Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Platinum price spikes on deadly strike in S Africa

AFP, LONDON

Platinum prices spiked this week as deadly violence costing the lives of 34 people struck a platinum mine in South Africa.

Oil prices hit three-month highs on a number of factors, including positive US economic data and growing hopes of fresh economic stimulus by global central banks.

PRECIOUS METALS: Platinum prices hit the highest level since early last month, at US$1,462.50 an ounce, owing to the violence at a platinum mine in South Africa run by London-listed miner Lonmin. The metal’s price has risen about 4 percent since Thursday.

South African police on Friday said they fired only in self-defense in a clash with striking mineworkers, in which 34 people died. The workers at the Marikana mine were on a weeklong wildcat strike demanding a tripling of their wages from the current 4,000 rand (US$486) a month.

Gold prices, meanwhile, fell after an industry body said global demand for the precious metal had fallen to its lowest level in two years on weaker buying in main markets India and China, despite rising demand from central banks.

Worldwide demand fell 7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the World Gold Council said in a report.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to US$1,614.75 an ounce from US$1,618.50 a week earlier.

Silver climbed to US$28.20 an ounce from US$27.88.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum surged to US$1,455 an ounce from US$1,399.

Palladium gained to US$592 an ounce from US$578 an ounce.

OIL: World oil prices hit three-month highs before cooling on Friday on profit-taking.

Crude futures on Thursday reached the highest levels since May on encouraging economic figures in top crude consumer the US, traders said. New York oil hit US$95.69 a barrel and Brent US$117.03. The Brent price was for its September contract which expired at the close of trading on Thursday.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October stood at US$114 a barrel compared with US$111.84 for the September contract a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for September jumped to US$95.21 a barrel from US$92.30.

BASE METALS: Aluminum hit a near three-year low at US$1827.25 a tonne on Thursday.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to US$7,537 a tonne from US$7,440 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum fell to US$1,857 a tonne from US$1,877. Three-month lead dropped to US$1,872 a tonne from US$1,898. Three-month tin rose to US$18,460 a tonne from US$17,785. And three-month nickel grew to US$15,467 a tonne from US$15,305.

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