Commentary- Testing AI News For This Week - Original Format Resumes Next Week

Stock futures dipped slightly early Friday, putting Wall Street’s 9-week winning streak in jeopardy. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by about 0.2%, with similar drops for S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures. The market awaits a key jobs report, with a surprise in either direction potentially hurting stocks. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite declined for their fourth and fifth straight negative session respectively on Thursday. Large-cap tech stocks, such as Apple, have been downgraded and are putting a damper on the market. Analysts predict that slow but steady growth will continue, supporting the Federal Reserve's ability to cut rates. Source: CNBC

Mortgage rates provide glimmer of hope, Redfin says Mortgage rates in the US seem to be giving a boost to the housing market, according to real estate brokerage, Redfin. In 2023, higher borrowing costs stalled activity in the sector, deterring potential homeowners. However, current signs suggest the market is thawing as demand rises and mortgage payments decline. Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index has increased 10% over the last month, citing its highest level since August. This increase is attributed to the average drop in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from a high 7.8% in late October to 6.6%, decreasing the median mortgage payment to a 12-month low of $2,361 by the end of December. Real estate agents believe mortgage rates still appear high in comparison to historical levels despite the recent surge in demand. Source: Business Insider

Prices recover following US-inventory build selloff 

Crude oil prices began to recover in European trading hours on Friday following last session's slump, due to the release of the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. The report showed an unexpected build in US gasoline stock by 10.9 million barrels last week, which is the largest increase since 1993. Demand dropped dramatically after the Christmas holidays while net exports also decreased, leading to a surge in inventories. Despite the significant increase in refined products overshadowing a crude draw of 5.5 million barrels, prices have been supported by supply disruptions in Libya and rising tensions in the Middle East. This news could interest US traders as it reveals current price trends, the impact of US inventory data and significant geopolitical influences on the oil market. Source: Quantum Commodity Intelligence

XAU/USD Seeks Guidance from US NFP Release 

Gold prices (XAU/USD) currently remain steady yet are expected to become influenced by the incoming US Jobs report. There are expectations of a slowdown in hirings featured in the non-farm payroll data. The projected figures indicate 150k new jobs added in December and a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 3.8%. This report will likely impact decisions made by the Federal Reserve about the timing of the first interest rate cut of the year. Increased global geopolitical risks may also boost gold's safe-haven status. If the NFP data points toward a robust labor market, it may result in a decline for gold. Currently, 57.48% of traders are long on gold, a position that suggests gold prices may continue to fall. Source: DailyFX

XAG/USD surrenders modest intraday gains, seems vulnerable near $23.00 The silver (XAG/USD) price seems to be vulnerable near the $23.00 mark after surrendering modest intraday gains, with the metal unable to capitalize on gains to the $23.20 region. From a technical perspective, the sustained break below the critical 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) and a subsequent drop through the $23.30 confluence has triggered new activity from bearish traders. Further declines could find support near the multi-week low of around $22.70. However, any additional selling could reinforce the negative bias and pull the XAG/USD towards the December monthly swing low, in the mid-$22.00s, towards the next relevant support at the $22.25 region and the $22.00 mark. Source: 


Eucalyptus Oil Market to be Worth USD 92.1 billion by 2031 | Transparency Market Research, Inc. 

The eucalyptus oil market is estimated to grow at a 5.8% CAGR from 2023 to 2031, with predictions of worth reaching USD 92.1 billion by 2031, up from USD 55.8 billion in 2022, according to Transparency Market Research. The health benefits associated with eucalyptus oil, especially for respiratory conditions, are attributing to the product's market growth. Eucalyptus oil components are being used in over-the-counter medications like cough drops, inhalers, and chest rubs. The oil's antiseptic properties also make it suitable for cleaning and disinfection products. Market researchers predict an increase in demand if new uses are discovered or extraction methods improve. Organic and fragrance grade eucalyptus oil products are expected to dominate the market in the future. Consumer interest in health and wellness products drove North America to account for the market's largest share in 2022. Source: GlobeNewswire

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