Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Oil and metal prices fall on signs the US may end stimulus

UPS AND DOWNS:Brent crude had hit a nine-month high two weeks ago, but poor US job data and signs of weaker demand saw prices tumble last week


Oil and metals prices retreated this week on worries about the global economy owing to signs that the US could end its cash stimulus program and amid a worsening outlook for the eurozone, analysts said.

OIL: Prices fell on worries of an end to the US stimulus program amid global economic strains and week demand for oil in top consumer nation the US, traders said.

Oil contracts had tumbled more than US$2 on Thursday as traders absorbed poor US jobs data, signs of weaker-than-expected US crude demand and a fall in eurozone business activity.

Brent crude had hit nine-month highs above US$119 a barrel two weeks previously on healthy economic data in the US and China — the world’s two biggest economies.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April slid to US$114.19 a barrel from US$117.69 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for delivery in April stood at US$93.02 a barrel compared with US$96.77 for the March contract the previous week.

PRECIOUS METALS: The price of gold hit a seven-month low point at US$1,555.55 an ounce on Thursday, while sister metal silver reached a six-month nadir at US$28.29 an ounce. Platinum prices were volatile amid fresh violence at a South African mine.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold slid to US$1,576.50 an ounce from US$1,612.25 a week earlier.

Silver dropped to US$28.79 an ounce from US$30.18.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum fell to US$1,611 an ounce from US$1,676.

Palladium slipped to US$732 an ounce from US $754.

BASE METALS: Base metals prices retreated as renewed Chinese buying failed to offset high stockpiles.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid to US$7,808 a tonne from US$8,214 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum dropped to US$2,049 a tonne from US$2,162.

Three-month lead fell to US$2,316 a tonne from US$2,412.

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