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Telecom Egypt   11.48        GMC GROUP FOR INDUSTRIAL COMME   1.29        Modern Company For Water Proof   1.03        Ismailia Misr Poultry   2.45        El Arabia for Investment & Dev   0.34        Pioneers Holding   2.84        Ezz Steel   7.86        Egyptian Real Estate Group   6.85        Rakta Paper Manufacturing   4.39        Orascom Telecom Holding (OT)   3.92        Naeem Holding   0.19        Egyptian Iron & Steel   6.87        Northern Upper Egypt Developme   4.93        Canal Shipping Agencies   7.39        Misr Chemical Industries   5.65        United Arab Shipping   0.43        Egyptians Housing Development    1.94        Universal For Paper and Packag   4.94        Egyptian for Tourism Resorts   0.69        Upper Egypt Contracting   0.8        Egyptian Financial Group-Herme   7.42        Orascom Construction Industrie   240.82        Modern Shorouk Printing & Pack   7        Heliopolis Housing   21.65        Raya Holding For Technology An   4.57        United Housing & Development   8.93        International Agricultural Pro   2.1        Gulf Canadian Real Estate Inve   18.08        Alexandria Pharmaceuticals   45.71        Arab Cotton Ginning   2.46        Egyptian Chemical Industries (   7.26        National Real Estate Bank for    11.84        Six of October Development & I   15.03        National Development Bank   6.72        Oriental Weavers   20.66        Arab Gathering Investment   16.29        Egyptians Abroad for Investmen   2.75        Credit Agricole Egypt   9.04        Palm Hills Development Company   1.61        Remco for Touristic Villages C   2.13        Commercial International Bank    29.87        El Ezz Porcelain (Gemma)   1.9        Egyptian Starch & Glucose   5.4        Arab Real Estate Investment (A   0.41        South Valley Cement   3.12        Citadel Capital - Common Share   2.5        Ceramic & Porcelain   2.88        Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad)   5.05        Union National Bank - Egypt "    3.25        El Nasr Transformers (El Maco)   4.78        Egyptian Media Production City   2.31        GB AUTO   27        Sharkia National Food   3.78        Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS)   7.85        El Kahera Housing   4.97        El Shams Housing & Urbanizatio   2.45        Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding   0.7        Cairo Poultry   8.32        ARAB POLVARA SPINNING & WEAVIN   2.11        Egyptian Financial & Industria   8        T M G Holding   4.03        Asek Company for Mining - Asco   10.66        Misr Hotels   27        Egyptian Electrical Cables   0.56        Medinet Nasr Housing   22.51        Mena Touristic & Real Estate I   1.21        ELSWEDY CABLES   18        Prime Holding   0.91        Al Arafa Investment And Consul   0.17        Alexandria Spinning & Weaving    0.74        Gharbia Islamic Housing Develo   8.41        General Company For Land Recla   16.6        Alexandria Cement   8.9        Arab Valves Company   0.94        Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals   12.4        TransOceans Tours   0.09        Egyptian for Developing Buildi   6.43        Egyptian Gulf Bank   1.24        Kafr El Zayat Pesticides   18.19        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   35.1        National company for maize pro   11.86        Delta Construction & Rebuildin   4.03        Zahraa Maadi Investment & Deve   48.25        Samad Misr -EGYFERT   3.52        Egypt for Poultry   1.41        Cairo Development and Investme   11.7        Cairo Pharmaceuticals   20.1        Maridive & oil services   0.9        Suez Canal Bank   3.75        Nile Pharmaceuticals   15.81        The Arab Dairy Products Co. AR   73.85        National Housing for Professio   14.39        El Ahli Investment and Develop   4.87        Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank   10.79        Ismailia National Food Industr   5.16        National Societe Generale Bank   25.52        Acrow Misr   19.16        Alexandria Mineral Oils Compan   63.63        Paper Middle East (Simo)   5.59        Egypt Aluminum   12.31        Giza General Contracting   13.12        Middle Egypt Flour Mills   5.82        Extracted Oils   0.6        Assiut Islamic Trading   4.56        Engineering Industries (ICON)   3.95        North Cairo Mills   15.3        Arab Pharmaceuticals   11.88        Grand Capital   5.38        El Ahram Co. For Printing And    10.68        Minapharm Pharmaceuticals   25.49        El Arabia Engineering Industri   13.52        El Nasr For Manufacturing Agri   9.71        Naeem portfolio and fund Manag   1.7        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   6.76        Natural Gas & Mining Project (   68.26        Housing & Development Bank   13.95        East Delta Flour Mills   31.5        Orascom Development Holding (A   