Sun, Dec 12, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Gold, copper reach record highs on weak US dollar

COMMODITIES:Concern over the eurozone debt and deficit crisis boosted gold to US$1,431.25, while expectations of US stimulus plans lifted copper to an all-time peak

AFP, LONDON

Gold and copper prices struck record highs this week, oil benefited from a weaker US dollar and strong Chinese imports, while cocoa futures won support from violence gripping Ivory Coast.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices struck a record high US$1,431.25 an ounce on Tuesday when the safe-haven metal was lifted by concerns over the eurozone debt and deficit crisis, but it ended the week lower on profit-taking.

“Renewed eurozone fears continue to keep the market underpinned,” VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said.

Gold’s rally helped sister metal silver reach its highest point in 30 years, at US$30.70 an ounce.

“The high-altitude flight of precious metals remains unbroken,” Commerzbank analysts said.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to US$1,375.25 an ounce at the late fixing from US$1,403.50 a week earlier.

Silver rose to US$28.79 an ounce from US$28.74.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum dropped to US$1,673 an ounce from US$1,718.

Palladium slipped to US$737 an ounce from US$758.

BASE METALS: Copper prices soared to an all-time peak at US$9,091 a tonne on Thursday as traders mulled the chance of the US Federal Reserve launching a fresh round of monetary stimulus.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to US$9,030.50 a tonne from US$8,730 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum climbed to US$2,335.75 a tonne from US$2,322. Three-month lead rose to US$2,416 a tonne from US$2,359.

OIL: Oil prices rose to their best levels in more than two years above US$92 a barrel thanks to a weak US dollar, making crude cheaper for holders of rival currencies and lifting demand.

Prices meanwhile won support late in the week following strong Chinese import data and ahead of yesterday’s meeting of OPEC to set the cartel’s output levels.

China said on Friday that exports and imports hit record highs last month, which analysts said would ramp up pressure on Beijing for further interest rate hikes and a stronger currency.

Oil demand and prices are meanwhile showing a year-end spurt, pushed by global growth and a surprising pick-up in advanced economies, but these pressures should ease in the medium term, the IEA said on Friday.

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose to US$91.40 a barrel from US$90.90 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for January climbed to US$88.88 a barrel from US$88.15.

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