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GOLD Gold prices jumped, with futures on pace for the best one-day climb in five weeks and the first weekly rise since early June, as data on retail sales and inflation stoked concerns that the pace of economic growth may not merit lifting U.S. interest rates again in 2017. Lower rates tend to be supportive for gold futures, which don’t offer a yield. The surge in gold prices came after a Friday report on consumer prices showed that inflation in June came in flat, a sign that consumer prices had trouble sustaining its upward momentum. A weaker-than-expected reading for June’s retail sales, which fell 0.2%, also signaled weakness. Market participants said the lack of spending from U.S. shoppers made it difficult to envision inflation approaching the Fed’s 2% target. The latest economic data may be viewed as providing insufficient support for the Fed to lift interest rates at least once more in 2017 and shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet—an act that can also serve to lift rates and tighten economic conditions.

CRUDE OIL Oil rose, boosted by a supply interruption in Nigeria and prices were headed for a weekly gain of more than 4 percent on lower U.S. stockpiles, but trading was volatile as global supply remained strong and some were concerned about economic growth prospects. U.S. crude inventories fell 7.6 million barrels last week, its biggest weekly plunge in 10 months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. Still, oil stocks remained comfortably above the five-year average, and prices are more than 16 percent below their 2017 highs. Prices spiked early in the day following a force majeure declaration on exports of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude. They sank into negative territory after data showed U.S. retail sales fell unexpectedly in June, casting doubt on demand in the world’s largest oil consumer. Output cuts from producing countries coordinated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been stymied by rising output from Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt. June compliance among other members also fell to just 78 percent, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Kuwait’s OPEC governor told Reuters in an interview that it would be premature to cap Nigerian and Libyan oil production. Brent and WTI prices were roughly 5 percent above the week’s lows, aided by reports of accelerating demand growth from the IEA, crude oil import growth in China and falling crude stocks in the United States.

ALUMINIUM –  Aluminum steadied on Friday after its biggest one day increase in nearly three months a day earlier as investors reassessed concerns about capacity cuts in top producer China. An industry association said last month that China would launch a crackdown to curb the illegal expansion of aluminum capacity and Chinese media on Thursday reported significant shutdowns were in the pipeline. But offsetting these closures, later reports indicated new capacity was coming on stream. Zinc fell as warehouse inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped 16.2 percent from last Friday to 77,786 tones. Also, LME data showed a 28,500 tone, or 41 percent, daily increase in “on warrant” or available inventory. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte promised on Wednesday to resolve an impasse caused by a ministerial order to close more than 20 mines in the world’s top source of nickel ore, but told miners to end practices that damaged the environment. Copper ended up helped by encouraging economic reports from top consumer China and as weak U.S. consumer prices and retail sales data dimmed chances of another rate rise this year. China’s fiscal spending jumped 19.1 percent in June from a year earlier, quickening sharply from a 9.2 percent rise in May and signaling government efforts to cushion a gradual slowdown in the economy. Chile’s Antofagasta has reached a new wage agreement with supervisors at its Centinela copper mine, defusing the risk of a strike amid a volatile labor environment in the South American country.

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