3.22        Memphis Pharmaceuticals   11.12        Abou Kir Fertilizers   134.23        Delta Insurance   5        Cairo Investment & Real Estate   12.18        Cairo Oils & Soap   12.98        Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securi   0.36        Egyptian Real Estate Group Bea   15.56        Alexandria Containers and good   85.51        Upper Egypt Flour Mills   45.78        Development & Engineering Cons   9.94        Sinai Cement   15.18        Medical Union Pharmaceuticals   28.01        Torah Cement   24.2        Alexandria New Medical Center   46.55        Export Development Bank of Egy   5.04        Egyptian Company for Mobile Se   92.02        Middle & West Delta Flour Mill   32.7        El Kahera El Watania Investmen   4.18        Mansourah Poultry   12.41        Delta Sugar   11.04        Misr Beni Suef Cement   41.21        Egyptian Satellites (NileSat)   6.14        Cairo Educational Services   17.75        Lecico Egypt   7.55        Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism I   5.3        General Silos & Storage   10.77        Al Moasher for Programming and   0.66        UTOPIA   5.28        Arab Ceramics (Aracemco)   25.4        Barbary Investment Group ( BIG   0.98        


The Watch - forex news

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-08 05:34:09
The dollar held steady above a recent 3-1/2 month low against a basket of major peers on Monday, after data showing slower U.S. jobs growth did little to dent expectations for further Federal Reserve interest rate increases this year. The dollar's index against a basket of six major currencies last stood at 91.919, just above lows of 91.751 set on Jan. 2. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 jobs last month, after a surge of 252,000 in November, data released on Friday showed. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 190,000 in December. On Friday, the dollar initially slipped after the smaller-than-forecast rise in payrolls, but later regained some of its composure. "The recent trend of dollar-selling is taking a bit of a pause," said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, adding that the dollar drew some support after U.S. Treasury yields nudged higher on Friday. The U.S. currency has begun 2018 on the defensive, after the dollar index fell about 9.9 percent in 2017, its weakest performance since 2003. A synchronized global recovery has prompted other countries' central banks to start moving towards tighter monetary policy in recent months, helping bolster their currencies. After the U.S. jobs data, traders of U.S. short-term interest rate futures continued to bet the Fed would raise interest rates two times this year, including a probable rate hike in March. Comments by some Fed officials on Friday and over the weekend suggested the U.S. central bank remained on track to raise interest rates further in 2018. San Francisco Fed President John Williams told Reuters in an interview on Saturday that the Fed should raise interest rates three times this year given the already strong economy will get a boost from tax cuts, and can tighten more or less aggressively if needed. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester told Reuters in an interview on Friday she expects roughly four interest rate hikes this year, as U.S. economic growth picks up and unemployment remains low. Against the yen, the dollar firmed 0.1 percent to 113.12 yen, having traded in a range of roughly 112.00 yen to 113.75 yen over the past month. The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2045. Having started the year on a firm footing, the common currency rose to $1.2089 on Thursday, nearing a 2-1/2 year peak of $1.2092 set in early September. The Canadian dollar last traded at C$1.2385 per U.S. dollar, up 0.2 percent from late U.S. trade on Friday. The loonie had jumped to a three-month high of C$1.2355 on Friday, as market expectations for Canada's central bank to raise interest rates in January surged as Canadian jobs data blew past market expectations. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-06 09:42:02
Oil traders should expect prices to pullback by at least 15 percent over the coming months, a senior analyst at Commerzbank said. Oil prices surged to their highest levels since mid-2015 on Wednesday amid political unrest in Iran, despite analysts saying there was little risk of supply disruption from OPEC's third largest producer. And while long positions have skyrocketed, short positions — or bets that prices will fall — have dipped to their lowest levels since February in recent weeks. The oil price rally is "definitely due to massive overheating of the speculators and is likely to correct over the next month," Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank, told CNBC on Friday. "(I expect) the price of oil to correct by at least 10 to 15 percent over the coming months because the current fundamentals are not justifying this kind of strength," Weinberg said. Oil prices retreated from their highest level in 2.5 years on Friday as surging U.S. production appeared to offset supply fears stoked by anti-government rallies in Tehran. Brent crude traded at $67.38 a barrel at around 12 p.m. London time (7 a.m. ET), down 1 percent, while U.S. crude was seen at $61.41, down 0.9 percent. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-06 08:24:17
Sterling steadied against the dollar and euro on Friday, ending the week at much the same levels it started it at, with traders keen to see new developments on Brexit negotiations before taking on new positions on the British currency. Economic data released over the week have pointed to the economy picking up speed at the end of last year, with businesses growing more optimistic about the year ahead. But that has had little impact on the currency. Numbers released on Friday showing Britain's economic productivity rose at its fastest rate in over six years during the three months to the end of September - though in absolute terms still barely above its level of nearly a decade ago - did not give the pound any additional support. It was trading down 0.2 percent on the day at $1.3533 . It had hit a 3-1/2-month high of $1.3614 on Wednesday, less than half a cent away from its highest levels since the Brexit vote aftermath, but traders said it needed new catalysts before it could break any higher. Sterling has climbed almost 4 percent against the dollar in the past two months. "Despite appearing to be the start of an appreciation trend, we believe that the sterling rally will peter out in the coming months," wrote analysts at BMI Research in a note to clients. "We expect a pull-back towards the $1.30 level and sideways trading within a $1.30-1.35 band. On the other hand, if sterling were to break above long-term support around $1.40, this would be significant and force a fundamental re-think of our forecasts," they added. A Reuters poll of currency strategists on Friday showed the pound is expected to mostly hold steady against both a shaky dollar and the firming euro this year, but much will hinge on progress in Britain's talks with Brussels on its withdrawal from the European Union. The strategists, who were polled in the first week of 2018, were not brimming with optimism on how the next stage of talks will go, but most do not think the pound is set for another major fall, either. Against the euro, the pound traded flat at 88.96 pence . "The pound’s ongoing resilience continues to support our view from over a year ago that a lot of bad news (has) already (been) priced in," said MUFG currency anaylsts. "An important positive implication for the pound is that the risk of a more disorderly 'No Deal' Brexit outcome has diminished and the pound should strengthen if fears over a more disruptive and harder Brexit outcome do not materialise." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-06 08:08:51
Gold fell in choppy trading on Friday as the dollar rose in the wake of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for December, prompting traders to cash in gains from the metal's rally to 3-1/2 month highs this week. Spot gold was down 0.17 percent at $1,320.60 an ounce by 12:49 p.m. ET, off Thursday's high of $1,325.86. U.S. gold futures for February delivery were flat at $1,321.50. The metal remains on track for a fourth straight weekly gain, however, for the first time since April. It has risen nearly 1 percent in the first trading week of the year, having climbed by 13 percent in 2017. That has left gold looking overstretched, ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said. "I think when the rest of the market returns, gold prices will be lower and the U.S. dollar will recover." The dollar see-sawed in the wake of data showing U.S. job growth slowed more than expected last month, before turning higher. A pick-up in monthly wage gains pointed to labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates in March. Traders overall stuck to their conviction that the Federal Reserve will raise rates twice this year, a Reuters analysis of fed funds futures contracts traded at CME Group suggested. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Elsewhere physical gold demand across Asia remained subdued this week as prices rallied, keeping retail buyers away from the market. In top consumer China, premiums declined to $6-$7 an ounce from around $10 last week. Among other precious metals, palladium was down 0.96 percent at $1,085.72, also retreating after hitting a record high of $1,105.70 on Thursday. It was the best performer among major precious metals last year, rising 56 percent on fears that rising demand for the autocatalyst metal would further tighten the market after years of deficit. "Prevailing bullish sentiment and the encouraging technical trend have pushed palladium prices to record highs," Julius Baer said in a note. "We believe this is at odds with a slowdown in global car sales growth. Related headlines should eventually cool sentiment, trigger profit-taking and lead to a price correction," said Baer. Spot silver vacillated around $17.23 after touching its highest point in more than six weeks at $17.27 in the previous session. Spot platinum was 0.99 percent higher at $969.20 an ounce. It hit a 3-1/2 month peak at $965.40 on Thursday. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-06 08:06:09
