While inflation concerns, which have been affecting asset prices for a while, have gradually subsided, the data released in the US recently signal a slowdown in the employment market.
According to data released by the US Department of Labor on Friday, although non-farm employment in the country exceeded expectations with 187 thousand in August, the unemployment rate rose to 3.8 from 3.5 percent, reaching its highest level since February 2022.
Analysts stated that the recently announced data strengthened their predictions that the Fed will not increase interest rates for the rest of the year, and stated that the probability of keeping the policy rate constant at the September meeting of the Bank increased to 94 percent in terms of pricing in the money market.
On the other hand, the Chinese government’s taking steps to support the country’s economy on the Asian side and the increase in expectations that these steps will continue has also caused an increase in demand in the commodity market.
Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun stated that they will strengthen their policy support, while the developments on the subject are closely followed by the investors.
According to the data released last week in China, the Caixin manufacturing industry Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) surpassing expectations with 51.0 increased confidence in economic activity, while the Chinese government’s steps to support the economy were welcomed by the markets.
Brent oil made the highest weekly close of the last 10 months
Last week, a mixed trend was observed in precious metals.
Gold closed the week with 1.3 percent and platinum gains 1.7 percent, while palladium fell 0.5 percent and silver 0.2 percent. Thus, while the ounce price of gold increased its upward trend for the second week in a row, it increased to its price about a month ago.
Analysts said that after the latest data in the US, the pressure on the Fed’s interest rate hike has eased and the demand for gold has increased.
In the energy group, in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, the price of Brent oil per barrel increased by 5.4 percent, closing the week at $88.7, with the government’s steps to support the economy and the decrease in concerns about the country’s economic activity after the Caixin manufacturing industry PMI data exceeded expectations.
On a weekly basis, Brent oil, which realized the strongest rise in the last 5 months, made the highest weekly close of the last 10 months.
The possibility that Storm Idalia, which is moving towards the US state of Florida, to cause power cuts and negatively affect the production of oil refineries in the gulf region, caused supply concerns in the markets and was another factor that supported prices upwards.
Natural gas traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange finished the week with an increase of 8.7 percent.
Continuing concerns about a strike at Chevron’s plants in Australia and ongoing maintenance at Norway’s gas fields have increased supply concerns, leading to higher natural gas prices.
Employees of the US energy company Chevron in Australia will go on strike on September 7.
In a statement made by the Offshore Alliance (OA), which represents Chevron employees, it was stated that union lawyers informed the company of the strike decision. Chevron operates the “Wheatstone” and “Gorgon” LNG facilities in the State of Western Australia, where it has operated since 1952.
Base metals remained positive except nickel
In the over-the-counter market, aluminum gained 2.8 percent, zinc 4.6 percent, copper 1.7 percent and lead 5.5 percent, while nickel decreased 0.3 percent.
Analysts stated that in China, which is the world’s largest supplier country, concerns about economic activity have decreased, and that the positive trend in base metals has come to the fore with the effect of the Chinese government’s steps to support the economy.
In the agriculture group, sharp fluctuations came to the fore.
While a mixed course was observed in agricultural commodities, sharp product-based fluctuations came to the fore.
Rice traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose 3.1 percent, while soybeans fell 1.4 percent, wheat 4.2 percent and corn 1.3 percent.
In the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), cotton rose 0.6 percent, sugar 4.2 percent and cocoa 4.2 percent, while coffee decreased 1 percent.
After the passage of the Panama Canal stopped, concerns about supply caused increases in sugar prices.
Analysts said that concerns about sugar supply and the increase in oil prices had an upward effect on sugar prices.
While the wheat production estimations of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) increased by 6.6 million compared to the previous month and were realized as 783.3 million tons, the end-of-period stock estimations were 313.9 million tons with an increase of 5.4 million.
The fact that the weekly wheat export in the USA decreased compared to the previous week and realized at the level of 229,4 thousand tons highlighted the concerns about the demand for wheat.
Analysts stated that the concerns about the decrease in rice production on the Asian side due to the El Niño effect have increased and that this situation is also reflected in rice prices.