futures traders remember the practical rule of thumb to keep an eye on the U.S. dollar. A stronger dollar in the global market will increase the price of commodities relative to foreign currencies. The higher price of commodities in foreign currency will work to lower demand and dollar-priced commodities. For a first-rate overview, check out the piece by Hannah Baldwin with the CME Group and contributed to Reuters: “How a strong dollar affects international currencies & commodities.”
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