Commodities markets summary

Reported by AAP
Thursday, July 31, 2014
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A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices have fallen, putting the US benchmark futures contract within a whisper of $100 a barrel despite a larger-than-expected decline in US crude supplies and heightened geopolitical tensions.

The main US contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September closed at $100.27 a barrel, down 70 cents from Tuesday's closing level on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September dropped $1.21 to settle at $106.51 a barrel.

Traders appeared to look past the headlines on better-than-expected official gross domestic product (GDP) data for the United States, the world's largest consumer of crude oil.

The US economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4.0 per cent in the second quarter, rebounding from a 2.1 per cent slump in the first quarter linked to bad winter weather, the Commerce Department reported.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures have continued their losses after the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement turned out to be in line with investors' expectations.

The most actively traded gold contract, for December delivery, closed down $3.60, or 0.3 per cent, at $US1,296.90 an ounce.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to continue scaling back its monthly bond purchases and presented a more upbeat assessment of the economy just hours after a stronger-than-expected US economic growth report.

Gold prices had retreated after the stronger data, and futures prices held those losses as investors sifted through the FOMC's policy statement.

BASE METALS

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have closed mostly higher, after data showed that the US economy accelerated in the second quarter.

At the close of open-outcry trading on Wednesday, LME 3-month copper was up 0.6 per cent at $US7,125 per metric ton.

Aluminium rose two per cent to $US2,022 per ton, while zinc climbed 0.5 per cent to $US2,379 per ton.

Three-month nickel rose 1.7 per cent to $US18,960 per ton, while lead gave up 0.1 per cent to trade at $US2,260 per ton, and tin closed flat on the day at $US22,880 per ton.

Most metals within the complex took support from US Commerce Department data showing that US gross domestic product advanced at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0 per cent, beating economist forecast of 3.0 per cent growth.

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31/07/2014 19:24Sydney, Australia. 31 July,2014
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