Oil Plunges 3 Percent in a Minute; Gold Also Volatile
Some oil traders likely got a jolt of white-hot panic on Monday afternoon as NYMEX crude futures fell around 3 percent in one minute. Subsequently, prices have stabilized, and were last trading down 2.71 percent to $96.33 at 3:20pm ET. In light of the volatility, market participants remain confused about what exactly was the catalyst, although rumors of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) release have been floated. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, however, has said that there is "no change" in oil reserves. In any event, oil has been falling since breaching the $100 level on Friday in a run-up which was spurred by the announcement of QE3 last week.
The movement in oil appears to have spilled over into the gold market, as COMEX futures fell sharply just after the oil market plunge. Despite being well off their best levels of the day, gold futures are only down around 0.67 percent to $1,760.90 heading into the last half hour of the equity trading session. Dollar Index futures have been rising gently on Monday as commodities fall, and were recently trading up around 0.22 percent.
The volatility in commodities will likely continue into the week, as market participants place bets in reaction to QE3.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.