Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Commodity prices post late rally on hope of stimulus


Commodity prices, which fell during most of the past week, rallied strongly on Friday on speculation of more China stimulus measures to boost demand in the Asian powerhouse nation.

Commodities had earlier fallen mainly on uncertainty over prospects for more US stimulus and owing to a strong US dollar dampening demand for raw materials priced in the US currency.

Prices rebounded on official data showing China grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter year-on-year — the slowest rate for the world’s second-largest economy since the depths of the global financial crisis in early 2009.

OIL: Prices see-sawed this week as traders tracked supply-side worries and concerns over the global demand outlook, but finished with a strong push higher.

Brent spiked above US$100 on Monday as Norway’s oil industry appeared headed for a labor lockout in the world’s eighth-biggest crude producer.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US crude oil inventories slumped by almost 4.7 million barrels in the week ending on July 6.

By late on Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August jumped to US$102.23 a barrel from US$98.37 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for August rallied to US$86.82 a barrel from US$84.68.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices rebounded during a volatile week’s trading for the precious metal, owing to much of the same reasons that influenced the direction of oil on markets.

They fell sharply on Thursday before winning a late lift ahead of the weekend break.

By late on Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold jumped to US$1,595.50 an ounce from US$1,587 a week earlier.

Silver gained to US$27.48 an ounce from US$27.32.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum decreased to US$1,424 an ounce from US$1,450.

Palladium grew to US$581 an ounce from US$577 an ounce.

BASE METALS: Base metals mostly rose thanks to a late rally. Prices had earlier slid, with nickel hitting a 2.5 year low at US$15,770 a tonne on Thursday.

“It now appears that we are entering a stage where weak economic news is being seen as potentially short-term bullish for prices as the market expects more stimulus,” said William Adams, analyst at information group Fast Market.

By late on Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months grew to US$7,658 a tonne from US$7,573 a week earlier. Three-month aluminum rose to US$1,916 a tonne from US$1,910. Three-month lead advanced to US$1,878 a tonne from US$1,841. Three-month tin climbed to US$18,800 a tonne from US$18,750. Three-month nickel decreased to US$16,240 a tonne from US$16,513. Three-month zinc increased to US$1,872 a tonne from US$1,840.

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