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Sun, Jul 05, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Commodities stumble on weak US economic data

AFP , LONDON

World commodity markets were rocked this week by weak data in the US, a leading consumer of raw materials, which cast doubt on the prospect of a global economic recovery.

OIL: Crude oil hit eight-month peaks on Tuesday, before tumbling lower as weak US jobs data quashed hopes of a speedy economic recovery.

The market was also pulled lower by the strengthening greenback which makes dollar-priced commodities — like oil — more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, which in turn dampens demand and pulls prices lower.

“Crude markets were ... lower as market participants continued to digest US employment data in subdued conditions with US markets closed for US Independence Day,” Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar said on Friday.

Meanwhile oil market officials here launched a probe into an alleged rogue trader who earlier this week helped push prices to eight-month peaks, costing his company nearly US$10 million.

PRECIOUS METALS: Prices mostly fell in line with the stronger dollar ahead of the US Independence Day holiday weekend.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold dipped to US$932.50 an ounce from US$942 a week earlier. Silver fell to US$13.44 an ounce from US$14.26.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum sank to US$1,185 an ounce at the late fixing on Friday from US$1,203.

Palladium firmed to US$250 an ounce from US$245.

GRAINS AND SOYA: Grains and soya prices were subdued ahead of an early close on Thursday because of a US public holiday on Friday.

By Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December sank to US$3.57 a bushel from US$4.04 on Friday the previous week.

November-dated soyabean meal — used in animal feed — firmed to US$10.06 from US$9.91.

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