The dollar rose on Friday, after a brief dip, as investors reckoned a weaker-than-expected U.S. December non-farm payrolls report would not deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates multiple times this year though at a gradual pace. U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 jobs last month. Economists were forecasting job gains of 190,000. Employment data for October and November data were revised to show 9,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. The dollar briefly slipped after the softer-than-forecast number, but has since regained momentum. "It was a little disappointing. The market doesn't care. The margin of error on this number is always big," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, referring to the U.S. jobs data. "What we'd be concerned about is if we see a couple of prints below 100,000. Until then we're okay," he added. Fed funds futures still price in a nearly 70 percent chance the U.S. central bank will hike interest rates in March, according to CME's Fedwatch. One bright spot in the U.S. December employment report was the rise in wage growth, analysts said. Average hourly earnings rose 9 cents, or 0.3 percent, in December after gaining 0.1 percent in the prior month. That lifted the annual increase in wages to 2.5 percent from 2.4 percent in November. "This provides further evidence that wage gains have become self-sustaining while helping to support interest rate expectations on the front end of the curve," said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and market strategy, at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto. In mid-morning trading, the dollar gained 0.37 percent against the yen to 113.16, while the euro fell 0.18 percent versus the dollar to $1.2045. That put the dollar index, a measure of the greenback's value against six major currencies, up 0.2 percent on the day. The dollar index was last up 0.11 percent at 91.95. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-06 07:57:07
Oil prices fell on Friday, dropping from highs last seen in 2015, as soaring U.S. production undermined a 10 percent rally from December lows that were driven by tightening supply and political tensions in OPEC member Iran. Rising U.S. production and weaker refined products demand weighed on the market, traders said. "The holiday demand surge that we get is in the rearview mirror," said John Kilduff at Again Capital. "That, coupled with the rebound in U.S. production is helping to undercut some of the recent price strength." While product demand is up from a year earlier, robust stockpiles and a coldsnap in the U.S. could put a damper on demand. Traders said political tensions in Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had pushed prices higher. "The protests in Iran add more fuel to the already bullish oil market mood," said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer. On Friday there was no new major outbreak of violence in the country, relieving some of the tension from the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Friday's session down 57 cents, or nearly 1 percent, at $61.44 a barrel, falling from the $62.21 May 2015 high reached the previous day. Brent crude futures fell 45 cents to $67.62 a barrel. The contract jumped to $68.27 in the previous session, also the highest since May 2015. Oil prices have received general support from production cuts led by OPEC and Russia, which started in January last year and are set to last through 2018, as well as from strong economic growth and financial markets. That has helped to tighten markets. U.S. commercial crude inventories fell by 7.4 million barrels in the week to Dec. 29, to 424.46 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. That is down 20 percent from peaks last March and close to the five-year average of 420 million barrels. Yet, surging U.S. production could offset some of the cuts from OPEC producers, as U.S. production rose to 9.78 million barrels a day in the latest week, according to Wednesday's report. Drillers reduced the number of oil rigs operating in fields by 5 to 742 in the week to Jan. 5. That was 213 more than the 529 rigs in the year-ago period, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. The U.S. oil rig count rose by about 