Trump’s announcement of raising tariff of Chinese imports to 25%, from 10%, has renewed concerns over the US-China trade war, and its impacts on global economic outlook. The uncertainty has dampened energy prices. According to the CFTC Commitments of Traders report for the week ended May 7, NET LENGTH for crude oil futures plunged -29 767 contracts to 494 336 for the week. Speculative long positions fell -21 509 contracts while shorts rose +8 258. For refined oil products, NET LENGTH for gasoline declined -10 818 contracts to 86 900, while NET SHORT for heating oil added -362 contracts to 13 032 contracts for the week. NET SHORT for natural gas futures dropped -1 228 contracts to 67 901 contracts for the week.
Gold served as safe haven asset amidst economic uncertainty. NET LENGTH for gold futures gained +9 192 contracts, to 75 411 last week. Speculative long positions increased +8 526 contracts, while shorts slipped -666, resulting in the rise in NET LENGTH. For silver futures, speculative long positions added +226 contracts while shorts rose +3 319. These resulted in a drift to NET SHORT of 957 contracts. For PGMs, NET LENGTH of Nymex platinum futures declined -4 629 contracts to 28 693 while that for palladium decreased -1 428 contracts to 7 980.