Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Commodity prices mostly slide as US dollar races higher, inventories climb


Commodity prices mainly sank this week as the US dollar soared on strong US payrolls data, while many markets were also weighed down by abundant supplies and weak demand, dealers said.

Brent oil tumbled on Friday to two-year troughs, gold carved out the lowest level so far this year and cocoa slid on profit-taking from recent three-and-a-half-year-highs that were forged on output fears linked to Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

OIL: Brent oil plunged on Friday in reaction to the strong US dollar, with sentiment also rocked this week after key crude exporter Saudi Arabia cut its prices.

Oil also slid on Thursday after Saudi Arabia, , the biggest producer in the OPEC oil cartel, announced lower prices for the fourth straight month in a bid to hold onto market share.

Brent slumped on Friday to US$91.48 a barrel, which was last witnessed in June 2012.

New York crude tumbled on Thursday to US$88.18 — a level last seen in April last year.

The market was hit again by concerns about a glut of global supplies, which have overshadowed ongoing geopolitical jitters in key oil-producing regions.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November tumbled to US$91.88 a barrel compared with US$96.91 one week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for November recoiled to US$89.67 a barrel, from US$93.16 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold fell below US$1,200 per ounce for the first time this year, as robust US payrolls also dimmed haven investment demand, dealers said.

The glamorous metal slid on Friday to US$1,191.46, a level last seen on Dec. 31 last year. Sister metal silver hit US$16.72, the lowest point for four and a half years.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold had dropped to US$1,195 an ounce from US$1,213.75 a week earlier.

Silver decreased to US$16.97 an ounce from US$17.54.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum reversed to US$1,249 an ounce from US$1,304.

Palladium eased to US$763 an ounce from US$802.

BASE METALS: Base or industrial metal prices fell, hurt by the stronger US dollar and downbeat data from key consumer China.

Chinese manufacturing growth stalled last month, with the official purchasing managers’ index coming in at 51.1 last month, unchanged from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to US$6,625 a tonne from US$6,730 a week earlier. Three-month aluminum dropped to US$1,912 a tonne from US$1,960.75.

Three-month lead eased to US$2,082.25 a tonne from US$2,083.75, and three-month tin dipped to US$20,415 a tonne from US$20,784.

Three-month nickel slid to US$16,352 a tonne from US$17,372, and three-month zinc decreased to US$2,256 a tonne from US$2,282.50.

COCOA: Prices slid from recent peaks as the Ebola outbreak showed no signs of spreading into key cocoa-producing nations in west Africa, which is home to most of the world’s production.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in December fell to £2,009 a tonne from £2,151 a week earlier.

On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for December dropped to US$3,101 a tonne from US$3,356 a week earlier.

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