WTI Oil Gains Ground After Testing Yearly Lows

Key Insights

  • WTI oil received support near $73.60 and moved towards the $77 level. 
  • Gold pulled back below $1750.
  • Copper found itself under pressure as traders bet that protests in China would hurt the economy. 

WTI Oil Rebounds As Traders Bet On Aggressive Production Cuts From OPEC+

WTI oil  tested lows near the $73.60 level as traders reacted to the protests in China, which were driven by strict anti-coronavirus measures.

However, oil prices managed to gain upside momentum and moved back towards the $77 level amid rumors that OPEC+ may decide to cut production aggressively at the next meeting on December 4.

Meanwhile, EU countries failed to reach consensus on the Russian oil price cap deal. Negotiations continue, and it remains to be seen whether EU officials will be able to strike a deal before December 5, when the EU embargo on Russian oil would be implemented.

Natural Gas Continues To Trade Above The $7.00 Level

Natural gas  is trading above the $7.00 level as traders wait for additional catalysts. The weather forecast points to moderate natural gas consumption in the near term, but there is no sell-off in natural gas markets.

Some traders continue to exit their positions after the recent rally, but demand for natural gas remains strong. Most likely, the market will need significant catalysts to gain additional momentum and move out of the current trading range.

Silver Retreats As Dollar Rebounds

Silver found itself under strong pressure today and moved below the $21.00 level. The strong rebound of the U.S. dollar served as a bearish catalyst for silver markets.

Silver

If silver settles below the $21.00 level, it will get to the test of the next support at $20.80. A successful test of this level will open the way to the test of the support at $20.60. In case silver declines below $20.60, it will head towards the support at $20.40.

On the upside, silver needs to climb back above $21.00 to have a chance to gain upside momentum in the near term. The next resistance level for silver is located at $21.25. If silver moves above this level, it will head towards the resistance at $21.60.

Other precious metals are also moving lower today. Gold pulled back towards the $1745 level, while palladium declined towards $1825. Platinum is trading near the $1000 level.

Copper Is Under Pressure Amid Protests In China

Copper moved below the $3.60 level as traders reacted to the protests in China, which is the world’s main consumer of copper. If China maintains its zero-COVID policy or protests get out of control, its economy will get hurt and demand for copper will drop. The events in China will likely serve as the key catalyst for copper markets in the upcoming days.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Rare China protests roil global commodities markets

By Noah Browning, Pratima Desai and Michael Hogan

LONDON (Reuters) – Global commodities markets were hit on Monday by worries over rare demonstrations in China against COVID-19 curbs, with oil and grains hitting significant multi-month lows and safe-haven gold rising.

The protests added a new political dimension to investor concerns after months of stringent measures to curb the virus in one of the world’s largest importers of raw materials just as global economic headwinds mount and recession fears grow.

International benchmark Brent crude erased nearly all the gains seen in 2022 on the back of the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia, to hit a low of $80.61 a barrel earlier in the session, its lowest since Jan. 4.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) most-active wheat hit $7.82 earlier on Monday, its lowest since Aug. 22.

“The long-standing COVID restrictions in China have been extremely restrictive to its growth. As the world’s second largest economy, having civil unrest added to this backdrop is bound to create immense uncertainty,” Craig Erlam, senior markets analyst at OANDA in London, told Reuters.

“It remains to be seen whether the leadership listens and look into loosening its zero-COVID policy or it tries to double down on its policy and suffers the economic consequences.”

China has stuck with President Xi Jinping’s signature zero-COVID policy even as much of the world has lifted most restrictions.

Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over the restrictions flared for a third day and spread to several cities, with police on Monday stopping and searching people at the sites of weekend protests in Shanghai and Beijing.

Gold prices rose to more than one-week high on Monday, boosted by diminished investor appetite while copper prices fell on the China demand worries but a weaker dollar helped to support sentiment.

The impact on energy has been especially sharp, as markets brace for a meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) over the weekend which could rein in supply just as economic woes hit demand.

“A meltdown in energy markets continues to gather steam amid a money manager exodus. Concern for Chinese oil demand is adding to downside pressures on the complex as demand fears weigh,” analysts at Canadian bank TD Securities said.

Meanwhile traders await Beijing’s next move.

“CBOT futures are lower amid China’s rising daily Covid infections and the weekend protest of the government’s lockdown policy,” according to Chicago-based consultancy AgResource Co.

“There is a risk of social instability as traders await the reaction of President Xi.”

(Reporting By Noah Browning; Editing by Conor Humphries)

China’s anti-lockdown protests shake stocks and oil

By Sinéad Carew and Lawrence White

NEW YORK/ LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. stocks tracked a decline in equities worldwide and oil was sold off on Monday as rare protests in major Chinese cities against the country’s strict zero-COVID curbs fuelled concerns about global economic growth.

A surge in COVID cases and clashes between police and protesters across several major Chinese cities over the weekend also helped push U.S. Treasury yields lower and even safe-haven assets like the dollar and gold were in the red.

“There are concerns over China’s increasing COVID cases and how the government is going to react. We’ve gone from what we considered to be a reopening to likely greater restrictions,” said Matthew Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management.

“If you’ve got one of the largest economies coming off-line that’s going to weigh on global growth. It’s going to influence all companies one way or another.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 192.36 points, or 0.56%, to 34,154.67, the S&P 500 lost 30.51 points, or 0.76%, to 3,995.61 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 90.21 points, or 0.8%, to 11,136.14.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.50% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.71%.

Emerging market stocks dropped 0.94%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.1% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.42%.

Oil prices, sensitive to the strictness of China’s lockdown as a barometer for demand, pared some losses but earlier U.S. crude had fallen to its lowest level since late December 2021. Brent crude after falling to its lowest level since early January, was last trading at $82.49, down 1.36% on the day. U.S. crude was down 0.93% to $75.57 per barrel.

In currencies, the safe-haven Swiss franc and Japanese yen gained, while the Aussie dollar and Chinese yuan underperformed. The U.S. dollar dipped, meanwhile, which analysts said was unusual given its typical safe-haven role.

