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Oil Lower Ahead of U.S. GDP Data; Gold Gains on U.S. Worries

Oil is weaker in early morning trade as market eyes focus on the release of the latest U.S. GDP data to be released at 0830 ET. Many analysts expect second quarter growth to have dipped slightly from the previous quarter to about 2.5% from 2.7%. A decline in European as well as Asian shares has pushed crude prices lower as well.

Gold, meanwhile, is rising steadily amid anxiety about the U.S. economic outlook in particular. Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard's comments Thursday about U.S. risks and the possibility of prices falling like that in Japan have pushed demand for safe haven assets including gold.

At 0750 ET, Brent crude is down 0.6% at $77.09 a barrel, while light sweet crude is 0.8% weaker at $77.76 a barrel, and natural gas is 0.4% at $4.84 a million British thermal units.

Gold is up 0.2% at $1,171.20 an ounce, while silver is up 0.2% at $17.66 an ounce, and copper is 0.6% weaker at $3.27 a pound. Bloomberg reported that BP plc ( BP ) declined an offer by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. ( SNP ) to buy some of its assets, according to the Chinese refinery group better known as Sinopec.

French oil giant Total SA ( TOT ) posted a 72% increase in second quarter profit as earnings reached 2.96 billion euros from 1.68 billion euros a year ago. The company's production rose 8% to reach 2.359 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, boosted by the start of a second train at its Yemen LNG project as well as improved security in Nigeria.

Canadian miners Goldcorp Inc ( G ) and Agnico-Eagle Ltd ( AEM ) reported strong earnings results on the back of record gold prices and increased output of the yellow metal. Goldcorp's output rose 5% from a year ago to 609,500 ounces, while Agnico-Eagle said production more than doubled from a year ago.

Goldcorp reported earnings of $198.8 million excluding items, or 27 cents a share, compared to $99.2 million, or 14 cents a share. Excluding items, Agnico-Eagle posted earnings of $1.2 million, or 44 cents a share.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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