The oil price has rebounded from its catastrophic lows, the fall in LNG prices has stabilised and palm oil is up. Business Advantage PNG’s monthly overview of commodity and financial markets.
Oil and gas
Oil price futures have gone into negative territory for the first time but the price for the physical commodity has rebounded. This is due to the combined effects of oversupply because of the collapse of OPEC and the drop in demand due to the coronavirus. According to oilpricecharts, Brent Crude is up 56 per cent over the month but has fallen by 45 per cent over the last 12 months. It is trading at US$36.17 a barrel.
The rebound may soon run out of steam, however.
‘With economic weakness gaining traction globally, it is hard to justify an improving outlook for oil on either a fundamental or technical basis,’ a report by Realinvestmentadvice says. ‘Oil is a highly sensitive indicator relative to the expansion or contraction of the economy. Given that oil is consumed in virtually every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the products and services we buy, the demand side of the equation is a tell-tale sign of economic strength or weakness.’
Meanwhile, gas prices have stabilised, dropping only 0.5 per cent for the month, according to Kina Securities. But it is still down 62.2 per cent for the year to date. The price is currently US$2.01 per Metric Million British Thermal Units (mmBtu).
Gold has remained strong, rising by 1.7 per cent over the month to US$1,753.50 an ounce. It is up by 17.1 per cent for the year to date, according to Kina.
Silver jumped sharply, rising 15.3 per cent to US$17.50 an ounce. But this only recoups previous losses. The price is down 1.3 per cent for the year to date, according to Kina.
The copper price moved back up over the month by 1.8 per cent and is at US$2.39 per pound. It is down 14.7 per cent this year.
Cocoa prices moved up by 2 per cent over the month, but the price is down 5.7 per cent for the year to date. The coffee price was slightly weaker. It was down one per cent for the month and is down 20.1 per cent for the year to date.
Malaysian palm oil prices rose strongly by 9.3 per cent over the month but it is still down by 26.3 per cent for the year to date, according to Kina.
The KSi Home Index (stocks listed only in Papua New Guinea) was stable, falling by just 0.3 per cent over the month; it is up 1.3 per cent for the year to date.
The KSi index (which includes dual-listed stocks) fared less well. It was down 8.7 per cent over the month and is down 18.6 per cent for the year to date. Oil Search fell by a third over the month and is down by 48 per cent for the year to date. City Pharmacy’s share price by 37.5 per cent over the month; it is down by 38.4 per cent for the year to date.
The Australian All Ordinaries Index rose by 6.3 per cent over the month, but is down 15.8 per cent for the year to date, according to Kina. America’s S&P 500 was up 2.7 per cent for the month but is down 8.5 per cent for the year to date.
The uncertainty over international markets caused the CEO of PNG’s largest superannuation fund, Paul Sayer, to warn this week that the fund was not guaranteed to make a surplus every year.
‘If Nambawan Super does make a loss in 2020, it is not due to poor management or poor regulation, but the perfect storm of poor local economic conditions coupled with a biggest global economic downturn in 100 years.’
The kina was steady against most currencies over the month, but against the Australian dollar it has weakened by 1.4 per cent over the month.
Half-year Treasury Bills are trading at 4.68 per cent, while full year Bills are trading at 7.2 per cent. Inscribed stock for 2020-22 is yielding 8.04 per cent.
The post Oil rebounds, LNG stabilises and palm oil up: our monthly review of Papua New Guinea’s commodities and financial markets appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.
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