Brent crude, copper drop as supply-halt fears reduce

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SummaryBrent crude oil and copper dropped on Friday while gold edged up as the West Asian conflict abated and focus shifted back to macro-economic concerns in key commodity-consuming nations.

Brent crude oil and copper dropped on Friday while gold edged up as the West Asian conflict abated and focus shifted back to macro-economic concerns in key commodity-consuming nations.

Oil dipped towards $110 a barrel as a ceasefire in Gaza remained intact, while poor outlook on Chinese demand dragged down copper, although an improvement in German business data limited losses.

Brent crude futures shed 16 cents at $110.41 a barrel in intraday trade on Friday, while US crude lost 27 cents at $87.11. The US market was closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Concerns about potential oil supply disruptions from West Asia, which accounts for one-third of the global oil supplies, eased after Israel started pulling back its army from Gaza.

German business sentiment reorded an unexpected rise in November after a six-month declining streak. The Munich-based Ifo think tank said its business climate index inched up to 101.4 in November, beating predictions. However, the impact of the better-than-expected German data may be short-lived, if concerns about other euro zone members, the latest being France, are not addressed.

Copper dipped on Friday on lack of any policy announcements by China to boost growth as supplies pile up in the world's top metal consumer. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.15% at $7,703 per tonne at 1106 GMT.

Demand for the industrial metal has weakened this year as China recorded seven straight quarters of slowdown. Stockpiles of copper hit a record of over one million tonnes last week and are expected to swell by around 100,000 tonnes by the end of the year, which will prevent any significant rise in prices in the coming days.

However, gold prices got a boost as positive German data and expectations of an agreement to tackle the Greek debt problem drove the euro to a three-week high against the dollar. The precious metal has been tracking the euro movement closely this year. Spot gold gained 0.3% at $1,734.26 an ounce intraday, while US December gold futures rose $6.30 an ounce at $1,734.50.

The metal has gained 1.2% this week, thanks to a stronger euro, after losing 1% last week.

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