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Sun, Aug 29, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Commodity prices mixed amid bleak economic data


Commodity prices were mixed this week amid poor economic data from the US, with oil and gold rising, but industrial metals mainly falling.

OIL: World oil prices rose over the week thanks to a late rally, although they began by slumping to the lowest levels in three months under US$72.

“Further doubts about the fragile pace of the US economic recovery could add further pressure ... and could see crude oil prices testing the downside around [US$]70 per barrel,” said Myrto Sokou, analyst at Sucden Financial Research.

By late Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for October rose to US$75.77 from US$74.62 the previous week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for delivery in October stood at US$73.88 a barrel compared with US$73.81 for the September contract, which expired last week.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold prices reached two-month highs thanks to the metal’s status as a safe-­haven investment.

Gold reached US$1,244.30 an ounce on Thursday — the highest point since June 30.

By late on Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold advanced to US$1,235 an ounce from US$1,223.50 a week earlier.

Silver grew to US$19.03 an ounce from US$18.14, gaining from gold’s rise.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum gained to US$1,530 an ounce from US$1,512.

Palladium climbed to US$503 an ounce from US$478.

BASE METALS: The prices of base or industrial metals mostly fell. By late on Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose to US$7,291 a tonne from US$7,243.

Three-month aluminum fell to US$2,013 a tonne from US$2,038.

COFFEE: Coffee futures rose close to 13-year highs on Monday by reaching US$1.8865 a pound (0.45kg) in New York, but fell over the week.

“New York blazed ahead again ... but volume was negligible and the rally was as much to do with a lack of selling than any large demand,” said Ralph Hawes, an analyst at Sucden brokers.

By Friday on the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), Arabica for December dropped to US$1.7795 a pound from US$1.8090 the previous week.

On LIFFE — London’s futures exchange — Robusta for delivery in November fell to US$1,645 a tonne from US$1,760.

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