Commodities

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Morgan Stanley raised their price forecast for gold on Monday night in a note to customers after the metal hit six month highs. The $MS rationale is much like Goldman in March,  higher ETF inflows, geopolitical risk, weaker U.S. dollar and negative real interest rates in Europe.

United States Steel on Tuesday lowered guidance saying will cut production by idling two blast furnaces in the US and one in the EU. $X responded to falling demand for steel from a weakening manufacturing sector. Earnings were also hurt by a coking plant fire and lower Mississippi River barge traffic.

One of the biggest trump cards China has with the U.S. is rare earth metals. The 17 elements that are rare earths are mined in the majority in China and are crucial to the modern economy, Electric cars, military, cell phones and wind farms.

American companies dependant on rare earths, which China controls the majority of, include military companies such as Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and BAE Systems Plc. Tech companies such as Apple use rare earths for it's phones.

Australian rare earths miner Lynas reported a 27% jump in revenue to $101.3 million in Q1 despite a forced shutdown of its Malaysian operations in December. Radioactive waste concerns are clouding $LYC ($LYSCF), who rejected an unsolicited $1.5 billion takeover bid from Wesfarmers.

Australian gold producers hit an all-time production record in 2018. Australia produced 317 tonnes of gold in 2018, breaking the previous record of 314.5 tonnes set  21 years ago. Gold prices timed the opportunityfor Australia with an all-time record of AUD 1876 per ounce on February 20.

Goldman Sachs raised their price forecast for gold and silver on Monday night in a note to customers. The $GS rationale is higher ETF inflows, Geopolitical risk, stronger emerging markets, weaker U.S. dollar and negative real interest rates in Europe.

The Brazilian state of Para lifted the production embargo on the Norsk Hydro ASA’s Alunorte alumina refinery. The Norwegian aluminum maker's ADR $NHYDY rose about 1.5% on the news.

The new London Metal Exchange alumina contract will be settled in part by using data from the Fastmarkets MB index, with shared weight given to the CRU’s Alumina price index.

Nickel along with other commodities has bounced over USD 11,800 per tonne, 10-week highs as stockpiles fall to fresh lows paring some of the losses suffered over the second half of 2018. Macquarie Bank forecast nickel to finish 2019 as the number one commodity.

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