42 percent by end-2017 compared to the levels seen during the corresponding period in 2016, as energy companies boosted spending amid a recovery in crude prices. Given that Iran's oil production has not been affected by the unrest, and that U.S. production will likely break through 10 million barrels per day (bpd) soon, a level so far only reached by Saudi Arabia and Russia, doubts are emerging whether the bull-run can last. Bank Jefferies said the oil price "upside from here is not obvious to us" but added that it expects the oil market to remain undersupplied through 2018. Julius Baer's Ruecker said that crude prices above $60 project an "overly rosy picture." "Oil production disruptions (in Iran) remain a very distant threat ...Disruptions in the North Sea have been removed with the Forties Pipeline system having resumed full operations. U.S. oil production surpassed the 2015 highs in October and is set to climb to historic highs this year," he said. Lukman Otunuga, analyst at futures brokerage FXTM, struck a similarly cautious tone, saying: "While the current momentum suggests that further upside is on the cards, it must be kept in mind that U.S. shale remains a threat to higher oil prices." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-04 06:54:34
Dollar prices extended gains on Thursday after upbeat U.S. data and supportive minutes from the Federal's Reserve's latest policy meeting helped it shake off recent weakness. The dollar was 0.2 percent higher at 112.710 yen in early Asian trading. It touched a 2-1/2-week low of 112.055 on Tuesday after declining steadily from a high above 113.750 scaled in December. The euro was 0.05 percent lower at $1.2011 after losing roughly 0.4 percent overnight. The common currency had surged to a three-month high of $1.2081 on Tuesday. The dollar bounced after Wednesday's strong U.S. manufacturing and construction data. It gained further support as the minutes from the Fed's Dec. 12-13 meeting were seen as more hawkish than anticipated, indicating the central bank is still poised to raise interest rates several times this year. Fed policymakers acknowledged the U.S. labor market's solid gains and the expansion in economic activity, even as they affirmed policymakers' worries about persistently low inflation. That suggested the central bank will continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates. "The dollar did feel downward pressure at the turn of the year, but the selling was not based on very strong factors," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo. Rebalancing of positions caused by investors closing their books towards theturn of each year can lead to dollar selling. "As such, strong U.S. data and the Fed's minutes, which suggested board members were not as pessimistic towards the potential economic impact of U.S. tax cuts as many in the market expected, helped the dollar get back on course," Yamamoto said. Increasing investor risk appetite in broader markets also supported the dollar, notably against perceived safe-havens like the yen and Swiss franc, which was at 0.9776 franc per dollar after sliding 0.6 percent the previous day to pull back from a three-month peak of 0.9699. Buoyed by overnight gains on Wall Street, Tokyo's Nikkei began the first day of trading in 2018 by rallying more than 2 percent. Crude oil prices were at 2-1/2-year highs, helping fuel inflation expectations. The pound dipped 0.1 percent to $1.3510, following overnight losses of 0.6 percent, when it fell back from a 3-1/2-month high of $1.3614 overnight against a rebounding dollar. The Australian dollar slipped 0.2 percent to $0.7822 and the New Zealand dollar dipped 0.1 percent to $0.7085. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies extended the previous day's bounce to stand 0.1 percent higher at 92.248. It had declined to 91.751 on Tuesday, its lowest since September 20. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-04 06:30:47
Gold prices fell on Thursday after hitting a 3-1/2-month high the session before, pulled down as investors took profits and as the U.S. dollar firmed. Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,306.72 an ounce at 0333 GMT. