Oil, Gold Lower on French Election Results, U.S. Drilling

Oil prices were lower on Monday, reversing earlier gains as investors focus on an uptick in U.S. drilling activity.

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled 23 cents to $49.40 a barrel, falling 0.5%. U.S. crude hit a three-week low on Friday of $49.20. Brent oil fell 20 cents to trade at $52.34 a barrel after slipping to $51.57 in the previous session.

Gold Prices

Last week, U.S. drillers added new rigs for the 14th straight week, according to data from Baker Hughes. The total U.S. rig count is up to 688, its highest level since September 2015.

The growing number of rigs has sparked concern among investors that a rebound in shale production may offset efforts by other producers to reduce the global oil oversupply.

OPEC and other major producers agreed in November to cut oil production for the first six months of 2017 to curb the growing oversupply. Members will meet again in May to decide whether to extend the agreement.

Gasoline futures fell 1.2 cents to $1.632 per gallon, while heating oil fell 0.4 cents to $1.555 per gallon. Natural gas futures slipped 4.6 cents to $3.146 per million British thermal units.

Oil, Gold Both Lower


Meanwhile, gold prices fell on Monday, as the French election results eased concerns and renewed investors’ risk appetite.

Gold futures fell 1.4%, or $18.50, to trade at $1,270.64 per troy ounce. Spot gold declined 1.2% to $1,269.25.

The yellow metal hit a low of $1,266 earlier in the session before rebounding.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron was victorious in the first round of the French presidential election, beating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Macron is largely expected to win the final vote.

The election results boosted risk-sensitive assets and triggered a sell-off of safe-haven assets.

Other metals also declined on Monday, including platinum, which fell 1.4% to trade at $963.55. Palladium lost 0.1% to trade at $791.78 per ounce.

Copper futures gained 0.4 cents to $2.555 per pound.

Ben Myers

Ben began his long career in international finance and investing after graduating with a degree in Finance & Accounting. Prior to founding a financial advisory firm he worked with multi-national institutions including HSBC and Bank of Ireland. After several stints as a chief analyst at forex/binary options companies Ben still remains a keen trader and featured contributor on numerous financial sites.