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Safe-haven demand boosts gold, silver, as crude oil crashes – Kitco NEWS

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(Kitco News) – Gold and silver futures prices are trading solidly up in midday U.S. trading Monday. The feature in trading today is an extremely sharp drop of over 50% in crude oil futures prices—in just one day. Nymex crude oil futures hit an all-time low of $8.79 a barrel today. Just two months ago Nymex crude prices were above $60.00. North American storage facilities are full and there is no place to put new production, amid the huge drop in gasoline demand that has resulted in prices at the U.S. pump going for less than $1.00 a gallon at some locations. For the precious metals the slumping oil market is a mixed bag. It’s bullish from the sense of making for safe-haven demand amid a very anxious marketplace with crude prices tanking—especially on a near-term basis. However, it’s bearish from the sense of crude oil being the leader of the raw commodity sector and its price being in a free fall. It would be especially bearish for metals if oil prices remained at such low levels for more than a few weeks, which appears unlikely, given that June Nymex futures (the next contract out from May futures) are trading at $22.75 a barrel. June gold futures were last up $12.50 an ounce at $1,711.20. May Comex silver prices were last up $0.325 at $15.61 an ounce.

Global stock markets were mixed to lower in overnight trading. U.S. stock indexes are mixed at midday but well off their session lows. This is a busy week for U.S. corporate earnings, which are very likely to remind traders and investors of debilitating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the U.S., more and more citizens, many of whom are out of work and running out of money, are demanding that governments reopen businesses.

China’s central bank on Monday again cut its key lending rate by 20 basis points, to 3.85%, in a further effort to resuscitate its crippled economy.

In other news Monday, the German Bundesbank said Germany, the strongest economy in the European Union, is facing a severe economic recession from which it is not likely to recover any time soon. The German central bank said the reason for the slow recovery is that that German government is likely to keep social distancing restrictions on its citizens until a vaccine is found for Covid-19. More economists are saying the expected economic recovery in North America will also be slower than the optimistic forecasts that were initially reckoned by many.

The other important outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index near steady. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield is trading around 0.632% this morning—down from levels seen late last week and a sign of higher anxiety in the marketplace at present.

Technically, June gold futures bulls have the solid overall near-term technical advantage and are keeping alive a price uptrend on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls’ next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,800.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,675.00. First resistance is seen at $1725.00 and then at last Friday’s high of $1,738.80. First support is seen at $1,700.00 and then at today’s low of $1,685.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 7.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

May silver futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls are keeping alive a four-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $17.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $14.50. First resistance is seen at $16.00 and then at the April high of $16.30. Next support is seen at last week’s low of $15.195 and then at $15.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0.

May N.Y. copper closed down 225 points at 232.20 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low today on a corrective pullback from recent gains. The copper bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. A four-week-old price uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls’ next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 250.00 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at 220.00 cents. First resistance is seen at last week’s high of 235.80 cents and then at 238.00 cents. First support is seen at 230.00 cents and then at last week’s low of 226.35 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0.

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2 Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever – The Motley Fool Canada

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For part-time investors, it can be difficult to stay on top of your portfolio holdings. This is especially true during times of significant volatility. It is why investors should choose which stocks to buy carefully. 

If you don’t have the time to actively monitor your positions, owning over 50 stocks may not be the right approach. If you are holding a large portfolio in an effort to diversify, you may be over extending yourself. 

The purpose of diversification is to reduce unsystematic risk. Research has shown that the benefits of diversification tops out at around 30 positions. The diversification benefits only inch up marginally for every position added afterwards. 

Keeping all this in mind, what is the best approach for the part-time retail investors? Identify stocks to buy that can be held forever. These are best-in-class, blue chip stocks that will act as foundational stocks in a portfolio. 

Railway stocks to buy

The railway industry is dominated by two players, Canadian Pacific Rail (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) and Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI). They form a duopoly and as such, have some of the widest moats in the country. 

Although both make excellent investments, the top stock to buy today is CN Rail. The railway is trading at 4.47  times book value, a steep discount to peer CP Rail (6.73). CN Rail’s debt burden is also much less, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. For its part, CP Rail’s D/E ratio is sitting at 1.28.

Similarly, CN Rail is a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat. It has a dividend growth streak that spans 24 years, the tenth longest in the country. At 1.94%, the yield is also double that of CP Rail (0.94%). Over the past decade, CN Rail has averaged 15.6% annual dividend growth. 

Looking forward, analysts are expecting a down year in 2020 – not surprising given the current pandemic. Still, the company is only expected to see earnings dip by about 8% before rebounding in a big way (+17%) in 2021.

CN Rail is one of the safest stocks to buy. You can buy without having to check up on the company daily to see if the investment thesis has changed. 

A top bank

In today’s environment, financial stocks are under pressure. Not even Canada’s Big Banks are immune, and most are sitting on significant losses. However, recent results are proving once again that Canada’s banks are resilient and are top stocks to buy — perhaps none more so than Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY)

As Canada’s largest bank, it has the means to come out on the other side of this pandemic on solid footing. Just as it did during the Financial Crisis, it appears that RBC will escape the current pandemic with a dividend cut. 

Now yielding 4.84%, investors can lock in a yield close to record highs. During this pandemic, Royal Bank has been the best-performing bank. Despite losing 13.06% of its value, it is far outpacing the majority of its peers. 

Despite bouncing off March lows, Royal Bank is still trading at only 1.6 times book value and 11.44 times earnings. Both of which are below historical averages. 

