Sun, Mar 18, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Commodity prices diverge on mixed global outlook

AFP, LONDON

Commodity prices diverged this week as traders reacted to a mixed outlook for the global economy, while oil futures were also impacted by Middle East supply worries.

OIL: Oil prices fell having endured a roller-coaster ride.

Brent crude futures slumped by US$4 a barrel on Thursday following a report, later denied, that the US and Britain had agreed to supply the market with crude reserves.

The White House confirmed the issue was discussed by US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, but denied that there was a pact.

“Oil has been rebounding since that denial,” said Victor Shum, an analyst at Purvin and Gertz energy consultants.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for April dropped to US$106.23 a barrel from US$107.91 the previous week.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices hit a two-month low at US$1,634.53 an ounce, while platinum’s value surpassed the yellow metal for the first time since September last year.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold dropped to $US1,658 an ounce from US$1,687.50 the previous week.

Silver fell to US$32.27 an ounce from US$33.87.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum increased to US$1,677 an ounce from US$1,655.

Palladium grew to US$703 an ounce from US$690.

BASE METALS: Base metals prices mostly rose as upbeat US economic data offset fears of a Chinese slowdown.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to US$8,648 a tonne from US$8,490 the previous week.

Three-month aluminum increased to US$2,274 a tonne from US$2,229.

Three-month lead dipped to US$2,137 a tonne from US$2,159.

Three-month tin climbed to US$23,800 a tonne from US$23,000.

Three-month nickel advanced to US$19,221 a tonne from US$19,100.

Three-month zinc grew to US$2,102 a tonne from US$2,087.

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