Precious and base metals slid as the green back gained as comments from fed officials on stronger US economy and gradual pace of raising interest rates . Crude oil prices fell sharply after EIA said that crude oil production rose to an all time high close to the output of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Oil prices eased on Thursday, taking Brent crude to a 2018 low, as soaring U.S. output uncermined OPEC’s efforts to tighten markets and prop up prices. Brent crude futures were at $65.20 per barrel at 0226 GMT, down 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, from the previous close. Brent slipped to its lowest for the year at $65.12 a barrel early in the session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.46 a barrel. That was down 33 cents, or 0.5 percent, from the last settlement, though still some way off its $60.10 2018 low on Jan. 2.
“Brent has now turned negative for 2018 while WTI isn’t looking great either,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
The dips follow bigger falls on Wednesday, when crude touched one-month lows and erased much of 2018′s early gains.Some support on Thursday came from the second outage in as many months on the 450,000 barrels per day Forties pipeline network, Britain’s biggest, which supplies much of the crude underpinning Brent futures.
But the biggest market driver was U.S. production. What’s long been expected is now official: U.S. crude oil output averaged above 10 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since the early 1970s last week, reaching 10.25 million bpd.
The government has doubled import duty on sugar to 100% and raised duty on chana to 40%. The customs duty or import tax presently on sugar is 50% and that on chana (chickpeas) is 30%. This step has been taken to curb cheaper imports and ensure remunerative prices to domestic growers. The higher tax has been imposed with immediate effect and without an end date. The sugar production estimate has been revised upward by 4% to 26.1 million tonnes (MT) in the current 2017-18 marketing year (October-September) as against 20.3 MT in 2016 -17. The consumption is pegged at 25 MT for this year. The import duty on chana has been raised to 40% as government wants to contain inward shipments in view of record production of pulses to nearly 23 MT this year.