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Friday’s Markets: Gold & Natural Gas Rally, Crude Drops

April 5, 2013 at 18:20 by Vladimir Vyun

Natural gas climbed today as US reserves shrank. Weather was unusually cold in March, driving stockpiles below the five-year average, and forecasters predict that below-normal temperatures may persist in the north-central regions of the United States. Such forecasts made Goldman Sachs to boost its price forecast by $0.65 to $4.40 per million British thermal units. May future for delivery of natural gas rallied as much as $0.16 (4.26 percent) to $4.26 per million British thermal units as of 18:09 GMT on NYMEX today.

At the same time, crude oil plunged on worst-than-expected US nonfarm payrolls. Employers added 88,000 jobs last month in the USA, according to the payrolls. This is more than two times below the market expectations of 219,000. May crude oil (WTI) fell $0.67 (0.72 percent) to $92.72 per barrel. Contract for Brent crude lost as much as $2.18 (2.05 percent) to $104.65 per barrel on ICE.

The poor US employment report led to gains of gold. Still, traders are worried that 2013 may turn out to be the first bear year for the metal since 2008. Gold was attempting to rally on the problems with Cyprus, but in fact it was just consolidating and when a breakout has occurred at last, it turned out to be to the downside. Today’s gains were not enough to alleviate bulls’ fears. May futures for gold jumped $24.30 (1.57 percent) to $1,576.60 per troy ounce on COMEX today.

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