“It does suggest perhaps that the swing against the dollarin the sense of the broader market mood or market positioning isperhaps running a little bit deeper this morning and that mightwell be significant,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, said.

The dollar move had some market analysts blaming falling U.S. bond yields which made the greenback less attractive against Japan’s currency.

The dollar index fell 0.292%, with the euro up 0.13% to $1.0409. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.28% versus the greenback at 138.71 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2044, down 0.41% on the day.

The dollar was down 0.4% against the Swiss franc after earlier falling as much as 0.77%.

CHINA FEARS

In Treasuries Benchmark 10-year notes were down 2.8 basis points to 3.674%, from 3.702% late on Friday.

The 30-year bond was last down 2.7 basis points to yield 3.725%, from 3.752%, while the 2-year note was down 3.9 basis points to yield 4.4402%.

Fears about Chinese economic growth hit other commodities markets, with copper and other metals also falling.

The worries about China’s COVID policies overshadowed any support from the Chinese central bank’s 25 basis point cut to the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) announced on Friday, which would free about $70 billion to prop up a faltering economy.

China had announced a fifth consecutive day of record new local COVID cases with 40,052 infections on Monday, while in Shanghai demonstrators and police clashed on Sunday night as protests flared for a third day.

There were also protests in Wuhan, Chengdu and parts of the capital Beijing as COVID restrictions were put in place.

Gold prices gave up gains after touching a one-week high of $1763.70 per ounce. Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,748.07 an ounce. [GOL/]

(Reporting Sinéad Carew and Karen Brettell in New York, Lawrence White in London, Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Fenton)

If the Correction is Over, It Can Mean One Thing for the Gold Price

Magical 38.2%

In particular, the situation appears very interesting in the latter, so I’ll start with it.

We just saw a small attempt to break above the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement, and I doubt that this breakout will be confirmed. The “why” behind it is currently the most interesting analogy that we see on this market.

Please take a look at the areas marked with red rectangles. In all those cases, the S&P 500 index rallied on big volume at first, and then the volume declined over the course of a few weeks. And as that happened, the price approached its top.

All three previous important tops that we saw this year were accompanied by this indication.

We also see it right now.

Even more interestingly, the volume levels that have just been seen are similar to the ones that accompanied previous tops.

Consequently, it seems that the end of the rally is near. This is likely to have very bearish implications for junior mining stocks.

Let’s check what’s up with gold.

The yellow metal corrected 38.2% of its previous medium-term decline, and it declined once again. The moves that are smaller than 38.2% of the preceding move are generally viewed as “weak corrections,” indicating a market where the previous trend is very strong.

Gold Price Forecast – What’s Next?

As the correction appears to be over, the medium-term downtrend is now likely to resume. The RSI indicator clearly supports this outcome, as it just moved back below 70. When we previously saw similar signals, gold price usually plunged.

There’s one more thing that makes me predict that the gold price top is already in.

It’s gold’s link with the USD Index.

As you can see above, the USD Index just moved very close to its recent bottom. However, at the same time, gold and silver prices didn’t move back to their previous highs.

This kind of weak reaction to a factor that “should” move the market, indicates that the market really wants to move in the opposite direction.

In the current case, this indicates that gold wants to move lower.

Combining the above with the extremely negative correlation between gold and the USD Index (currently the 30-trading-day linear correlation coefficient is at -0.95, while -1 is the most negative that it could go), this indicates that when the USD Index rallies, gold would be likely to truly plunge – magnifying the U.S. dollar’s moves, but in the opposite direction.

All in all, the technical outlook for the precious metals sector appears to be very bearish for the coming weeks.

Thank you for reading our free analysis today. Please note that the above is just a small fraction of today’s all-encompassing Gold & Silver Trading Alert. The latter includes multiple premium details such as the targets for gold and mining stocks that could be reached in the next few weeks. If you’d like to read those premium details, we have good news for you. As soon as you sign up for our free gold newsletter, you’ll get a free 7-day no-obligation trial access to our premium Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. It’s really free – sign up today.

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA
Founder, Editor-in-chief
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

* * * * *

All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses are based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are deemed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski’s, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

Analysts Predict Cyber Monday Sales to Reach Record $11.2 Billion

The U.S. Christmas spending season opened with a bang on Black Friday with consumers spending a record $9.12 billion online shopping, according to Adobe, which track’s sales on retailers’ websites.

Adobe also reported that overall online sales last Friday were up 2.3% year over year, with toys leading the way with a surge of 285% over an average day in November. Electronics were also a major contributor, up 285%, as was exercise equipment, up 218%.

Black Friday shoppers also broke a record for mobile orders, as 48% of online sales were made on smartphones, and increase from 44% last year.

Sales on Thanksgiving also exceeded expectations with consumers shelling out an all-time high of $5.29 billion online, up 2.9% year-over-year. Typically, shoppers spend about $2 billion to $billion on line in a day, according to Adobe.

Rounding out the week, e-commerce activity was expected to remain strong on Saturday and Sunday with Adobe expecting consumers to spend $4.52 billion and $4.99 billion, respectively.

Record Spending Expected to Continue

With Black Friday in the books, consumers are now looking forward to spending even more on Cyber Monday, the biggest U.S. online shopping day. Adobe Analytics is expecting record spending of about $11.2 billion with consumers looking to take advantage of discounts.

Adobe predicts spending on Cyber Monday to rise 5.2% as inflation-weary consumers have been waiting for weeks in the hopes of taking advantage of deep post-Thanksgiving markdowns.

Retailers Hoping for Strong Numbers

Recently, retailers Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom reported a lull in sales in late October and early November as consumer sentiment weakened while inflation hovered near a 40-year high.

However, there seems to be a ray of optimism being fueled ahead of Monday’s big single day shopping event with Target, Macy’s and even Best Buy, now expecting a return to pre-pandemic shopping patterns.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Gold Price Forecast – Gold Markets Continue to Grind

Gold Price Predictions Video for 29.11.22

Gold Market Technical Analysis

Gold markets went back and forth during the course of the trading session on Monday, as we continue to hang around the $1750 level, an area that has been important a couple of times. Furthermore, we also have the 200-Day EMA sitting just above, offering a significant amount of resistance, and that tends to attract a lot of trading attention. Ultimately, gold markets will continue to be very noisy due to the fact that the 200-Day EMA comes into the picture and then of course we had the 50-Day EMA underneath. In other words, we are essentially squeezing in general.

