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US crude exports rise; China’s demand to drive prices

There wasn’t a consistent direction to commodity prices this week. Natural gas prices in Europe and Asia rose, indicating stronger competition for LNG cargos. Meanwhile, most industrial metals prices fell due to pessimism around the outlook for China’s economy.

Next Friday will be the key day for data releases that are likely to move commodity prices. China’s trade statistics for June should show that oil imports remain robust. And US June non-farm payrolls should show that employment growth remained resilient. If it doesn’t, oil prices are likely to fall on worries that US oil demand could slip. OPEC will also be hosting an energy seminar in Vienna on Wednesday. This shouldn't reveal any market moving news, but you can never rule out the possibility of a surprising, off-the-cuff remark from an OPEC energy minister. 

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