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Commodities Updates — Gold slides, corn stays afloat, Ukraine’s forex reserves steady

Gold slid on Friday after robust US jobs data drove the dollar higher and bolstered bets that the Federal Reserve would aggressively raise rates.

Spot gold fell 0.8 percent to $1,921.86 per ounce while U.S. gold futures settled down 1.6 percent at $1,923.70.

Soybean falls, corn mixed, wheat choppy

US soybean futures fell on Friday closing, with the spot May contract dropping below $16 a bushel for the first time in a month after the US Department of Agriculture forecasted record US soy acreage.

Corn futures also ended up mixed. The front May contract on the Chicago Board of Trade, or CBOT, sagged on technical selling and sympathy with soybeans, but deferred months including the December contract, representing the 2022 harvest, rose to life-of-contract highs on worries of a drop in US corn plantings.

Wheat futures fell in choppy, lackluster trade at the start of the month and quarter, pressured by sluggish export demand for US supplies.

CBOT May soybeans settled down 35-1/2 cents at $15.82-3/4 a bushel after hitting $15.80-3/4, the contract’s lowest since Feb. 25.

CBOT May corn ended down 13-3/4 cents at $7.35 per bushel, but new-crop December corn settled up 4-1/4 cents at $6.88 after setting a contract high at $6.93-3/4 as brokers worried about a looming supply shortfall.

Ukraine’s gold and forex reserves intact despite Russian invasion

Ukraine’s gold and foreign currency reserves stand at $29 billion, the same level as before Russia’s invasion thanks to external financial support, the president’s economic adviser Oleh Ustenko said on national television on Saturday.

“Before the war, it was $29 billion, then it dropped to $27.5 billion, then there was a currency injection and we are again at the level of $29 billion,” he said, expressing confidence that the hryvnia currency rate could be kept stable.

India supplies food aid to Sri Lanka

Indian traders have started loading 40,000 tons of rice for prompt shipment to Sri Lanka in the first major food aid since Colombo secured a credit line from New Delhi, two officials told Reuters on Saturday.

The Indian Ocean island nation of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70 percent drop in foreign exchange reserves in two years led to a currency devaluation and efforts to seek help from global lenders.

Fuel is in short supply. Food prices are rocketing, and protests have broken out as Sri Lanka’s government prepares for talks with the International Monetary Fund amid concerns over the country’s ability to pay back foreign debt.

India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, last month agreed to provide the $1 billion credit line to help ease crippling shortages of essential items, including fuel, food and medicine.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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