This is a market that I think will continue to see a lot of volatility based upon concerns about interest rates around the world, and of course inflation. If we were to break out of these moving averages, then it could open up the possibility of a bigger move, perhaps to the $1800 level. Anything above the $1800 level could send this market much higher, perhaps all the way to the $2000 level.

On the other hand, if we were to turn on a breakdown below the 50-Day EMA, it would send gold markets plunging down to the $1680 level. The $1680 level is an area that had previously been resistant, so it should now be supported. If we were to break down below there, then the market could plunge down to the lows again. Keep in mind that the US dollar, interest rates in America, and interest rates, in general, have a negative correlation to gold over time. With this, I think we are rapidly approaching a major decision.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Trade of the Week: Gold Waits For Fresh Fundamental Spark

A growing sense of anticipation ahead of the US jobs report along with other top-tier data this week added to the overall caution, leaving investors on edge. With a softer dollar adding to the mix, bulls were injected with enough confidence to challenge levels not seen since November 18.

Nevertheless, the precious metal remains in a wide range on the daily charts with support at $1735 and resistance at $1785. Over the past few weeks, gold has bounced within this range as bulls and bears engaged in a fierce tug of war.

However, with the fundamentals slowly tilting in favour of gold bulls – a solid breakout could be around the corner. Gold needs a fresh fundamental spark to get its gears moving and this could come in the form of speeches from Fed officials, geopolitical risks, or high-quality US economic data.

Before we thoroughly discuss what to expect from gold over the next few days, it is worth keeping in mind that gold is up roughly 8% this month. November will be the first positive month for the precious metal since March 2022! Looking at the technicals, bulls are certainly in the vicinity on the daily and weekly timeframe but things still look choppy on the monthly charts. If the developments and data over the next few days support gold bulls, this could set the tone for December.

The Low Down…

It has been a volatile year for gold.

After surging and peaking in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the precious metal found itself on a slippery decline as the Fed aggressively raised rates to tame inflation. Although gold is down roughly 4% year-to-date, this inflates to almost 15% when measured from the March 2022 high.

Could the precious metal be experiencing a change of fortune after being beaten black and blue for most of this year? Given how the Fed is expected to slow its pace of interest rate increases in the face of cooling inflation, this may lead to a weaker dollar and falling Treasury yields. This combination is nothing but good news for zero-yielding gold which will most likely shine in a low-interest rate environment.

The Week Ahead…

This could be a big week for gold due to the protests in China, speeches from Fed officials including Jerome Powell, and key US economic reports.

Bulls have already made a move on Monday thanks to geopolitical tensions and this momentum could roll over into the next trading session. It may be worth keeping an eye on speeches by New York Fed President John Williams, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. There is a lot going on mid-week with Fed Chair Jerome Powell under the spotlight.

He is expected to reinforce expectations over the central bank slowing its pace of interest rate increases from December. Such a development may lead to a weaker dollar and falling Treasury yields – resulting in a boost for gold prices. Investors will also be presented with the Fed Beige Book report and US 3Q GDP second estimate which could result in some additional dollar volatility, spilling over to gold.

Thursday sees the release of the US weekly initial jobless claims and most importantly PCE deflator. Much attention will be directed toward the PCE Core Deflator which is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. Any signs of cooling inflation will most likely fortify expectations around the Fed adopting a less aggressive approach toward rates.

It’s all about the US jobs report on Friday which could be the real market shaker. Markets expect the US economy to have created roughly 200,000 jobs in October while the jobless rate is expected to remain unchanged. A report that meets or prints below expectations may justify a change in the pace of the Fed’s policy tightening – ultimately supporting gold.

Time for Gold to Re-test $1800 and Beyond?

On the daily timeframe, gold prices are trading above the 50 and 100 SMA but below the 200 SMA. As identified earlier, support can be found at around $1735 and resistance at $1780. A solid breakout above $1780 could open the doors towards $1800, $1840, and $1858. Alternatively, a move back below $1735 could signal a selloff towards $1700, $1680, and $1665.

For more information visit FXTM.

Factbox-Big banks see global economy slowing more in 2023, with likely U.S. recession

(Reuters) -The world’s largest investment banks expect global economic growth to slow further in 2023 following a year roiled by the Ukraine conflict and soaring inflation, which triggered one of the fastest monetary policy tightening cycles in recent times.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by 375 basis points this year since rolling out its first hike in March. This has sparked worries about a recession, even as the central bank is expected to temper its pace of hikes.

Real GDP (annual Y/Y) forecasts for 2023:

Bank Global U.S. China

Morgan Stanley 2.20% 0.50% 5%

Goldman Sachs 1.80% 1% 4.50%

Barclays 1.70% -0.1% 3.80%

J.P.Morgan 1.6% 1% 4%

BNP Paribas 2.3% -0.10% 4.50%

UBS 2.1% 0.1% 4.5%

BofA 2.3% -0.4% 5.5%

Credit 1.6% 0.8% 4.5%

Suisse

Deutsche Bank ~2% 0.8%

4.5%

U.S. inflation forecast for 2023 and Fed terminal rate forecast:

Bank U.S. Inflation Fed Terminal Rate

(annual Y/Y for

2023)

Morgan Stanley Headline CPI: 4.625% (by Jan ’23)

3.3%Core PCE: 3.8%

Goldman Sachs Headline CPI: 3.2% 5 – 5.25%

Core CPI: 3.2% (by May ’23)

Core PCE: 2.9%

Barclays Headline CPI: 3.70% 5% – 5.25% (by March

’23)

J.P.Morgan Headline CPI: 5% (by Jan ’23)

4.1%Core CPI: 4.2%

BNP Paribas Headline CPI: 4.40% 5% – 5.25% (by Q1 ’23)

UBS Headline CPI: 3.6% 5%

BofA Headline CPI: 4.4% 5% – 5.25%(by March

’23)

Credit Suisse 4.75% – 5% (by March

Headline CPI: 3.8% ’23)

Deutsche Bank Headline CPI: 4.3% 5.125% (By March ’23)

Morgan Stanley sees the Fed delivering its first rate cut by December 2023, taking the benchmark rate to 4.375% by the end of that year. Barclays sees the rate between 4.25% and 4.50% by the end of next year, while Deutsche Bank sees it at 4.625% after a rate cut.

