Commodities experienced a volatile week, as traders eyed the oil supply glut, the US dollar and intensifying concerns that Greece could default and crash out from the eurozone.
OIL: Crude oil prices weakened as the dollar, benefitting from Greek worries, rose against the euro.
“Prices danced to the tune of the dollar/euro exchange, which has been influenced by the latest Greek developments,” analysts at London-based oil brokerage PVM said.
Greece insists a last-ditch deal on its debt is possible, while the European Central Bank held an emergency meeting on Friday to increase its financial lifeline Greek lenders as fears grew of a run on Greek banks after a rush of deposit withdrawals.
The European single currency fell on Friday to US$1.1334. However, on Thursday the euro had struck a one-month peak at US$1.1436 in a jump driven by incorrect reports that Greece had won a delay in its debt payments.
Meanwhile, the oil market rose on Thursday as dealers reacted to the US Federal Reserve’s decision the previous day to leave its key interest rate unchanged.
Elsewhere, investors remain concerned that top producer and OPEC leader Saudi Arabia could boost output in an already oversupplied market, analysts said.
By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August slid to US$62.66 a barrel from US$64.35 a week earlier for the expired July contract. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for July dipped to US$59.40 a barrel from US$59.99 a week earlier.
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold gained ground as dealers sought shelter from Greek default worries and mulled the cautious US interest rate outlook.
“Ahead of key events for Greece, the ultimate safe haven, gold, is finding some buyers,” IG analyst Chris Beauchamp said.
“Consolidation above US$1,200 is a good first step if the metal is to attempt to regain the May highs, and a deterioration in the Greek situation should provide some modest upward force for the metal,” he said.
By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold gained to US$1,203.40 an ounce from US$1,182.80 a week earlier.
Silver advanced to US$16.12 an ounce from US$15.93.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum edged down to US$1,085 an ounce from US$1,095, and palladium fell to US$718 an ounce from US$739.
BASE METALS: Prices mostly fell on Greek woes and Chinese demand concerns.
“The escalating crisis surrounding Greece’s negotiations with its creditors and its potentially negative implications for the eurozone economy weighed on investor sentiment this week,” Jessop at Capital Economics said.
By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to US$5,667.50 a tonne from US$5,898.50 a week earlier, while three-month aluminum reversed to US$1,690.50 a tonne from US$1,748.50.
Three-month lead declined to US$1,792 a tonne from US$1,852.50; three-month tin rose to US$15,210 a tonne from US$14,940; and three-month nickel edged down to US$12,620 a tonne from US$13,035.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and