Palm oil opens 1% down at 5-month low

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 6): Malaysian palm oil futures opened to trade at five-month lows on Monday morning, following weakness in global commodities and stock markets after US President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he would hike tariffs on US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was last down 1.1% at RM1,987 (US$479.20) a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS
* Malaysian palm oil futures reversed earlier gains to close 1% down on Friday, falling on bearish production outlooks to chart the biggest weekly drop since early November.

* US soybean futures eased on Friday for a sixth consecutive session, posting a fourth straight weekly drop as rain-delayed US corn planting may fuel a shift to more soybean acres despite sluggish export demand from top importer China.

* Oil prices tumbled by more than 2% on Monday after US President Donald Trump on Sunday said he would sharply hike tariffs on Chinese goods this week, risking derailing months of trade talks between the world's two biggest economies.

MARKET NEWS
* Global financial markets tumbled on Monday after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly jacked up pressure on China to reach a trade deal, saying he would hike tariffs on Chinese goods this week.

* The safe-haven yen climbed and the yuan slid on Monday after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on China and Beijing was reported to be considering cancelling talks planned for this week, sending riskier assets into a spin.

* Wall Street stock index futures fell sharply in a volatile session on Sunday evening after US President Donald Trump said he would hike US tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and soon target hundreds of billions more.