Oil and gold score one-month highs in volatile week


Sun, Nov 25, 2012 - Page 15

Crude oil and gold prices scored one-month highs this week, boosted by Middle East tensions, a faltering US dollar and upbeat economic data, but other commodities diverged amid holiday-curtailed US trade.

Oil soared on Monday as violence intensified in the Israel-Hamas conflict, stoking supply worries, but the market trimmed its gains in the wake of Wednesday’s ceasefire.

Gold struck another one-month high late on Friday, as the euro rallied against the US dollar on rebounding German business confidence and hopes of a deal on Greece’s latest tranche of bailout cash, dealers said.

OIL: Brent oil prices jumped on Monday to US$112.20 a barrel, the highest level since Oct. 19, and New York crude hit US$89.80 a barrel, last reached on Oct. 22.

However, the market has since handed back some of the bumper gains in the wake of the Gaza truce that dimmed worries over supplies in the Middle East.

By Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for January was trading at US$87.67 a barrel from US$85.09 for the expired December contract a week earlier.

On London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January was trading at US$110.83 a barrel compared with US$107.83 from a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices leapt as the precious metal was boosted by the weak dollar, while silver, platinum and palladium also forged one-month highs.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold advanced to US$1,734.50 an ounce from US$1,713.50 a week earlier.

Silver rose to US$33.41 an ounce from US$32.27.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum increased to US$1,584 an ounce from US$1,554.

Palladium climbed to $657.50 an ounce from $623.

BASE METALS: Prices rose on the back of healthy manufacturing data in China, which is a major consumer of commodities and especially base or industrial metals.

By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed to US$7,770 a tonne from US$7,581 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum rose to US$1,965 a tonne from US$1,936. Three-month lead gained to US$2,202 a tonne from US$2,147.

Three-month nickel was up at US$16,678 a tonne from US$16,023. Three-month zinc improved to US$1,959 a tonne from US$1,921.

COCOA: Prices sank on profit-taking from the previous week’s strong rally, which was sparked after Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara on Wednesday dissolved the top cocoa producing nation’s government.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in March dipped to £1,583 a tonne from £1,593 a week earlier.