Gold strikes record high; oil, coffee futures surge

18th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The price of gold surged to an all-time high point above 1,262 dollars, oil futures rebounded and coffee struck multi-month peaks in a positive week for commodities.

PRECIOUS METALS: The price of gold hit a record high point of 1,262.50 dollars an ounce on Friday, on the back of the weaker US currency and downbeat US economic data, traders said.

"This could open the door to further appreciation towards the 1,300-dollar level in the coming weeks," said Rajesh Patel, head trader at financial betting firm Spread Co.

"The dollar has been due a fall, what with its strength versus the euro and sterling lately, and a falling dollar pushes gold higher as it makes it cheaper for investors outside the US to buy gold, increasing demand.

"The drop in jobless claims and the manufacturing index yesterday in the US also add to investors concerns."

The new high smashed the previous record of 1,252.11 dollars an ounce that was forged on June 8 as investors sought the safe-haven metal amid mounting concerns about the eurozone debt crisis.

Silver, platinum and palladium prices meanwhile hit one-month highs this week.

Gold, whose two main drivers are jewellery and investment buyers, is viewed as a safe-haven investment in times of economic trouble.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold prices were at 1,256 dollars an ounce from 1,220 dollars the previous week.

Silver climbed to 18.77 dollars an ounce from 18.31 dollars.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum gained to 1,578 dollars an ounce from 1,539 dollars.

Palladium advanced to 484 dollars an ounce from 449 dollars.

OIL: Prices surged this week on the back of global economic recovery hopes, the weak dollar and a surprise drop in US gasoline inventories that suggested strengthening energy demand.

"Crude pushed higher over the past week, gaining in line with other commodities amid improving risk sentiment and a pronounced correction in the dollar," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov.

Oil had jumped on Monday as the dollar weakened after data showed an expansion of industrial production in the eurozone, which is battling a budget-deficit crisis.

The European Union reported that industrial production in the 16-nation eurozone grew by 0.8 percent in April from the March level and was up 9.5 percent on a 12-month basis.

The euro rose against the dollar on hopes that positive data means the eurozone debt crisis will not derail the global economic recovery.

The oil market also climbed on Tuesday, along with stock markets and the euro, as investors grew more confident about economic recovery.

On Wednesday, prices charged even higher after the US Department of Energy's revealed a surprise 600,000-barrel decline in gasoline reserves, confounding expectations of a flat reading and suggesting strengthening demand.

Oil was mixed late in the week on the back of profit-taking and disappointing US economic data.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's June index on manufacturing in the Mid-Atlantic region plunged eight points, to 13.4, its lowest level in nearly a year.

New claims for jobless insurance benefits rose for the second straight week, the Labor Department reported, dashing expectations they would fall.

By late Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Texas light sweet crude for delivery in July leapt to 77.26 dollars a barrel from 71.78 dollars a week earlier.

On London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for August delivery soared to 78.49 dollars from 72.58 dollars for the July contract one week earlier.

BASE METALS: Base metal prices mostly rose.

"The tug of war between easily aggravated concerns over potential threats to the global economic recovery versus the actually generally supportive flow of metal specific data and indeed economic data remains the central determinant of price direction currently," said Barclays Capital analyst Nicholas Snowdon.

By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to 6,365 dollars a tonne from 6,480 dollars a week earlier.

Three-month aluminium edged up to 1,960 dollars a tonne from 1,956 dollars.

Three-month lead increased to 1,735 dollars a tonne from 1,690 dollars.

Three-month tin jumped to 17,575 dollars a tonne from 16,850 dollars.

Three-month zinc gained to 1,743 dollars a tonne from 1,737 dollars.

Three-month nickel grew to 19,540 dollars a tonne from 19,426 dollars.

COFFEE: Coffee prices soared on worries over tight supplies, hitting a 27-month pinnacle in New York and a 17-month high point in London.

In New York, Arabica for September jumped to 162.95 US cents a pound -- striking a level that was last seen in March 2008.

In London, Robusta for delivery in September rallied to 1,595 dollars a tonne, reaching a level last witnessed in March 2009.

"The rise in coffee prices over the past few days has largely been down to concerns about poor crop harvests in Vietnam and Central America," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson in London.

"The market also has concerns about the forthcoming harvest in Brazil which could cause a shortfall in global supplies."

He added: "The last time they were at these heady levels was in 2008, just prior to the commodity price crash, and the pre-credit crunch sell-off."

By Friday on LIFFE -- London's futures exchange -- Robusta for delivery in September jumped to 1,560 dollars a tonne from 1,529 dollars the previous week.

On the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT), Arabica for July advanced to 160.55 US cents a pound from 145.05 cents.

COCOA: Cocoa futures diverged.

By Friday on LIFFE, the price of cocoa for delivery in September fell to 2,326 pounds a tonne from 2,455 pounds the previous week.

On the NYBOT, the September cocoa contract gained to 2,956 dollars a tonne from 2,944 dollars.

SUGAR: Sugar prices retreated.

By Friday on the NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for delivery in July dropped to 15.36 US cents a pound from 15.57 cents the previous week.

On LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for August fell to 501 pounds from 512.80 pounds.

GRAINS AND SOYA: Maize, soya and wheat prices rose.

"There has been more attention given to the floodings occurring in Canada, that has a sizable positive impact on the price of wheat and soybeans," said Bill Nelson, analyst at Doane Advisory Services.

By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in December climbed to 3.84 dollars a bushel from 3.71 dollars the previous week.

November-dated soyabean meal -- used in animal feed -- gained to 9.33 dollars from 9.09 dollars.

Wheat for September advanced to 4.81 dollars a bushel from 4.57 dollars.

RUBBER: Malaysian rubber prices gained this week.

The Malaysian Rubber Board's benchmark SMR20 rose to 288.20 US cents a kilo from 284.75 cents a week earlier.


© 2010 AFP

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