The United States will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico from midnight Thursday, May 31, ending months of uncertainty over potential exemptions and sharply escalating the risk of a trade war. The announcement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was sure to cast a long shadow over a meeting of finance ministers from the world's Group of Seven top economies that opens later in the day in Canada.
After falling for the past two days, the price of WTI crude oil has bounced back off its lows to trade flat to slightly firmer at the time of this writing on Thursday morning. However, WTI still remains in the red three and half days into the week. As a reminder, oil prices rallied last week and made back a significant chunk of their losses from the week before, but not enough to turn positive on the month. At $61.30 per barrel, WTI thus remains more than $5 or 8% below the high of $66.62 hit on Jan. 25.
The tariff the Trump Administration plans to slap on Canadian lumber imports should lead to a further weakening of the Canadian dollar, a move that precious metals expert Michael Ballanger says can only help the bottom line of Canadian gold producers.
Crude oil prices are struggling on short-term fundamentals, but we continue to get a disturbing outlook for our long-term energy future. Weakness enveloped oil, driving it down for the fourth day in a row on reports of oil disruptions getting back online, yet a report from Rystad Energy says that global oil discoveries fell to the lowest level in 63 years as oil companies slashed spending on oil exploration by the most in history.