Commodities markets summary

Reported by AAP
Monday, February 15, 2016
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A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

US crude prices have rallied - lifting more than 12 per cent at from Thursday's more-than-12-year low.

WTI crude lifted $US3.23, or 12.32 per cent, to $US29.38 per barrel after hitting $26.05 a barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude rose $US3.30, or 10.98 per cent, to $US33.36.

Oil prices jumped on prospects for a co-ordinated production cut sparked by comments from the energy minister of OPEC member United Arab Emirates.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold price has eased after soaring five per cent the previous day, pressured by profit-taking after the biggest rally in more than seven years, but the metal was still set for its best week in four years as investors rushed to safe-haven assets.

Spot gold was down 0.7 per cent at $US1,238.36 an ounce at 3.07 pm EST on Friday (0707 Saturday AEDT), but has risen 5.5 per cent in the week, on track for the fourth straight week higher and the biggest weekly gain since October 2011. On Thursday, it surged 5.3 per cent to a one-year high at $US1,260.60.

US gold futures for April delivery settled down 0.7 per cent at $US1,239.40 an ounce but were on track to rise 7.1 per cent this week, the sharpest increase since December 2008.

"Today, you've got a little bit of a corrective pull back. There's some profit taking going on," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

"Traders are catching their breath and re-evaluating what to do at this stage," said Haberkorn, who also indicated he expected to see another leg up after a bit more consolidation.

Investors said gold's prospects for a sustained price rally are better than they have been for years.

"Gold could test $US1,260 or even $US1,300 in the next few weeks, but I wouldn't be surprised if we also see some profit-taking," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Silver fell 0.3 per cent at $US15.70 an ounce; platinum dipped 0.1 per cent to $US956.04 an ounce; but palladium rose 0.2 per cent at $US522.22.

BASE METALS

Copper has gained, along with oil and shares, after upbeat US data offered hope of a rebound in economic growth, but metals investors were on edge ahead of the re-opening of Chinese markets next week.

US consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, regained momentum in January as households ramped up purchases of a variety of goods.

London Metal Exchange benchmark copper closed 1.2 per cent higher at $US4,500 a tonne, but also ended with its biggest weekly drop in a month, of nearly three per cent.

"The mood is slightly better in base metals and oil. The market, to an increasing extent, doubts whether the Fed will hike rates again. Yesterday it was actually pricing in rate cuts," said Danske Bank analyst Jens Pederson.

Base metals, however, may come under renewed pressure on Monday, when China returns from its week-long New Year break.

"Shanghai stocks may try to play catch-up with European and US stocks, and that normally feeds in to base metals," one metals trader said.

"But there's still some short-covering to go."

Nickel gained three per cent to close at $US7,820 a tonne, but still piled up weekly losses of 4.5 per cent.

Three-month lead climbed 1.3 per cent to finish at $US1,850 a tonne, while sister metal zinc ended unchanged at $US1,705 and aluminium added 1.0 per cent to $US1,500.

Tin, untraded in closing rings, was bid down 1.1 per cent at $US15,400.

15/02/2016 10:00Sydney, Australia. 15 February,2016
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