Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Commodities trade mixed amid crisis in eurozone

MIXED NEWS:Reports of an improving atmosphere in jobs and spending in the US were offset by factors such as the eurozone crisis and inter-Korean tensions

AFP, LONDON

Commodity markets enjoyed mixed fortunes this week as positive US economic data was offset by the impact of the strengthening US dollar amid the burgeoning eurozone debt crisis.

Official data on Wednesday showed improvements in unemployment, consumer spending and wages in the US, which is a major consumer of raw materials.

Markets remain under pressure, however, amid stubborn fears over the impact of the eurozone crisis and simmering tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

OIL: The market recovered on positive economic data in the US and China, the world’s two biggest commodities consumers, but gains were capped by the stronger dollar.

Prices rose “after stronger than expected US economic data brought risk appetite back to the market,” Sucden Financial analyst Myrto Sokou said. “It seems that the persistent concerns about a contagious debt crisis in the eurozone have been overshadowed by stronger-than-expected macroeconomic figures from the US and China.”

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose to US$85.41 a barrel, compared with US$84.11 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for January stood at US$83.46 compared with US$81.20 for the expired December contract.

BASE METALS: Prices mostly retreated, with copper and tin falling further from their recent record highs, as traders eyed the dollar.

“On balance, the metals remain in consolidation mode,” analyst William Adams at specialist Web site BaseMetals.com said.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped to US$8,220 a tonne from US$8,385 a week earlier.

Three-month tin fell to US$24,150 a tonne from US$25,200 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold moved higher, spiking in line with Korean tensions at the start of the week, but held far below their recent record peak of US$1,424.60 an ounce.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold rose to US$1,355 an ounce at the late fixing from US$1,342.50 a week earlier.

Silver edged down to US$26.62 an ounce from US$27.07.

COCOA: Prices fell ahead of a long-awaited presidential elections in Ivory Coast, which is the world’s biggest cocoa producer.

By Friday on the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), cocoa for delivery in March sank to US$2,795 a tonne from US$2,929 a week earlier.

On LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for December weakened to £1,876 a tonne from £1,925.

SUGAR: The market held steady after enjoying recent multi-year highs.

By Friday on the NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for delivery in March eased to US$0.2809 a pound from US$0.2813 a week earlier.

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