DXM9 96.835 -0.09 GCM9 1290.0 -4.2 ESM9 2891.75 +9.00 CLK9 62.28 +0.18
Another relatively subdued market overnight, as today brings the key Non-Farm Payrolls report in the US. Consensus estimate is for an increase of 177k, following last month’s soft +20k print. The Unemployment Rate is expected to remain at 3.8%. If the data comes in well off the estimates, it can have an impact on numerous asset classes. The US equity market continues to trade well, in part supported by the improving prospects for a trade deal with China to be finalized soon. Yesterday afternoon, President Trump announced a deal could come within the next 4 weeks.
**Just printed. March NFP +196k, with Feb NFP revised to +33k. Unemployment Rate 3.8%**
The grain markets are lower this morning, following yesterday’s trade up partially sparked by trade progress. President Trump made comments earlier in the day that the talks are going very well and that the potential accord is comprehensive and “a great deal for farmers”. A very good export sales report also supported yesterday’s markets. The wheat market is leading the way down today, following yesterday’s strong exports report (5 year high), reported Red River flooding delaying planting in the Plains and fund short covering. Open interest in Chicago wheat declined by almost 7k, and declined by just over 4k in Kansas City wheat. Today’s decline in wheat prices is led by concerns about a planting switch to wheat from Canola by Canadian farmers, on the back of the announcement that China will not be importing canola. In addition, it is projected the Russian grain harvest for 2019 will be 118 mmt. Russia, with its large supplies, has tended to dominate the global trade of late. The corn market is lower today, following yesterday where decent sized short covering took place, even with corn having a somewhat disappointing export sales report and only trading in a 4 cent range. Open interest declined by almost 20k. Soybeans are lower today, reversing yesterday’s rally. Export sales posted a strong number for beans, but it was expected by the market, following last week’s announced large purchases by China. Positive trade talks also helped push bean prices up. The grain markets will be focused on the weather over the weekend, looking for clues about planting delays, and preparing for Tuesday’s WASDE report from the USDA.
Lean hogs continue the surge higher, closing up Limit as strong concerns about Asian Swine Flu remain in the market. For hogs, today’s limit will again expand to 4.5 cents. Before locking limit up, longs were able to add to positions, with open interest increasing just over 2k. Live cattle closed higher on the day as well.
Sugar traded at a 2 week high yesterday, as rain is disrupting Brazilian production with the funds carrying a short position. Vietnam is projecting its sugar output will be down 4% this year. Cocoa continues the march up, with a 10th straight higher day. Dry conditions for the Ivory Coast remain the story. Cotton finally found some support, aided by a good export sales report, and thoughts of tighter supplies.
The oil markets are lower today, after Brent Crude worked its way back up to test the $70 level yesterday. It had a $70.01 print, and then broke back down. This marked the first time Brent traded at $70 since November. The oil markets are also waiting to see the NFP report, to gauge any US economic strength.
Platinum surged to its highest price level since June, driven by speculation that auto makers will switch from using palladium to the cheaper platinum for its parts. Copper prices were down yesterday, as soft economic data in Germany raised questions about economic strength. Gold prices ended lower, as this market is also marking time ahead of today’s report.
A forecast for the coming Atlantic hurricane season, from Colorado State University, is calling for there to be 13 named storms this coming season. For the US weather, there will be a warm up in temperatures, then followed by a temperature drop and more rain next week. This will keep flooding and planting delays in focus for corn and spring wheat. As mentioned above, the Red River is projected to reach major flood levels in Fargo today, and in Grand Forks by this coming Wednesday. This is being caused from rapidly melting snow with the warm up in temperatures.
This afternoon, the CFTC will update fund positioning in the Commitment of Traders report.
Have a good day,