UBS expects U.S. inflation to be “close enough” to the Fed’s 2% target by the end of 2023 for the central bank to consider rate cuts. BofA sees the rate between 2.75% and 3.00% by the end of 2024.

Forecasts for currency pairs, yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries, S&P 500 target by the end of 2023:

Bank EUR/U USD/C USD/J S&P 500 Target U.S.

SD NY PY 10-year

yield

Morgan Stanley 1.08 6.8 140 3,900 3.50%

Goldman Sachs 1.05 6.9 140 4,000 4.34%

Barclays 1.05 7.3 131 3.75%

J.P.Morgan 1.0 7.2 133 3.4%

BNP Paribas 1.06 6.9 128 3,400 3.50%

UBS 1.04 6.9 135 3,700 (by June 3%

2023)

BofA 1.1 7 137 4,000 3.25%

1.02 7.3 135 4.10%

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank 1.1 6.8 125 4,500 3.65%

Most banks see the euro falling below parity to the dollar during the year, before clawing back by year-end.

As of 1317 GMT on Nov. 28, 2022:

EUR/USD: 1.045

USD/CNY: 7.197

USD/JPY: 138.50

U.S. 10-year Treasury yield: 3.67%

S&P 500 level (as of close on Nov. 25): 4,026.12

(Complied by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila, Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)

Gold Price Forecast XAU/USD – Higher on Lower Yields as Investors Seek Clarity on Fed’s Rate-Hike Path

Gold futures are spiking to the upside on Monday after shrugging off earlier weakness. The catalysts behind the rally is a drop in Treasury yields and a weaker U.S. Dollar.

Volatility is the theme today as investors return from last week’s extended U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Early in the session, gold was pressured by a stronger dollar, which rose in response to safe-haven demand that was fueled by protests in China against the government’s anti-COVID policies.

However, gold rallied as the dollar fell from its intraday high as expectations of a slower pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes starting in December, offset worries over the protests in China.

At 11:17 GMT, February Comex gold is trading $1775.60, up $6.80 or +0.38%. On Friday, SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) settled at $163.18, up $0.10 or +0.06%.

Chinese Protests Generate Early Pressure

Gold prices slipped early Monday, as the dollar strengthened on safe-haven demand triggered by protests in several Chinese cities over the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Gold traders were tracking the U.S. Dollar’s move closely amid the increasing uncertainty from the growing unrest in China that seemed to be underpinning the greenback.

The break in the dollar and the rally in gold was spurred by investors looking at the bigger picture, which is the aggressiveness of the Fed moving forward and its plan to fight inflation with rate hikes, while avoiding recession.

Volatility Highlighted as Treasury Yields Slip on Safe-Haven Buying Ahead of Key Economic Data

Treasury yields were under pressure ahead of today’s trading session after minutes from the Fed’s November meeting released last week indicated that the central bank would continue to hike interest rates in coming months, but at a slower pace. Concerns about the speed of rate hikes dragging the U.S. economy into a recession have spread among investors.

Today’s early retreat in yields was fueled by the turmoil in China that created enough concern about the global economy slipping into recession to encourage investors to seek protection in safe-haven U.S. Treasury bonds.

After an early reaction to a stronger dollar, gold investors took notice of the drop in yields and reversed prices higher.

Short-Term Outlook

I don’t see safe-haven demand for gold in the near-term picture but I could build a case for higher prices if U.S. Treasury yields continue to retreat. Driving the direction of yields this week will be several key economic reports that will provide insights into how the U.S. economy is faring as interest rates and inflation remain high.

A series of key labor market data is due this week, including ADP’s private business payroll figures and JOLTs job openings on Wednesday, as well as non-farm payroll and unemployment data on Friday.

Gold traders will also get the opportunity to react to data on personal spending and income figures, for hints about the impact of high inflation and interest rates on consumers.

Gold is likely to strengthen if Treasury yields continue to fall, but gains could be limited if safe-haven buying drives the U.S. Dollar higher.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

China’s stocks, yuan tumble as COVID protests rattle nerves

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese stocks on Monday saw the worst day in a month, as recent monetary-easing measures failed to offset investor worries about protests against strict COVID-19 curbs in the world’s second-largest economy, while the yuan weakened versus the dollar.

A U.S. crackdown on Chinese tech giants citing national security concerns also weighed on shares of technology firms.

Nevertheless, the social unrest and rising coronavirus cases had fuelled expectations of an earlier end to China’s zero-COVID policy, putting a floor under stocks and boosting tourism and consumer shares.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index closed down 1.1%, after slumping as much as 2.7% earlier in the day, logging the biggest daily decline since Oct. 28. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.6%.

Amid the worries, stock investors took little cheer from a central bank decision on Friday to cut banks’ required reserve ratio (RRR) in a bid to aid the struggling economy. The widely expected RRR cut did however add downward pressure on the Chinese currency.

The onshore yuan weakened as much as 1.1% to 7.2435 per dollar at one point, the softest level since Nov. 10, and ended its domestic session trading at 7.1999.

“The market does not like uncertainties that are difficult to price and the China protests clearly fall into this category. It means investors will become more risk-averse,” said Gary Ng, economist at Natixis.

The wave of civil disobedience is unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago and comes amid mounting frustration over his signature zero-COVID policy as well as record high daily infections.

While state media has not reported the protests, photos and videos of the protests circulated on social media.

Meanwhile, daily new COVID cases in China reached a record high, with more than 40,000 new infections reported for Sunday, prompting widespread lockdowns and other curbs on movement and business across the country.

In fresh evidence of the hit to China’s economy from COVID, data on Sunday showed Chinese industrial firms’ overall profits declined further in the January-October period.

Most sectors in mainland markets dropped, with shares in financials, real estate and energy down between 1.5% and 2%.

Shares in Chinese surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology Co, video surveillance firm Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd and telecoms firm Hytera Communications Corp Ltd dropped, following a sales ban by the Biden Administration.

RISING REOPENING BETS

Bucking the trend, consumer and tourism-related companies rose, as some investors bet recent COVID flare-ups and social unrest might push China to end its zero-COVID policy earlier.

“The demonstrations … mean the current COVID policy mix is no longer politically sustainable. As cases surge, the beginning of some sort of de facto reopening now appears at hand,” said Christopher Beddor, deputy China research director at Gavekal Dragonomics in a note.

A tourism sub-index jumped 4.2%, while stocks in Spring Airlines surged 4.7%, and UTour Group jumped more than 7%.

Casino stocks jumped 7.6% as Macau government said its six incumbent casino operators would be given new licences to operate in the world’s biggest gambling hub from January. Wynn Macau soared more than 15% to lead the rally.

Goldman Sachs chief China economist Hui Shan forecast a 30% probability of China reopening before the second quarter next year, including some chance of a forced and disorderly exit.

“The central government may soon need to choose between more lockdowns and more COVID outbreaks,” she wrote in a late Sunday note.

Gavekal’s Beddor expects China would make concessions to address the underlying concerns, which would mean the center clarifies its instructions to local governments to discourage the use of the harshest COVID-19 containment measures.

Hong Kong-listed tech giants and real estate developers led the decline in the city’s market, with the Hang Seng Tech Index down nearly 2% and the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index slumping 4.8%.

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Sam Holmes and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Two rescued from small plane crash near Washington, authorities say

By Tim Reid and Juby Babu

(Reuters) -Two seriously injured people trapped inside a small plane that crashed into high-voltage power lines near Washington, D.C. and caused mass outages have been rescued, authorities said early on Monday.

“Both patients have been transported to local area trauma centers with serious injuries,” Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said in a press briefing, adding that the two people had suffered hypothermia and orthopedic and trauma-related injuries.

The aircraft crashed at about 5:30 p.m.(2230 GMT) in misty and wet conditions in Montgomery Village, Maryland, on Sunday, according to the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service. It became caught up in live power lines about 100 feet (30 meters) from the ground.

Goldstein said crews had been able to electrically ground the plane at about 11.30 p.m. and it had been secured nearly 45 minutes later, with both patients coming down by 12.36 a.m.

Most power in the county has been restored, according to Goldstein. Two hospitals were back at full capacity after earlier being limited, he said.

Washington-area utility company Pepco said it had restored electric service for all customers who had been impacted by the incident. The company was continuing to stabilize energy infrastructure at the scene and assessing damage before beginning repairs, it added.

Crews were still working to remove the plane from power lines, the Montgomery County MD Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security said.

Goldstein said earlier that rescue officials were in contact with the occupants by calling their cell phones.

According to the FAA, the Mooney M20J aircraft was flying from Westchester, New York and had been due to land at Montgomery Airpark, close to the crash site.

(Reporting by Tim Reid and Juby Babu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Bradley Perrett)

Burkina Faso’s vanishing gold boom puts livelihoods at risk

By Anne Mimault and Helen Reid

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – A gold mining boom in Burkina Faso over the last decade propelled Boukary Diallo from being a vendor on a market stall to running a meat business supplying a mine near Ouahigouya, his home town in the north of the country.

But as the West African country loses territory to Islamist militants and lurches from coup to coup, threatening to turn the boom to bust, Diallo is concerned he will be unable to retain all of his ten employees.

“Things are getting tight,” Diallo, 42, told Reuters by phone. “If the mine doesn’t start up again in December, I will have to let some people go.”

Karma mine, which Diallo supplies, was closed in June after a militant attack that left one worker and one soldier dead.

Acquired by Burkina-based firm Néré Mining from Endeavour Mining in March, Karma is one of at least four gold mines that halted production this year because of security risks.

Russia’s Nordgold in April stopped mining at Taparko, saying the lives of its staff were in danger.

The economy is also at risk.

Gold is Burkina Faso’s main export, accounting for 37% of total exports in 2020, and mining is a leading source of jobs.

For each person directly employed by a mine, there are three or four contractor and services workers, the national association of mining contractors estimates.

Diallo’s business, which had revenues of 100 million CFA francs ($151,399) in 2019, has been making barely 4 million CFA francs a month since the Karma mine shut, he said. The conflict has also stoked inflation, making livestock more expensive.

PRODUCTION SINKS

The decline in Diallo’s fortunes is reflected at the national level.

At current rates, Burkina Faso is set to produce 13% less gold this year than in 2021, in part because of mine closures, government statistics show.

The start of production at Orezone’s Bomboré gold mine in late September was an exception to the trend.

In the nine months to end-September – the most recent period for which data is available – the country produced 43.651 tonnes of gold, down from 50.126 tonnes over the same period last year.

Graphic: Burkina Faso gold production declines https://graphics.reuters.com/BURKINA-MINING/xmvjkoowopr/chart.png

“We see the gold industry declining in Burkina over the next five to ten years,” Richard Hyde, executive chairman and CEO of West African Resources told Reuters.

Security risks mean little exploration is happening, he added, saying West African Resources was one of the few companies to be exploring and planning a new mine.

The Burkina Faso mines ministry did not respond to Reuters’ questions.

This year is on track to be the deadliest for the country since the Sahel crisis began more than a decade ago, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

The Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) carried out more than 400 attacks across ten of Burkina Faso’s 13 regions in the first half of the year.

The conflict has also triggered political crises in the country, with two military coups this year.

Despite the instability, miners have managed to get people and supplies in and out of the country, said Sean Fieler, chief investment officer at Equinox Partners Investment Management LLC, who visited mines in Burkina Faso in July.

However, he said, “two coups within 12 months is not a good thing, I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise”.