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.8 percent to $1,307.80 an ounce. Spot gold marked its highest since Sept. 15 at $1,321.33 on Wednesday, but then dropped as the dollar recovered from over 3-month lows. It fell further after minutes from the Federal Reserve's December policy bolstered expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes. That meant that gold, which had rallied $85 from nearly 5-month lows hit in mid-December, posted its first day of losses in nearly three weeks. "People are looking to lock in some gains after a pretty strong rally over the past weeks," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. "Geopolitical issues have certainly been a huge power point of the gold's rally into the year-end ... It is going to be a U.S. dollar type story going forward with markets taking a neutral view." The dollar was firm on Thursday in the wake of upbeat U.S. data. U.S. factory activity increased more than expected in December, boosted by a surge in new orders growth, in a further sign of strong economic momentum at the end of 2017. Minutes from the Fed's Dec. 12-13 meeting were seen as more hawkish than anticipated, indicating the central bank is still poised to raise interest rates several times this year. The minutes suggested that the central bank would continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The short-term technical outlook was also pressuring gold prices, with the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) touching 75 on Tuesday, it highest since September 2017. An RSI above 70 indicates a commodity is overbought and could herald a price correction, analysts said. Spot silver fell 0.8 percent to $16.99 an ounce,after hitting a six-week high on Wednesday at $17.24. Spot platinum was down over 1 percent at $945.10. Spot palladium dropped 0.2 percent to $1,080.97, having marked an all-time high on Tuesday at $1,096.50. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-04 06:26:25
Oil prices on Thursday hit fresh two-and-a-half year highs and were at levels last seen at the start of the commodity slump in 2014/2015, with markets tightening amid tensions in Iran and due to ongoing OPEC-led production cuts. Prices were also buoyed by Asia's stock markets, which flirted with 10-year highs on Thursday amid strong data from leading economies including the United States, Japan and Germany. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.10 a barrel at 0445 GMT, up 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. They hit $62.14 shortly before, the highest level since May 2015. Brent crude futures - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $68.13 a barrel, up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, after hitting a May-2015 high of $68.16 shortly before. Beyond a brief intraday spike in May, 2015, these were the highest crude price levels since December, 2014, at the start of the oil price downturn. Freezing weather in the United States has also spurred short-term demand, especially for heating oil. "The market is clearly getting more bullish on oil as inventory levels get closer to the five-year average. Geopolitical uncertainty in Iran, OPEC's third largest producer, is also helping to support the price as citizens are again protesting the government," said by William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia' Rivkin Securities. Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have deployed forces to three provinces to put down anti-government unrest that has been ongoing for a week, their commander said on Wednesday. In the United States, crude oil inventories fell by 5 million barrels in the week to December 29 to 427.8 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday. Potentially undermining the trend towards tighter market conditions is U.S.oil production, which has risen by almost 16 percent since mid-2016, hitting 9.75 million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of last year. Official U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage and production data is due on Thursday. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2018-01-03 09:51:07
This year could mark a comeback for commodities, with oil potentially recording $80 per barrel, a portfolio manager said Wednesday. Restrained production among major oil producers and the "greater impetus" to maintain stability ahead of the widely-anticipated initial public offering of Saudi Aramco will support prices further this year, said Yoon Chou Chong, head of Asian equities at Natixis Asset Management. "We've done a lot through the exporters, tech and we're still happy with them. (But) I think this might be the year for the return of the commodities, the oil," Chong told CNBC. He named commodities as a top trade for 2018. "The $80-mark ... (doesn't) sound too preposterous, actually," he added. Oil prices opened the year above $60 a barrel — the strongest start to a calendar year since 2014. Both crude oil benchmarks — the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and globally traded Brent — rose amid production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and anti-government protests in Iran. Oil prices last hit $80 per barrel in in November 2014. Both WTI and Brent collapsed from above $100 per barrel in June 2014 to around $30 a barrel in January 2016 due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. shale production. OPEC, along with other oil producers such as Russia, has curbed the supply of crude since January last year. The output cuts will be extended until the end of this year. More»