Commodities mixed on rebounding dollar, supply jitters

GMT 18:40 2015 Friday ,22 May

Arab Today, arab today Commodities mixed on rebounding dollar, supply jitters

Commodity markets
London - AFP

Commodity markets diverged this week as traders balanced the strong dollar against supply concerns, while star performer cocoa hit seven-month peaks on output fears in key producer Ghana.

"Commodities in general ... ended the week on the defensive, pressured by renewed dollar strength," said Capital Economics analyst Julian Jessop.

OIL: World oil prices fell Friday on profit-taking and the strong dollar, but finished the week in positive territory on hopes that a global supply glut could end soon, dealers said.

"Crude oil prices are retreating today, seemingly on profit-taking ahead of the long weekend," said analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading site

"This follows sharp gains on Thursday and a smaller rally the day before which was inspired by news of a third drawdown in US oil inventories in as many weeks."

Prices dropped on Monday and Tuesday as the ongoing global supply glut and soft demand overshadowed the impact of geopolitical tensions in the crude-rich Middle East.

They rebounded sharply on Wednesday and Thursday after the US Department of Energy (DoE) revealed sliding US petroleum supplies and production.

The weekly DoE report stirred expectations of an easing in a supply glut that had sent prices tumbling in recent months.

US crude inventories fell for the third consecutive week, by 2.7 million barrels, much more than analysts expected. Declining US reserves usually indicate healthy demand in the world's top crude consumer.

The report also showed US production falling 112,000 barrels a day to 9.26 million. The fall in output has raised hopes of an easing in the build-up of global crude reserves, which was a key reason for the recent collapse in prices.

In recent weeks, the oil market has fought back after prices plummeted more than 60 percent between June and January, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries refused to cut production late last year despite the glut.

The move by the 12-nation cartel, which pumps about 30 percent of global crude, was widely taken as an attempt to push US shale producers, which have higher costs, out of the market.

While higher prices boost producers' revenues they can also weigh on demand -- and in turn economic growth -- harming the cartel in the long run.

OPEC ministers will meet again in Vienna on June 5 for their next scheduled output meeting.

By Friday on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July rose to $65.57 a barrel compared with $64.74 a week earlier.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for July climbed to $59.60 a barrel from $58.70 for the expired June contract a week earlier.

- Gold loses shine -
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold hit a three-month peak on Monday but has since fallen in line with the strengthening dollar, as dealers tracked the US interest rate outlook.

The stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities -- like gold -- more expensive for holders of other currencies.

That tends to dent demand and depress price levels.

By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dipped to $1,204 an ounce from $1,220.50 the previous week.

Silver was unchanged at $17.25 an ounce.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum fell to $1,143 an ounce from $1,150.

Palladium decreased to $769 an ounce from $785.

BASE METALS: Base or industrial metals prices slid on downbeat data in key consumer China, with additional pressure from the strong US currency.

China's manufacturing activity contracted at a slower pace in May, an HSBC survey showed Thursday.

The preliminary reading for the British banking giant's purchasing managers' index (PMI) came in at 49.1 for this month, improving from a final figure of 48.9 in April, it said in a statement.

"The Chinese economy is still spluttering along: HSBC’s Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index for the manufacturing sector remained below the 50 mark in May, which indicates a shrinking of the economy," said Commerzbank analysts.

"The majority of market participants believe that the Chinese government and central bank will initiate further measures to stimulate the faltering economy."

By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dived to $6,173 a tonne from $6,404.50 the previous week.

Three-month aluminium fell to $1,770 a tonne from $1,855.

Three-month lead decreased to $1,954 a tonne from $1,977.

Three-month tin declined to $15,805 a tonne from $15,945.

Three-month nickel dropped to $12,790 a tonne from $13,890.

Three-month zinc slid to $2,171 a tonne from $2,289.

- Cocoa up on Ghana -
COCOA: Prices rallied to seven-month peaks on intensifying supply woes in Ghana, which is the world's second largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast.

The market surged on Thursday as high as £2,104 in London and $3,181 in New York.

"Concerns that Ghana’s cocoa harvest will be significantly lower than last year sent the price of cocoa higher," said Capital Economics analysts.

By Friday on LIFFE, London's futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in July gained to £2,099 a tonne from £2,050 a week earlier.

On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for July climbed to $3,160 a tonne from $3,094.

SUGAR: Futures finished the week slightly lower in subdued trade.

By Friday on LIFFE, a tonne of white sugar for delivery in August fell to $358.80 from $369.30 a week earlier.

On ICE Futures US, unrefined sugar for July inched down to 12.65 US cents a pound from 12.97 US cents.

COFFEE: Prices declined on forecasts of a smaller-than-expected deficit in the current crop year, owing to a bumper crop in Brazil.

"The deficit in 2014/15 looks set to total 6.4 million bags, which is 2.5 million bags lower than previously anticipated," said Commerzbank analysts.

"This is because global supply is expected to grow to 143.8 million bags on the back of improved yields, which is 1.6 million bags higher than the previous estimate."

On ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in July sank to 129.45 US cents a pound from 138.40 cents the previous week.

On LIFFE, Robusta for July dipped to $1,679 a tonne from $1,745.


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