Equinox Partners, through its funds, holds a 4.4% stake in West African Resources, a 0.2% stake in Endeavour Mining, and also invests in Orezone.

Sebastien de Montessus, CEO of Endeavour, Burkina Faso’s biggest gold producer, said: “We remain committed to the country and ensuring our presence continues to provide economic benefits to our employees, contractors, suppliers and host communities”.

In Burkina, 20% of the mining royalties collected by the state and 1% of mining company revenues go into a state-managed Local Development Mining Fund (FMDL) that finances development projects in mining communities and elsewhere.

In the first half of 2022, contributions to the fund fell by 9% from the same period last year, mines ministry reports show.

“When mines close, the whole country loses out,” said Julien Baudrand, senior vice president for sustainability at Fortuna Silver, which runs the Yaramoko gold mine in Burkina Faso.

($1 = 636.0000 CFA francs)

(Reporting by Anne Mimault in Ouagadougou and Helen Reid in Johannesburg; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

Israel’s Ben-Gvir, in leaked audio, cautious on advancing far-right agenda

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -A far-rightist on track to a key post in Israel’s incoming government has warned his party not to try to move too quickly with its agenda, saying in a recording leaked on Sunday that some planned legislation could backfire.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised Jewish Power leader Itamar Ben-Gvir the National Security Ministry, a newly created portfolio with powers over police in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

The ascent of Ben-Gvir, a West Bank settler whose record includes 2007 convictions for incitement against Arabs and support for a Jewish group on the Israeli and U.S. terrorist watchlists, has stirred concern at home and abroad.

But Ben-Gvir, now a lawyer, says his positions have become more moderate. They include expulsion for those he deems terrorists or traitors – rather than Arabs en masse – and looser open-fire regulations for troops facing Palestinian unrest.

Israel’s Army Radio aired a recording from a Jewish Power meeting in which one lawmaker discusses a proposed bill for deporting those who voice solidarity with militants.

Ben-Gvir responds: “Let’s say that tomorrow morning … a family member comes along and praises the action of Doctor Goldstein – then they should be thrown of out the country?”

That referred to Baruch Goldstein, a settler who identified with the ultranationalist Jewish group Kach and massacred Palestinians in a West Bank mosque in 1994. The attack prompted Israel to outlaw Kach, to which Ben-Gvir also once belonged.

“Every bill you propose has very, very broad consequences and impacts,” Ben-Gvir says in the recording. “If you know what the impacts are and you know what needs to be done – I’m with you. But first, everything must be understood.”

Queried by Army Radio, he verified the recording.

Ben-Gvir’s appointment – which a Channel 12 TV poll found 49% of Israelis would support, while 46% were opposed – awaits the finalisation of a government with a parliamentary majority.

Noam, a party that promotes stringent Jewish law, became the second coalition partner to Netanyahu’s conservative Likud on Sunday, netting him 39 of the Knesset’s 120 seats so far.

Palestinians have scorned Ben-Gvir’s circumspection.

“Ben-Gvir wants to move from being a rowdy, law-breaking, racist and terrorist to a man who possesses official responsibilities so he can turn this racism and hatred into official government policy, through the positions he would assume,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

Since his deal with Likud, Ben-Gvir has also refused to be drawn on past calls to end an Israeli police ban on Jewish prayer at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque compound, which Jews revere as the vestige of their two ancient temples. Palestinians and Jordan regard Jewish prayer there as a provocation.

Pressed by Israel’s Kan radio on Sunday, he said only that he would “do everything possible to prevent bigoted policies on the Temple Mount”, using a biblical name for the site.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Hugh Lawson)

Greece’s National Bank issues 200 million sterling notes

ATHENS (Reuters) – National Bank (NBG), Greece’s second-largest lender by market value, on Friday issued 200 million pounds ($241.6 million) of notes which will mature in 4-1/2 years.

It is the first sterling-denominated offer from a Greece-based issuer since 2009, with 70% of the senior preferred notes taken up by foreign investors, National Bank said in a statement.

The final cost for the issue came at 6.97%.

Goldman Sachs acted as joint bookrunner for the transaction.

($1 = 0.8278 pounds)

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Nasdaq falls and dollar rises on investor caution

By Sinéad Carew and Alun John

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – The Nasdaq closed Friday’s shorter session lower with pressure from Apple Inc, while the dollar gained as investors shied away from risk as they worried about consumer spending and monitored China’s reaction to a resurgence of COVID cases.

Frustration simmered among residents and business groups in China as the government set stricter COVID-19 control curbs just weeks after hopes for easing restrictions had been raised.

And market heavyweight Apple’s shares were weighed down by concerns about its manufacturer Foxconn. Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant in China was expected to show a November shipment slowdown as thousands of employees left in the latest bout of unrest, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

“The biggest news item is what’s going on in China, the protests against the zero-covid-tolerance policies,” said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at AllSpring.

“Investors are in a holding pattern waiting for some catalyst even though we’re not quite sure what that catalyst will be,” said Jacobsen noting that an easing of China’s restrictions would promote a risk-on mood while tightening or keeping restrictions would have the opposite effect.

In the United States, trading was also likely impacted by lower volume as many traders take vacation for the market half-day due to Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The mood was cautious as the all-important gift-buying season kicked off. With inflation soaring, investors are watching out for signs of weakness in consumer spending.

And while shoppers often turn out in record numbers for Black Friday discounts, so far on Friday, Reuters reported that crowds were thin outside stores on what is historically the busiest shopping day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.97 points, or 0.45%, to 34,347.03, the S&P 500 lost 1.14 points, or 0.03%, to 4,026.12 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 58.96 points, or 0.52%, to 11,226.36.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.15% on the day but added about 1.5% for the week.

Europe’s retailers, while fearing the shopping season could be the worst in at least a decade, were also offering Black Friday deals in hopes of boosting spending against the backdrop of high inflation and the distraction of the soccer World Cup.

Europe’s STOXX 600 ended down 0.02% on Friday but boasted a 1.7% weekly percentage gain, marking six weekly advances in a row for the first time since late 2021.

The U.S. dollar crept higher across the board in what looked like a quiet session but it remained near multi-month lows as the prospect of the Federal Reserve moderating the pace of its policy tightening weighed on the U.S. currency.

“Today has all the indicators of another session dominated by USD consolidation in lieu of any major cross-asset drivers,” said Simon Harvey, senior FX analyst at Monex Europe adding that “liquidity is quite limited.”

The dollar index rose 0.21%, while the euro was down 0.07% to $1.0401.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.33% versus the greenback at 139.08 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.2082, down 0.23% on the day.

U.S. Treasury yields gave up earlier gains after already falling on Wednesday after the Fed’s November meeting minutes indicated agreement that rate hiking could be slowed.

Benchmark 10-year notes were down 1.5 basis points to 3.694%, from 3.709% late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond was last up 1.3 basis points to yield 3.7554%, from 3.742%. The 2-year note was last down 1.4 basis points to yield 4.469%, from 4.483%.

Oil prices fell on Friday in thin market liquidity, closing a week marked by worries about Chinese demand and haggling over a Western price cap on Russian oil.

U.S. crude futures settled down 2.13% at $76.28 per barrel while Brent settled at $83.63, down $1.71, or 2% on the day.

Gold prices retreated after the precious metal posted gains in the previous three sessions on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would scale back its rate-hiking stance.

Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,753.61 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.40% to $1,751.90 an ounce. [GOL/]

(Reporting by Sinéad Carew, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Carolina Mandl in New York, Ankika Biswas and Shubham Batra in Bengaluru, Alun John in London, and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo; Editing by Christina Fincher, Kirsten Donovan, Deepa Babington, Philippa Fletcher)

WTI Oil Faced Strong Resistance Near The $80 Level

Key Insights

  • WTI oil tried to rebound but lost momentum and pulled back. 
  • Natural gas traders wait for additional catalysts. 
  • Copper remains stuck in the $3.60 – $3.65 range. 

WTI Oil Declined Below $78

WTI oil made an attempt to settle above the $80 level but lost momentum and pulled back below $78. Traders continue to wait for the news on the Russian oil price cap scheme. Yesterday, negotiations were postponed as Poland insisted on a $30 level, while other countries wanted to set the cap above the $65 level.

WTI Oil

In case WTI oil settles below the $78 level, it will move towards the support at $77.25. A successful test of this level will open the way to the test of the support at $76.75. In case WTI oil declines below $76.75, it will head towards the next support level at $76.30.

On the upside, WTI oil needs to settle back above $78 to have a chance to gain upside momentum in the near term. The next resistance level for WTI oil is located at $79.15. A move above $79.15 will push WTI oil towards the resistance at $80.00.

Natural Gas Is Mostly Flat

Natural gas markets are mostly flat as traders wait for additional catalysts. Trading activity will be low today as many traders have left for a long weekend and will get back to work on Monday.

In Europe, prices have started to move higher as traders expect that weather will become colder in early December. It remains to be seen whether the developments in the European markets will have any material impact on the U.S. markets in the near term as the restart of Freeport LNG has been delayed.

Gold Retreats As Dollar Rebounds

Gold pulled back towards the $1750 level as the U.S. dollar rebounded against a broad basket of currencies. Treasury yields moved higher, which was also bearish for gold.

Other precious metals have also found themselves under pressure in today’s trading session. Silver settled back below the $21.50 level. Platinum declined below $1000, while palladium moved towards the $1800 level.

Copper Needs Additional Catalysts To Move Higher

Copper  has recently made another attempt to settle above the $3.65 level but lost momentum and pulled back towards $3.62. Strict anti-coronavirus measures in China continue to serve as a significant negative catalyst for copper markets.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Gold Weekly Price Forecast – Gold Markets Form a Hammer for the Week

Gold Price Predictions Video for 28.11.22

Gold Weekly Technical Analysis

Gold has fallen significantly during the trading week, but then turned around to form a bit of a hammer. What’s interesting is that we have seen a complete turnaround and the trendline hold. Ultimately, I think that we’ve got a situation where we are trying to turn around and take off to the outside, but we need to take out the top of the previous weekly candlestick. After that, then we have to deal with the $1800 level, but it certainly looks as if gold is trying to change its overall trajectory.

While a falling US dollar could help, the reality is that both the US dollar and gold could rally at the same time, because that correlation breaks down occasionally. Ultimately, if we can break above the $1800 level, it could send this market toward the $2000 level. On the other hand, if we were to turn around and break down below the bottom of the candlestick, then it opens up the possibility of a move down to the $1680 level.

All things being equal, this is a situation where we are about to make a bigger move one way or the other, so the next week or 2 could be crucial. Ultimately, this is a situation where we should get a big signal one way or the other soon, so observing which direction we break will perhaps opening up at least $50 with a value, maybe even more than that. Pay attention to interest rates, because if they do fall rapidly, that might be reason enough for gold to go higher, but if there’s a sudden concern and a run toward safety, that can also drive this market higher.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Gold Price Forecast – Gold Markets Give Up Early Gains

Gold Price Predictions Video for 28.11.22

Gold Market Technical Analysis

Gold has rallied a bit during the trading session on Friday but gave back some of the gains to show signs of exhaustion. The 200-Day EMA sits just above and causes a bit of resistance as you can see and asks questions of the overall trend. With that being said, it’s very likely that we continue to see noisy behavior and volatility.

It’s probably worth noting that the liquidity would’ve been a major problem during the trading session on Friday as a lot of the larger firms will have walked away from work for the week heading into Thanksgiving. Because of this, I would not read too much into the last 2 days, so at this point the easiest way to read this chart is to look at it through the prism of moving averages.

The 200-Day EMA above being broken to the upside could send the market higher, perhaps trying to take out the trendline and then eventually $1800. On the other hand, if we turn around and break down below the 50-Day EMA it’s likely that the market could go down to the $1680 level, where we had formed a bit of a “W pattern” previously.

