Many commodity markets sank this week to fresh multimonth lows, as the US dollar surged to 22-month peaks against the euro on mounting fears that Greece could be heading for the eurozone exit.
The European single currency sank to US$1.2496 on Friday, touching a low last seen on July 6, 2010. The strong greenback makes US dollar-priced commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies. That tends to pull prices lower.
OIL: The crude oil market tumbled as investors shunned risky assets after former Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos warned that Athens might leave the eurozone.
Brent North Sea crude struck US$105.03 per barrel on Thursday, touching the lowest point since Dec. 20. New York’s light sweet crude sank on Wednesday to US$89.28 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since Nov. 1.
By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dived to US$106.91 a barrel from US$107.40 for the June contract a week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for June sank to US$90.99 from US$92.20.
PRECIOUS METALS: On the London Bullion Market, gold fell to US$1,569.50 an ounce from US$1,589.50 a week earlier.
Silver declined to US$28.24 an ounce from US$28.48.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum fell to US$1,456 an ounce from US$1,466.
Palladium slid to US$590 an ounce, from US$605 an ounce.
BASE METALS: Prices mostly dropped, with aluminum, copper, lead and nickel hitting their lowest levels for more than four months.
By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to US$7,637 a tonne from US$7,716 a week earlier.
Three-month aluminum fell to US$2,014 a tonne from US$2,059, while three-month lead slipped to US$1,952 a tonne from US$1,964.
Three-month nickel declined to US$17,011 a tonne from US$17,153.