Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Oil leaps, Ivory Coast vote chaos lifts cocoa

AFP, LONDON

Commodities rallied this week on easing eurozone woes and strong manufacturing data, with oil scoring a two-year peak on the back of the weak US dollar and freezing weather in Europe.

Cocoa was boosted by uncertainty over the impact of a disputed presidential election in top producer Ivory Coast.

OIL: London’s Brent crude oil leapt on Friday to US$91.13 per barrel, nailing the highest level since October 2008.

The bumper gains were supported by strong US retail and pending home sales data, alongside bitterly cold European weather which ramps up energy demand.

“Oil prices surged higher ... as cold weather continued to boost demand. This is particularly true in Europe,” Westhouse Securities analyst David Hart said. “In addition, strong US pending home sales data and declining jobless claims improved sentiment towards growth in America.”

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose to US$90.90 a barrel compared with US$85.41 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for January jumped to US$88.15 compared with US$83.46.

COCOA: Prices rocketed to the best level since late October, as traders fretted over tense political developments in Ivory Coast.

The country produced 1.242 million tonnes of cocoa beans in the past crop year 2009-2010, which was 35 percent of global supply, according to Commerzbank.

By Friday on the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), cocoa for delivery in March rallied to US$2,902 a tonne from US$2,795 a week earlier.

On LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for March strengthened to £1,935 a tonne from £1,876.

BASE METALS: Base or industrial metals were driven by increasing investor optimism over the recovering world economy.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months soared to US$8,730 a tonne from US$8,220 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum rose to US$2,322 a tonne from US$2,272.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold advanced after a sell-off last month, hitting the highest level since Nov. 12, but fell short of its record peak. By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold rose to US$1,403.50 an ounce at the late fixing from US$1,355 a week earlier.

Silver increased to US$28.74 an ounce from US$26.62.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum stood at US$1,718 an ounce, from US$1,639.

Palladium rallied to US$758 an ounce from US$670.

SUGAR: The sugar market bubbled higher. By Friday on the NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for delivery in March increased to US$0.2858 a pound (0.45kg) from US$0.2809 a week earlier.

On LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for March stood at £735.40 compared with £715.20.

COFFEE: Coffee also gained ground. By Friday on NYBOT, Arabica for delivery March increased to US$2.0610 a pound, compared with US$2.0465 the previous week.

On LIFFE, Robusta for January rose to US$1,870 a tonne from US$1,819.

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