Oil rallied this week, with Brent hitting a six-month high on recent upbeat data, winter weather in the northern hemisphere and Iran tensions, while other commodities steadied as traders eyed Greek news.
OIL: Brent oil prices spiked on Thursday to US$118.79 per barrel — the highest level since Aug. 1 — as the market was propelled by ongoing tensions in key crude producer Iran and tentative hopes of a Greek debt deal.
Heading into the weekend, prices tailed off as investors took flight over weak Chinese trade figures, sliding global stock markets and fresh problems over a new Greek rescue deal.
By late on Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March jumped to US$116.93 a barrel from US$113.38 the previous week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for next month rose to US$98.04 from US$97.31.
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold fell, dragging most precious metals lower, as traders eyed Chinese trade data and ongoing Greek woes, and took profits after striking a two-month high the previous week.
Gold had hit US$1,763.15 an ounce on Feb. 3, reaching its highest level since Dec. 2, after a raft of upbeat global manufacturing data.
By late on Friday on the -London Bullion Market, gold slid to US$1,711.50 an ounce from US$1,734 the previous week.
Silver dipped to US$33.55 an ounce from US$33.93.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum firmed to US$1,638 an ounce from US$1,630.
Palladium declined to US$697 an ounce from US$711.
BASE METALS: Base or industrial metals struck a stable note.
“Broad support for base metals from positive macroeconomic data and events remains, particularly indications of a stabilization in the global industrial sector early in 2012, as well as constructive developments in the eurozone,” analyst Unnikrishnan at Barclays Capital said.
By late on Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months firmed to US$8,500 a tonne from US$8,492 the previous week.
Three-month aluminum increased to US$2,255 a tonne from US$2,234.
Three-month lead eased to US$2,163 a tonne from US$2,206.
Three-month tin rose to US$24,900 a tonne from US$24,260.
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Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling