Sun, Dec 02, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Commodity prices mixed amid US budget deadlock


Commodity prices diverged this week as traders focused heavily on the outlook for the US and whether the world’s biggest economy would fall back into recession owing to a budget impasse.

Elsewhere, investors cautiously welcomed a bailout deal for Greece that eased fears over a bankruptcy for the indebted eurozone country.

OIL: Crude futures were narrowly mixed as traders mainly tracked the US budget talks.

Oil prices briefly soared last week as violence intensified in the Israel-Hamas conflict, stoking supply worries, but the market trimmed its gains in the wake of a ceasefire.

By Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for delivery in January edged up to US$87.85 a barrel from US$87.67 a week earlier.

On London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for January eased to US$110.53 a barrel from US$110.83.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices dropped after a sharp midweek loss.

Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital financial group, said he believed gold would “continue to lag behind other metals in the precious sector” owing to a lack of traders hedging against higher inflation.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to US$1,726 an ounce from US$1,734.50 a week earlier.

Silver rose to US$34.28 an ounce from US$33.41.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum rose to US$1,612 an ounce from US$1,584. Palladium climbed to US$685 an ounce from US$657.50.

BASE METALS: Prices of base, or industrial, metals rallied.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months jumped to US$7,933 a tonne from US$7,770 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum was up at US$2,080 a tonne from US$1,965. Three-month lead grew to US$2,239 a tonne from US$2,202. Three-month tin increased to US$21,790 a tonne from US$20,800. Three-month nickel advanced to US$17,200 a tonne from US$16,678.

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