Sun, May 13, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Commodity prices retreat on China, eurozone, concerns

THE PRICE ISN’T RIGHT:Prices for base metals fell across the board with Commerzbank saying it expected the correction to continue for a few weeks

AFP, LONDON

Commodity prices were mostly lower this week on renewed eurozone debt worries following political upheaval in Greece and France, and disappointing economic data from China, traders said.

Prices won some late support from better-than-expected US inflation and consumer sentiment data.

OIL: Oil prices fell for much of the week on heightened eurozone debt worries and disappointing Chinese economic data. Some found support on Friday from the International Energy Agency’s latest monthly report, which raised slightly its outlook for oil demand growth this year and warned that risks of a shock from Iran persisted.

However, prices generally retreated on “the fragile economic conditions in the eurozone and the weaker economic data from China,” Sucden brokers analyst Myrto Sokou said.

Brent crude struck a four-month low of US$110.53 on Tuesday, before pulling back to finish slightly higher over the week. New York oil meanwhile hit a four-month trough of US$95.17 on Wednesday.

OPEC forecast demand for this year at 88.67 million barrels per day (bpd), up 900,000 bpd from last year.

By late on Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery next month edged up to US$112.46 a barrel from US$112.27 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for next month fell to US$96.75 from US$98.25.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold hit a four-month low of US$1,573.82 an ounce, while silver hit a similar trough, at US$28.46 an ounce.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold had dropped to US$1,583 an ounce from US$1,643.75 a week earlier.

Silver declined to US$28.58 an ounce from US$29.90.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum fell to US$1,466 an ounce from US$1,530.

Palladium slumped to US$605 an ounce from US$663.

BASE METALS: Prices were lower across the board.

“The list of factors weighing on the metal markets is becoming longer and longer,” Commerzbank said. “Chinese figures ... have once again proved to be surprisingly negative. We remain skeptical and expect the price correction among metals to continue over the next few weeks.”

By late on Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped to US$7,992 a tonne from US$8,173 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum fell to US$2,038 a tonne from US$2,074.

Three-month lead slipped to US$2,065 a tonne from US$2,089.

Three-month tin slid to US$20,300 a tonne from US$21,575.

Three-month nickel retreated to US$17,057 a tonne from US$17,456.

Three-month zinc sank to US$1,931 a tonne from US$1,991.

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