Gold extends slump in turbulent week for commodities

GMT 21:03 2014 Friday ,07 November

Arab Today, arab today Gold extends slump in turbulent week for commodities

A jewellery shop
London - AFP

Gold prices hit a four-year low, hit by persistent dollar strength, while crude oil plumbed multi-year troughs on fears over Saudi price cuts and plentiful supplies.
A rebounding greenback makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies. That tends to dent demand and prices.
"The precious metal sector was the hardest hit for a second week in a row with both gold and silver continuing to be sold," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.
"Gold traded in dollars continues to suffer from the adverse impact of a rising dollar and falling energy prices."
PRECIOUS METALS: Gold plunged Friday to $1,131.24 per ounce -- its lowest level since mid-April 2010 -- while silver touched a similar nadir at $15.06 an ounce.
The euro meanwhile sank to $1.2358, a level last seen on August 21, 2012, before bouncing back above $1.24 on mixed US non-farm payrolls data.
The Department of Labor reported the US economy added 214,000 jobs in October, below the 235,000 expected by analysts. However, it also revised upward the number of jobs created in the previous two months.
"The US labour report for October doesn’t really change the positive story on the US economy," said ING economist James Knightley.
The euro also sank this week after the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi signalled it was ready to introduce fresh measures to counter deflation and boost growth in the ailing eurozone.
The dollar has rallied ever since the US Federal Reserve signalled last week that it will end its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus, boosting confidence over the health of the world's largest economy and key commodity consumer.
The US unit gained further traction after Republicans cruised to victory in US midterm elections on Wednesday, taking control of the Senate in a stinging setback for US President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats.
Trustnet Direct analyst Tony Cross said the Republican win boosted the dollar because there was a market "assumption that the party's policies are more pro-business, so better for the economy".
Separately on Friday, oversight of London's scandal-hit gold price setting process was awarded to a division of US group Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Industry body the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) announced that ICE Benchmark Administration had been selected as third party administrator for a new mechanism for setting gold prices.
By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold sank to $1,154.50 an ounce from $1,164.25 a week earlier.
Silver declined to $15.42 an ounce from $16.20.
On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum weakened to $1,198 an ounce from $1,227.
Palladium dipped to $763 an ounce from $784.
- Oil in rollercoaster week -
OIL: In a rollercoaster week for the oil market, prices plunged on Tuesday after leading producer Saudi Arabia cut its prices for crude sold to the US market.
New York crude tumbled to its lowest close since October 2011 and Brent to its lowest since October 2010.
Analysts interpreted the Saudi move as an effort to maintain market share in North America against cheaper oil flooding from US shale fields.
New York crude then rebounded Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed a smaller-than-expected increase in crude oil supplies.
The EIA reported that US crude inventories grew by 500,000 barrels in the week ending October 31. That was much less than the 2.2 million barrel increase expected by analysts. Over the four previous weeks, crude inventories had climbed by roughly 23 million barrels.
The market also rallied Wednesday following reports of a pipeline blast in Saudi Arabia. However, state-owned oil firm Saudi Aramco said operations were unaffected.
Crude futures then sank on Thursday after OPEC, supplier of a third of the world's crude, cut its longer-term production forecasts in the face of rising North American shale output.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries estimated in its annual world outlook that global demand for OPEC crude oil will fall from just above 30 million barrels per day in 2013 to 28.2 million barrels a day in 2017, before starting to rise again in 2018.
OPEC highlighted that the United States and Canada are the primary drivers of non-OPEC output growth, in part due to shale-oil production.
Since mid-June, both Brent and New York oil prices have also fallen by almost 30 percent in value amid concerns of a global supply glut.
By Friday on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December slid to $83.64 a barrel from $85.36 one week earlier.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for December recoiled to $78.99 a barrel compared with $80.18 a week earlier.
BASE METALS: Base or industrial metal prices held steady, with gains limited by the strong dollar.
"The market steadied today after the ECB signalled it was ready to take further measures if needed to revive the euro economies," said Triland Metals analysts.
By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months increased to $6,682 a tonne from $6,720 a week earlier.
Three-month aluminium firmed to $2,069 a tonne from $2,031.50.
Three-month lead inched up to $2,017.50 a tonne from $2,014.
Three-month tin advanced to $20,076 a tonne from $19,955.
Three-month nickel fell to $15,450 a tonne from $15,768.
Three-month zinc decreased to $2,249 a tonne from $2,313.
COCOA: The market continued to decline on easing output worries over the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which is home to most of the world's cocoa production.
Prices had soared in September to 3.5-year peaks on worries that Ebola could reach key producers Ivory Coast and Ghana.
By Friday on LIFFE, cocoa for delivery in March dropped to £1,905 a tonne from £1,933 for the December contract a week earlier.
On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for March declined to $2,893 a tonne from $2,936 for the December contract a week earlier.
- Sugar turns sour -
SUGAR: Prices dived in London to a four-year trough of $409.10 per tonne on the back of abundant supplies.
"Sugar was lower on ... big world supplies and on the stronger US dollar," said Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville.
By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in March traded at $413.20 compared with $427.40 a week earlier.
On ICE Futures US, the price of unrefined sugar for March dipped to 15.69 US cents a pound from 16.30 US cents a week earlier.
COFFEE: Arabica recoiled to a six-week low at 182.10 US cents on favourable growing conditions in Brazil.
"Ever since mid-October, the price has been driven down by favourable weather forecasts in Brazil, the most important growing country," said Commerzbank analysts.
"All the same, it is still unclear whether the rainfall will prove sufficient for the coffee berries to develop well once the blossoming phase has come to an end."
By Friday on ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in December dipped to 183.65 US cents a pound from 186.10 cents a week earlier.
On LIFFE, London's futures exchange, Robusta for January fell to $2,010 a tonne from $2,032 a week earlier.
RUBBER: Kuala Lumpur rubber prices pushed lower amid a report that Indonesian rubber exporters were exercising caution and holding on to stocks.
The Malaysian Rubber Board's benchmark SMR20 fell to 151.00 US cents a kilo on Friday, from 160.20 US cents the previous week.


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