Commodities mostly fell this week on the back of a strong US dollar, which surged following news of a surprise package of deflation-fighting stimulus measures in the eurozone.
The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its key interest rate to a record-low of 0.05 percent on Thursday, from 0.15 percent, and announced an asset-purchase plan in order to counter deflation pressures, boost lending and lift sluggish growth in the eurozone.
In reaction, the euro slumped to a 14-month low of US$1.2920, while the dollar leapt to ￥105.71 — last seen in early October 2008.
A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced oil and commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies. That tends to dent demand and push prices lower.
OIL: The oil market fell as official data showed the US economy added 142,000 jobs last month, dashing hopes for a gain of 200,000.
Traders also eyed abundant global crude supplies and digested news of a ceasefire deal between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels.
By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October fell to US$101.29 a barrel from US$102.89 one week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for October slid to US$94.05 per barrel compared with US$95.40.
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold dived to a two-and-a-half-month low of US$1,257.39 per ounce, rocked by the strong dollar and falling safe-haven demand.
“The price of gold fell sharply on Thursday as the US currency appreciated ... in response to the ECB’s surprise easing measures,” Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada said.
Easing Ukraine concerns meanwhile dimmed demand for gold as a haven investment.
By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold sank to US$1,266 per ounce from US$1,285.75 a week earlier. Silver eased to US$19.13 an ounce from US$19.47.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum gained to US$1,406 per ounce from US$1,424.
Palladium climbed to US$887 an ounce from US$898.
BASE METALS: Base or industrial metal prices mostly declined, but nickel rose on the back of a possible exports ban in the Philippines.
By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid to US$6,932.75 a tonne from US$6,960 a week earlier.
Three-month aluminum reversed to US$2,098 per tonne from US$2,101, while three-month lead dipped to US$2,209.25 a tonne from US$2,245.
Three-month tin dropped to US$21,390 a tonne from US$21,877.
Three-month nickel increased to US$19,460 per tonne from US$18,565, and three-month zinc rose to US$2,395 a tonne from US$2,349.
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