Sun, Apr 29, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Commodity prices mixed amid growth, debt tensions

AFP, LONDON

Commodity prices diverged this week as traders weighed up weak global growth data, escalating eurozone debt fears and the latest outlook by the US Federal Reserve.

Trading was volatile on Friday as official data revealed a sharp slowdown in US GDP and worsening economic news for eurozone member Spain.

OIL: World oil prices were mixed over the course of the week that ended with official data on Friday showing US economic growth slowed sharply to 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year.

Oil prices began the week lower as downbeat Chinese data and eurozone uncertainty cast doubt on the strength of global energy demand.

Investors were spooked by results in France’s presidential vote that left French President Nicolas Sarkozy hunting for far-right votes after losing to Socialist Francois Hollande in a first-round vote.

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in June dipped to US$119.20 a barrel from US$119.21 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for June rose to US$104.23 from US$103.88.

PRECIOUS METALS: Prices were mixed, with gold rising and sister metal silver heading south.

“Gold prices have edged higher after this afternoon’s GDP number from the US came in light prompting concerns about further loose policy from the Fed,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold gained to US$1,663.50 an ounce from US$1,641.50 a week earlier.

Silver fell to US$31.14 an ounce from US$31.79.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum eased to US$1,573 an ounce from USS$1,579.

Palladium climbed to US$677 an ounce from US$666.

BASE METALS: Prices rebounded, lifted by the Fed’s latest outlook according to traders.

However, William Adams, an analyst at financial company Fast Markets, cautioned: “We feel the global economic conditions are still weakening and therefore we do not expect the stronger tone to last too long.”

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rallied to US$8,408 a tonne from US$8,181 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum grew to US$2,106 a tonne from US$2,081.

Three-month lead gained to US$2,137 a tonne from US$2,117.

Three-month tin climbed to US$22,451 a tonne from US$21,650.

Three-month nickel increased to US$18,362 a tonne from US$17,858.

Three-month zinc advanced to US$2,042 a tonne from US$2,024.

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