RBC is proving once again to be a top stock to buy and is one of the best hold forever options for investors. Unless the entire economy and banking system goes belly up, investors can sleep well knowing Royal Bank is anchoring their portfolios with stable and reliable returns.

If you are looking for other top stocks to buy today, check out the attractive investment opportunities.

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Fool contributor Mat Litalien owns shares of Canadian National Railway. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway.

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Canadian major telcos effectively lock Huawei out of 5G build – ZDNet

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Image: Shutterstock

Canadian carriers Bell and Telus announced on Tuesday that each of them would not be continuing the use of Huawei equipment in their respective 5G networks, having signed deals with the Chinese giant’s rivals instead.

For Bell, it announced Ericsson would be supplying its radio access network. It added that it was looking to launch 5G services as the Canadian economy exited lockdown.

Bell, which in Febraury announced it had signed an agreement with Nokia, said it was maintaining the use of multiple vendors in its upcoming network, as it had for 4G.

“Ericsson plays an important role in enabling Bell’s award-winning LTE network and we’re pleased to grow our partnership into 5G mobile and fixed wireless technology,” said Bell chief technology officer Stephen Howe.

Meanwhile, the British Columbia-based Telus also chose to go with a combination of Ericsson and Nokia.

The company said it had spent CA$200 billion on its network since the turn of the century, and would part with a further CA$40 billion over the next three years to deploy its 5G network.

Both Bell and Telus had previously used Huawei equipment in their networks. In February, Telus told the Financial Post it would be using Huawei in its 5G network.

The third member of the Canadian major telco triumvirate — Rogers — said in January it would be using Ericsson equipment for its 5G rollout.

The decisions from Canada’s three major carriers now mean Huawei is increasingly isolated from 5G builds within the Five Eyes nations.

In Australia, Huawei has blamed its ban on supplying 5G equipment for a fall in its carrier business and net profit.

Huawei is also at the centre of the trade dispute between the United States and China, with Washington recently clamping down on Huawei’s semiconductor supply, with companies needing an export licence to sell to the Chinese giant.

Although not officially banned, Huawei has not made inroads in New Zealand after GCSB prevented Spark from using Huawei kit in November 2018.

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, although it in January decided to limit the involvement of Huawei — restricting it to a 35% cap of all radio equipment and preventing the Chinese giant from supplying any equipment in the core of the network, as well as banning the use of Huawei equipment at sensitive locations such as nuclear sites and military bases — reports last month said that the decision would be reviewed.

Canada is also the centre of the furore involving the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, following her arrest in December 2018.

Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled the extradition could proceed. CBC reported that the presiding judge ruled that the fraud that Meng has been accused of would be a considered a crime in Canada, as well as the United States.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, is currently on bail where she is required to stay confined to one of her two Vancouver homes between 11pm and 6am. In the United States, Meng currently faces an indictment for allegedly misrepresenting Huawei’s ownership and control of its Iranian affiliate, Skycom, to banks, which breached UN, US, and EU sanctions.

Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were detained by Chinese authorities soon after Meng’s arrest, recently clocked up 500 days in confinement.

“Not only are their conditions terrible but they are cut off from any meaningful connection and at this time of pandemic they seem to be even more remote,” former Canadian ambassador to China David Mulroney told The Globe and Mail.

“It’s a hostage-taking and the ransom demand is Meng Wanzhou.”

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Saudi Arabia And Russia Agree To Extend Production Cuts – OilPrice.com

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Saudi Arabia And Russia Agree To Extend Production Cuts | OilPrice.com

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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    Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached a preliminary agreement to extend the current level of the OPEC+ production cuts by one month, provided that the laggards in compliance ensure over-compliance going forward to compensate for flouting their quotas so far, OPEC sources told Reuters on Wednesday.  

    “Any agreement on extending the cuts is conditional on countries who have not fully complied in May deepening their cuts in upcoming months to offset their overproduction,” an OPEC source told Reuters.

    According to the original agreement reached in April, OPEC+ was to cut 9.7 million bpd in combined production for two months—May and June—and then ease these to 7.7 million bpd, to stay in effect until the end of the year. Then, from January 2021, the production cuts would be further eased to 5.8 million bpd, to remain in effect until end-April 2022.

    Despite weak compliance from OPEC in May, as per a Reuters survey, the market expects that the OPEC+ coalition is motivated enough to extend the 9.7-million-bpd cuts through July or August. 

    On Monday, reports emerged that the OPEC+ group could hold its June meeting this week, earlier than the initial plans to hold the teleconference on June 9 and 10.  Related: Petrobras Oil Stockpiles Are “Paradoxically” Low

    However, an earlier meeting is being held up by the fact that the leaders of the pact, Saudi Arabia and Russia, will be seeking assurances from all non-compliant members that they will over-comply going forward to compensate for the loose compliance in May, an OPEC delegate told Argus today. According to the delegate, there will be “no free ride” for non-compliant members in the OPEC+ deal. These producers likely include Iraq and Nigeria from OPEC and Kazakhstan from non-OPEC.

    OPEC’s second-largest producer and the biggest laggard in the output cuts, Iraq, said on Tuesday that it would further reduce production and that it remains committed to the OPEC+ pact.

    Oil prices retreated following the reports of a one-month extension, after earlier on Wednesday prices had hit nearly three-month highs, with Brent Crude breaking above $40 a barrel.   

    By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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