Commodity prices split amid opposing China, US indicators


Sun, Jul 21, 2013 - Page 15

Global commodity prices diverged this week as traders bet on a rosier economic outlook for the US amid mixed signals surrounding Chinese growth.

OIL: New York crude oil on Friday traded above Brent prices for the first time since August 2010, driven by a brighter US economic outlook and falling IS crude stockpiles, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate was trading above US$109 a barrel when it passed Brent in London afternoon deals on Friday. New York crude was also trading at 16-month highs.

In addition, the official crude inventories report by the US Department of Energy on Wednesday showed supplies in the US fell by 6.9 million barrels in the week to July 12.

By late on Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September stood at US$108.93 a barrel, compared with US$108.80 a week earlier for the expired next month’s contract.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for next month rose to US$108.67 a barrel from US$105.65 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Prices mostly rose.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold climbed to US$1,295.75 an ounce from US$1,279.75 a week earlier.

Silver fell to US$19.42 an ounce from US$19.66.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum gained to US$1,422 an ounce from US$1,403 and palladium increased to US$743 an ounce from US$716.

COCOA: Prices hit eight-month highs.

“Global cocoa demand appears to be recovering further,” Commerzbank analysts said.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in September rose to £1,619 a tonne — the highest level since December last year — from £1,558 a week earlier.

On New York’s NYBOT-ICE exchange, cocoa for September climbed to US$2,368 a tonne from US$2,253.