Copper prices hit record peaks and oil futures reached the highest levels for two years as investors reacted to solid US economic data in the first trading week of the year.
BASE METALS: Copper struck a record-high of US$9,754 a tonne, boosted by strong Asian demand and supply disruptions for industrial metal that is used to make electrical wiring and pipes.
However, its price fell over the week as traders banked their healthy profits ahead of the weekend.
“We forecast copper to have the most constructive fundamentals among the base metals, with the likelihood that supply growth will again lag behind demand growth, significantly expanding the market deficit in 2011,” Barclays Capital analyst Yingxi Yu said.
By late Friday on the London Metal Exchange (LME), copper for delivery in three months dropped to US$9,448.50 a tonne from US$9,650 a week earlier.
Three-month aluminum rose to US$2,529.50 a tonne from US$2,468.25.
Three-month lead grew to US$2,627 a tonne from US$2,562.
Three-month tin decreased to US$26,350 a tonne from US$26,800 a week earlier.
OIL: The oil market began the year with a bang, striking two-year peaks on Monday on the back of confidence in increased global energy demand after the US economy showed more signs of recovery.
New York’s light sweet crude hit US$92.10 a barrel, reaching a level last seen in October 2008, and London Brent oil struck a similar multi-year peak at US$96.17.
“Oil sentiment has turned decidedly bullish, partly driven by unusually cold weather, but more due to an increasingly optimistic consensus view on 2011 economic performance, especially for the US,” analysts at JPMorgan Chase said.
This week, the market also digested news of a larger-than-expected fall in US crude inventories, which indicated stronger demand in the world’s biggest oil consuming nation.
The International Energy Agency meanwhile warned that high oil prices were in danger of threatening a fragile economic recovery in developed nations this year.
By Friday afternoon on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February jumped to US$94.16 a barrel from US$93.08 a week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for February eased to US$89.26 a barrel from US$89.71.
PRECIOUS METALS: Silver hit the highest point in almost 31 years and palladium struck a near-decade peak on strong demand for the metals used heavily by industry.
Silver prices hit US$US$31.23 an ounce — a level last seen in March 1980. Palladium struck US$807.72 for the first time since March 2001.
By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold dropped to US$1,367 an ounce from US$1,410.25 a week earlier.
Silver fell to US$28.39 an ounce from US$30.63.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum edged up to US$1,735 an ounce from US$1,731.
Palladium retreated to US$754 an ounce from US$791.
COCOA: Cocoa prices slid as markets awaited possible military intervention in key producer Ivory Coast.
By Friday on LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, cocoa for March slipped to ￡1,913 a tonne from ￡2,013 a week earlier.
On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), cocoa for delivery in March dropped to US$2,863 a tonne from US$3,007 a week earlier.
COFFEE: Coffee prices dipped in London and New York.
By Friday on NYBOT, Arabica for delivery in March fell to US$2.3385 a pound (0.45kg) from US$2.3850 a week earlier.
On LIFFE, Robusta for March decreased to US$2,028 a tonne by Friday from US$2,077 a week earlier.
SUGAR: Sugar futures edged higher, but failed to hit new 30-year highs on the back of strong Asian demand and weak global supplies.
The previous week, sugar had hit US$0.3477 a pound in New York, reaching a level last seen in 1981. By Friday this week on NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for delivery in March rose to US$0.3163 a pound from US$0.3162 a week earlier.
On LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for March increased to ￡777.20 from ￡770 a week earlier.
GRAINS AND SOYA: Soya, maize and wheat prices all fell.
By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, March-dated soyabean meal — used in animal feed — dropped to US$13.71 a bushel from US$14.03 a week earlier.
Maize for delivery in March dipped to US$6.01 a bushel from US$6.29.
Wheat for March decreased to US$7.87 from US$7.94.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
‘LITTLE CHOICE’: The airline said it expected only about 8,000 of its 29,000 employees to be working by next month, but hoped to have 21,000 in the next two years Qantas Airways Ltd plans to cut at least 6,000 jobs and keep 15,000 more workers on extended furloughs as Australia’s largest airline tries to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Qantas yesterday announced a plan to reduce costs by billions of dollars and raise fresh capital. The plan includes grounding 100 planes for a year or more and immediately retiring its six remaining Boeing Co 747 planes. Chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline has to become smaller as it braces for several years of much lower revenues. He said the furloughed workers faced a long interruption to their airline careers. “The actions that we’re taking
Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday. The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday. The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years. TSMC is likely to
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price