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.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator