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Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Crude hits peak for this year on bright outlook


World oil prices surged this week to the highest level so far this year as investor sentiment was driven by tumbling US crude reserves, the weak US dollar and encouraging economic data.

“Crude oil is ... poised for a weekly gain on optimism the prospects for a global economic recovery have improved,” BetOnMarkets analyst David Evans said.

OIL: The price of New York oil on Friday soared to US$74.72 — a level last seen on Oct. 20 last year.

“It’s the dollar ... and supportive [US energy inventories] data from Wednesday,” VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said when questioned about the latest move higher.

The European single currency leapt as high as US$1.4376 on Friday after a key survey showed the eurozone economy stabilized this month, ending a lengthy run of business contraction.

New York crude has now soared by as much as 10 percent in value this week amid rising European and US stock markets.

By Friday on London’s InterContinental Exchange Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October rallied to US$74.32 a barrel, from US$73.74 the September contract a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), light sweet crude for October jumped to US$73.97 a barrel, compared with US$71.43 for the September contract one week earlier.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold weakened as the dollar fell in value.

“The current gold price level is essentially determined by the US dollar and cannot be explained via fundamentals” of supply and demand, Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold retreated to US$952.50 an ounce from US$953.50 a week earlier.

Silver slid to US$14.01 an ounce from US$14.98.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum eased to US$1,239 an ounce at the late fixing on Friday from US$1,267.

Palladium slipped to US$275 an ounce from US$277.50.

BASE METALS: By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months sank to US$6,105 a tonne from US$6,373 a week earlier. Three-month aluminum dipped to US$1,925 a tonne from US$2,040.

GRAINS AND SOYA: Prices retreated across the board. By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December fell to US$3.24 a bushel from US$3.27 a week earlier.

November-dated soyabean meal — used in animal feed — eased to US$9.73 from US$9.81.

Wheat for December slipped to US$5.02 a bushel from US$5.09.

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