Oil and gold prices hit multi-month peaks this week on the back of improved demand prospects in the world’s two biggest economies — the US and China — and a weaker greenback.
OIL: Global crude prices rallied on improving US demand prospects.
On Wednesday, US crude struck its highest level in four months at US$100.37 a barrel, while Brent achieved the steepest peak this year at about US$110 a barrel.
World oil markets are unexpectedly tight as growth in advanced economies picks up, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday, urging OPEC to skip a seasonal output drop as stocks touch six-year lows. The agency said a US-led pick-up in demand in advanced countries has more than compensated for slowing emerging market consumption.
Oil price support this week came also from a rise in Chinese crude imports.
By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April stood at US$108.38 a barrel, compared with US$108.01 for next month’s expired contract a week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for next month rose to US$99.98 from US$98.13.
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold hit a three-month peak at US$1,321.52 an ounce — the highest point since Nov. 7 last year, as sister metal silver also reached a three-month high at US$21.30 an ounce.
China’s gold consumption soared 41.36 percent last year, industry data showed this week, with state media reporting on Tuesday that the country has probably overtaken India as the world’s largest consumer of the precious metal.
Last year, China consumed 1,176.4 tonnes of the yellow metal, the China Gold Association said in a statement.
By late on Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rallied to US$1,320 an ounce (28.4g) from US$1,259.25 a week earlier, while silver jumped to US$21.09 an ounce from US$19.87.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum grew to US$1,426 an ounce from US$1,379, as palladium gained to US$740 an ounce from US$711.
COFFEE: The price of coffee stayed around multi-month highs as dry weather in Brazil threatened output in the world’s biggest producer and exporter of the commodity.
The price surges are caused by “concerns about the impacts of the drought on the Brazilian coffee supply,” Commerzbank analysts said.
By Friday on ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in May stood at US$0.141 a pound (0.45kg), compared with US$0.13660 for next month’s contract a week earlier.
On LIFFE, Robusta for May traded at US$1,802 a tonne, compared with US$1,829 for next month’s contract.
SUGAR: Prices advanced in London and New York.
By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in May stood at US$441 compared with US$432.50 for the March contract a week earlier.
On ICE Futures US, the price of unrefined sugar for delivery in May traded at US$0.15.94 a pound, compared with US$0.1568 for the contract due next month.