Sun, Jan 22, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Commodities rally across board

GOOD NEWS:After weeks of negativity, global sentiment was boosted by positive fundamental data from China and signs that the US economy might be improving


Most commodities rallied this week on an improving outlook for the world economy, with sentiment boosted by upbeat data from Asian giant China, though many markets saw profit-taking before the weekend.

“Better-than-expected macro data — in the form of China’s Q4 GDP reading that has supported expectations of a soft landing of the Chinese economy, a strong ZEW survey and positive US manufacturing data — have supported commodity prices,” Barclays Capital analyst Sudakshina Unnikrishnan said.

“Indeed, base metals have gotten off to a strong start in 2012, with sentiment buoyed by improved perceptions of the macroeconomic environment and encouraging fundamental data, as copper prices have risen to their highest level since September 2011,” she added.

Further support came from the weaker greenback, which makes US dollar-priced goods cheaper for holders of stronger currencies.

However, markets remain on edge as Greek attempts to clinch a new debt deal with its creditors.

BASE METALS: Copper, lead and nickel forged four-month peaks this week on the back of the bright economic numbers which sparked hopes of strengthening demand.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to US$8,225 a tonne, from US$7,955 the previous week.

Three-month aluminum rose to US$2,207 a tonne from US$2,132.

Three-month lead increased to US$2,177 a tonne from US$2,012.

Three-month tin rallied to US$21,800 a tonne from US$20,905.

PRECIOUS METALS: Prices also climbed higher in line with most other commodities.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold rose to US$1,653 an ounce, from US$1,635.50 the previous week.

Silver gained to US$30.36 an ounce from US$29.64.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum increased to US$1,517 an ounce from US$1,479.

Palladium climbed to US$669 an ounce from US$627.

OIL: Prices rose on geopolitical concerns over Iran, fresh eurozone debt crisis concerns in Greece and a stream of positive economic data. However, this was offset by profit-taking and signs of weak US energy demand.

“The [supply] threats coming from Iran and Nigeria drove up the price at the start of the week,” Inenco analyst Rebecca Seabury said.

Elsewhere, the OPEC oil cartel marginally raised its forecast for growth this year in global oil demand, but warned of “a great amount of uncertainty” amid economic instability, especially in the eurozone.

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March eased to US$110.05 a barrel from US$110.52 for the February contract a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for February slid to US$98.21 from US$98.71.

COCOA: Cocoa extended gains, after soaring 12 percent the previous week on fears over the impact of dry weather in top global producer Ivory Coast.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in March surged to £1,527 a tonne from £1,515 a week earlier.

In New York on the NYBOT-ICE, cocoa for March jumped to US$2,320 a tonne from US$2,280.

COFFEE: Prices diverged in subdued trade.

By Friday on LIFFE, Robusta for delivery in March grew to US$1,904 a tonne from US$1,894 a week earlier.

On NYBOT-ICE, Arabica for March dipped to US$0.225,8 a pound from US$0.234,7.

SUGAR: Sugar futures soared to their highest level in two months, supported by hopes of strong Chinese demand and a large harvest in major producer Brazil.

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