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BULLION – Bullion counter rose on Wednesday, a day after sliding 2%, as doubts about a U.S.-China trade breakthrough buoyed demand for the safe-haven metal. Washington and Beijing are working to narrow their differences enough to sign a phase one trade deal as early as this month, but also consider the fact that China is stepping up and saying, before we sign anything we are looking for rollbacks in tariffs, which brings into question whether the previous statement that a phase one deal could be signed in November has any validity. The dollar held the upper hand against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, on rising hopes for a trade deal and a string of solid U.S. economic data. A senior official of the Trump administration said that meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign an interim trade deal could be delayed until December as discussions continue over the terms and venue.

ENERGY- Oil prices were unchanged on Thursday; holding on to most of their losses from the previous session, on worries that a long-awaited interim deal to dial backs a crippling U.S.-China trade war could be delayed. U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose 7.9 million barrels last week as refiners cut output and exports fell, beating analysts expectations for an increase of 1.5 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. Gasoline and distillate inventories dropped 2.8 million barrels and by 622,000 barrels respectively. Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due later on Wednesday. However, hopes for a breakthrough on trade in talks between the United States and China, the world two biggest oil consumers, remained and kept price falls in check. But in the next five years, OPEC would supply a diminishing amount of oil, squeezed by rising U.S. shale output and other rival sources, according to the oil producer group 2019 World Oil Outlook, released on Tuesday.

BASE METAL – Base metals may trade with a bearish bias. Copper prices rose on Tuesday after Antofagasta doubled its forecast production cut from Chile to about 10,000 tonnes this year due to the protests. Still, that was a tiny percentage of the company total production of 725,300 tonnes of copper in 2018. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed 1.1% to $5,940 a tonne in final open-outcry trading to register its third straight daily gain. It had earlier touched $5,978, its highest since Sept. 16. Antofagasta production cuts in Chile have doubled to about 10,000 tonnes, it said, citing worker protests in the South American nation. LME cash zinc premium over the three-month contract rose to $62 a tonne. That is the highest since July 1, having been in a backwardation of $40 at the end of October. The high premium indicates near-term shortages of metal in the LME system. China top nickel producer Jinchuan Group will feel some impact from Indonesia ban on ore exports from 2020 but will be able to plug the supply gap, partly by using its own mines, a company executive said on Tuesday.

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