Pay attention to the interest rate markets, because they do have a strong negative correlation to what happens in the gold market, so that should always be in the back of your mind. I do expect to see a lot of choppiness this week, and a lot of people will more likely than not take a look at the jobs number on Friday as a sign of what the Federal Reserve may be able to do as far as loosing monetary policy is concerned.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Ghana bondholders dismayed by debt confusion

By Rachel Savage and Marc Jones

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – Some of Ghana’s international creditors voiced dismay on Friday after 24 hours of conflicting signals from the country’s authorities left a full-blown debt restructuring looking increasingly certain.

Deputy Finance Minister John Kumah said on Thursday his country was considering a “haircut” of up to 30% on its “foreign” debt, just hours after the country’s finance minister had referred only to the risk of debt distress and an unspecified debt exchange in the country’s state budget.

“We are negotiating on principal (haircut) of up to 30%,” Kumah had told radio station JoyFM.

In an attempt to walk back the comments, the finance ministry then sent a statement saying the “details of the different layers of the debt operation, including the terms of principal payments and interest on the public debt, are still being discussed”.

Ghana’s bond prices dipped fractionally on Friday, but with so little trading in international markets due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday most bondholders said the true reaction would only be seen on Monday.

“It’s not helping the situation,” one investor who requested anonymity, said of the confusion caused by the flurry of government comments.

“It gives the impression it is all a bit disorganised,” and that “It feels a bit like a band-aid too, when what we actually need is surgery here”.

Ghana, a producer of cocoa, gold and oil, is negotiating a relief package with the IMF. It has seen its cedi currency plummet against the dollar this year, while consumer inflation has soared to a 21-year high of more than 40%.

“While we are disappointed with Ghana’s decision to restructure its debt, we are not surprised,” said Anders Faergemann, an emerging market portfolio manager at PineBridge.

“The economic and financial developments this year have been deteriorating steadily, with no sense of urgency by the authorities to reverse course.”

Ghana’s Eurobonds initially fell on Friday and then pared losses, with some in the afternoon trading slightly higher than Thursday’s level.

In an analyst note, Morgan Stanley said: “While recovery values on eurobonds are higher than current prices under the initial proposal, we think the market reaction will be neutral to negative as a 3-year interest holiday will likely prove unpalatable.”

(Reporting by Rachel Savage and Marc Jones, Editing by Jorgelina do Rosario, Gareth Jones and Alex Richardson)

From wine to fishing tackle, retailers pray Advent calendars draw in shoppers

By Doyinsola Oladipo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Counting the days until Christmas is a major marketing move for retailers this year. Retailers from Target to LVMH’s Christian Dior are betting that the spirit of this season can be summed up with a centuries-old religious object: the Advent calendar.

The calendars traditionally mark every day in December of Advent, a time of reflection for Christian believers and of preparation for the Nativity and expected return of Jesus Christ. Retailers’ secular versions generally sport 12, 24 or 25 small, numbered compartments, each with a unique item to be revealed daily leading up to Christmas.

Jen Cole, 45, from Biddeford, Maine, was on the hunt for a calendar for her teenage daughter at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey. She purchased the Fish ‘Meowy Christmas’ Hanging Advent Calendar for her cat from Target for $10, and a Burt’s Bees Calendar for her son from Sam’s Club for $19.48.

“He loves Chapstick, so we thought we’d try it out,” she said.

Last year, she picked up the Marvel 12 Days Of Advent Calendar from JC Penney with superhero-themed socks.

Dior is selling a $3,500 Advent calendar inside a wooden and cotton canvas box fashioned like its Paris boutique on Avenue Montaigne. Open a door and slide out the drawer daily. You’ll find one of 12 fragrances, four candles, four soaps, three candle accessories, and a scented ornament.

For toddlers, Walmart sells the Baby Shark Advent Calendar, priced at $44.99. Behind 24 little doors are parts for 18 small toys, including a tiny candy-cane slide. “Count down to Fishmas,” the box beckons.

And for anglers, there’s a $34.99 fishing tackle Advent calendar with life-like and color-changing soft baits at The Fishing Shop.

Inflation is high. The economy is wobbly. Stores have too much inventory. And shoppers are mostly too cautious to splurge. Retailers see the calendars as a way to introduce products that people otherwise might not have bought or tried, nabbing an early-season sale from people who want to treat their friends, family and even pets to small luxuries.

POPULAR FORMAT

Cadbury was the first to mass produce chocolate Advent calendars in 1971. But the format has grown in popularity since minimal offerings in 2013, according to Heather Ibberson, retail analyst at EDITED, a data analytics firm.

U.K-based high-end department store Liberty launched its own Advent calendar in 2014, which Ibberson said has become “the most successful and fastest-selling product in its nearly 150-year history.”

Selfridges & Co has 128 Advent calendars priced from 4.99 to 623 pounds this season, more than double last year’s offerings. The U.K.-based retailer said in early October “Advent calendar” was the highest searched term on its website and its beauty calendar sold out its first release. It claims it was the first to offer a beauty Advent calendar.

Such calendars are an effective tool to convince early holiday shoppers “to check something else out,” said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School.

“Opening the drawers of this Advent calendar is reminiscent of the experience you get on our beauty floors, in which we take you through the brands and products,” said Marissa Galante Frank, Bloomingdale’s accessories and beauty fashion director.

Advent calendars can’t stay on shelves on the seventh floor of the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Inside a red box with gold embroidery are 24 small sliding compartments filled with home fragrance sprays, candles, carparfums and ornaments by Italian fragrance brand Dr. Vranjes Firenze, priced at $629.

Rival Saks Fifth Avenue has 18 calendars for sale this year up from 12 in 2021, priced $65 to $3,500.

Discount supermarket ALDI said it has 25 holiday calendars. The ALDI Holiday Magic Wine Advent Calendar includes 24 unique labels and 16 wine varieties from eight countries of origin for $59.99. Each wine label has a QR code that shoppers can scan to learn more about the wine.

“The consumer is overwhelmed with an often unmanageable range of choices,” said Howard Meitiner, former President and CEO of Sephora USA. “There has been a move toward seasonal new product.”

(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; additional reporting from Mimosa Spencer in ParisEditing by Nick Zieminski)