Sun, Jun 29, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Oil slides, gold climbs in mixed commodities week

AFP, LONDON

Commodity prices faced mixed fortunes this week, but oil fell from recent heights on easing Iraq supply worries and growing US demand concerns, dealers said.

In addition, revised data revealed that the US economy shrank a steep 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year, sharply worse than the previous estimate of a 1-percent decline.

OIL: The oil market fell as weak data stoked fresh demand fears in top consumer the US, while Iraqi crude supplies appeared unaffected by ongoing violence, analysts said.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US growth, rose a mere 0.2 percent last month, data showed.

In addition, initial US jobless claims, totaled 312,000 in the week ending on June 21, a decrease of just 2,000 from the previous week.

Also, US oil inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.7 million barrels in the week ending on June 20. That dashed analysts’ forecasts for a 1.2 million barrel decline, indicating weakening demand.

New York oil prices were lifted on Wednesday by a report suggesting Washington will ease a crude exports ban.

Despite ongoing supply fears over violence in No. 2 OPEC producer Iraq, the nation’s oil output has yet to be impacted.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August fell to US$113.18 a barrel compared with US$114.66 one week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for next month sank to US$105.55 a barrel from US$107.13 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold continued to climb over stubborn geopolitical worries in Iraq and Ukraine, hitting a two-month peak of US$1,325.92 an ounce on Tuesday, while sister metal silver also pushed higher to strike a three-month high at US$21.20 an ounce.

By Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold rose to US$1,317.50 an ounce from US$1,312.50 a week ago, as silver climbed to US$21.04 from US$20.62.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum climbed to US$1,479 an ounce from US$1,456, while palladium advanced to US$839 from US$829.

COCOA: Prices slipped from three-year highs struck a week ago, as traders eyed favorable weather in key producers.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in September eased to £1,924 a tonne from £1,928 a week earlier.

On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for September slid to US$3,108 a tonne from US$3,116.

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