Commodities gain on unexpected US, China data


Sun, Aug 04, 2013 - Page 15

Oil and base metal prices gained this week as positive US and Chinese economic data fueled higher demand expectations, analysts said.

However, prices lost some of the gains later on after official figures on Friday revealed that US jobs growth had slowed last month.

The US Department of Labor said the US added just 162,000 jobs last month, weighing on gold futures, but unemployment fell to a better-than-expected 7.4 percent.

OIL: World oil prices rallied, with Brent crude reaching a near four-month high of more than US$110 a barrel before giving way to profit-taking in the wake of Friday’s US employment data.

Prices had won support in recent days from US and Chinese economic data, as well as from growing concerns about supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa, traders said.

“Protests in Libya’s oilfields, insurgents targeting Iraq’s pipeline, technical problems and oil thefts in Nigeria [have] brought about worries about the availability of supplies,” Phillip Futures investment analyst Lee Chen Hoay said.

By late on Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery next month jumped to US$108.92 a barrel from US$106.91 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate, or light sweet crude, for next month climbed to US$106.81 a barrel from US$104.36 a week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold futures retreated, giving up recent gains on an overall improving US economic outlook despite Friday’s mixed US jobs data.

By late on Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to US$1,309.25 an ounce from US$1,331 a week earlier.

Silver fell to US$19.46 an ounce from US$20.02.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum gained to US$1,436 an ounce from US$1,428, while palladium dipped to US$730 an ounce from US$731.

COCOA: Prices extended losses as rainfall in the Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, increased supply expectations.

By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for delivery next month fell to £1,569 a tonne from £1,592 a week earlier.

On New York’s NYBOT-ICE exchange, cocoa for next month fell to US$2,294 a tonne from US$2,352.

COFFEE: Futures dropped further on the prospect of a record harvest in leading producer Brazil.

By Friday on NYBOT-ICE, Arabica for delivery in September slid to US$0.11705 a pound (0.45kg) from US$0.12375 a week earlier.

On LIFFE, Robusta for November dropped to US$1,857 a tonne from US$1,935.