Commodity prices mostly fell this week in volatile deals as traders digested an EU summit that had been aimed at resolving the eurozone sovereign debt crisis once and for all.
OIL: World oil prices sank this week on the back of lingering eurozone worries and global economic doubts.
“Attitudes to risk and views on the global economy are likely to remain the main drivers of commodity markets in the short term,” Barclays Capital analyst Sudakshina Unnikrishnan said.
And she warned: “There are still potential setbacks for commodities if the European debt situation deteriorates further.”
Investor sentiment was also dampened by remarks from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, who dashed hopes that the bank would intervene to prop up eurozone sovereign bonds.
“Markets were disappointed that Draghi maintained a hardline stance against expanding its balance sheet be it via direct intervention in the bond markets or other indirect means or partial measures,” Singapore’s DBS Bank (星展銀行) said.
Draghi said on Thursday that hoped-for ECB action to buy up the sovereign bonds of debt-wracked countries was “limited” and “temporary.”
His comments were a blow to crude markets, which had rallied after the ECB lowered its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1 percent to spur economic activity.
By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January fell to US$107.89 a barrel from US$108.92 a week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for January slid to US$98.38 a barrel from US$100.26.
PRECIOUS METALS: Most precious metals slid, in line with many other commodities.
By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold slipped to US$1,709 an ounce from US$1,747 the previous week.
Silver dropped to US$32.00 an ounce from US$33.15.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum slid to US$1,496 an ounce from US$1,559.
Palladium firmed to US$670 an ounce from US$653.
BASE METALS: Base or industrial metals mainly fell in value.
“A weakening outlook for Europe and concerns about whether China will continue to engineer a soft landing continue to constrain market sentiment,” Barclays Capital analyst Gayle Berry said.
By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months sank to US$7,750 a tonne from US$7,883 the previous week.
Three-month aluminum slid to US$2,080 a tonne from US$2,145.
Three-month lead decreased to US$2,105 a tonne from US$2,120.
Three-month tin rose to US$20,100 a tonne from US$19,800.
Three-month zinc retreated to US$1,992 a tonne from US$2,044.
Three-month nickel dipped to US$18,500 a tonne from US$17,000.