In Brief

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Dec 31 2009, 04:55am hrs
Oil backs off five-wk high near $79 as dollar firms

Oil traded flat at below $79 a barrel, off a five-week high the previous session, as a firming dollar offset colder US weather and concerns over political developments in Iran. US crude for February delivery rose 13 cents to $78.90 a barrel by 1049 GMT in thin intra-holiday trade. It settled up 72 cents on Monday, after touching $79.12, the highest since November 23. London Brent crude for February was up 20 cents at $77.52. Colder weather in North America, geopolitical concerns over Iran as well as expectations of further crude stockdraws remain, and we expect more market activity today as some people return from their holidays, said Alexandra Kogelnig at JBC Energy.

Sugar snaps gaining streak

Indian spot sugar price snapped their four-day gaining streak on Tuesday as higher prices eroded demand amid an attempt by mills to sell entire stock of non-levy sugar allocated for December, dealers said. Non-levy, or free-sale sugar, is sold by millers in the open market, but the quantity each mill can sell is fixed by the federal government on a monthly basis. In Kolhapur, a key market in top sugar producer Maharashtra, the price of the most traded S-variety sugar eased 0.63% to Rs 3,410 ($73) per 100 kg, after gaining over 6% in past four sessions.

India spot gold prices down

Indias spot gold prices fell on Tuesday as buyers remained absent in reduced trading activity during the last week of the calendar year, dealers said. There are no buyers and the trading activity is very thin, usual of the last week of the year, said a dealer in Mumbai. Indias gold futures were little changed on Tuesday tracking international markets, analysts said. The benchmark February gold on the MCX was at Rs 16,781 per 10 grams, down 0.17% at 3:54 p.m. International gold was little changed on Tuesday in light trading as investors were slow to return from the holidays.