Commodities markets summary

Reported by AAP
Thursday, April 17, 2014
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A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices in New York finished flat as a bearish US oil inventory report offset concern that rising political tensions in Ukraine could affect energy supplies.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery edged up by a penny to $US103.76 ($A111.23) a barrel on Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

European benchmark Brent oil for June delivery advanced 24 cents to $US109.60 a barrel in London on the Intercontinental Exchange.

An effort by Ukrainian forces to re-assert control over the country's eastern regions collapsed in the face of pro-Russian resistance, a day ahead of international talks in Geneva on the escalating crisis.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices edged higher as worries about rising tensions in Eastern Europe slightly outweigh expectations of decreased demand for the precious metal in China.

Gold for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed up 0.3 per cent, or $US3.20, at $US1,303.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The crisis in Ukraine has some investors concerned that it could evolve into a fight between Russia and the West. Ukraine's military fired shots on Tuesday to regain control of its restive east from pro-Russian separatists, as soldiers repelled an armed mob from a military air base.

On Wednesday, militants seized six Ukrainian armoured military vehicles and paraded them, adorned with a Russian flag, through the heart of a region controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

However, expectations of ebbing Chinese demand took the edge off of gains gold would have had from the intensifying conflict in Ukraine.

BASE METALS

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed higher, led by flagship LME metal copper, which rose as positive Chinese economic data supported hopes for robust demand there.

At Wednesday's close of open-outcry trading in London, LME three-month copper was up 1.2 per cent at $US6,619 per metric ton.

Aluminium was up 1.2 per cent, at $US1,874 per metric ton. Nickel eventually joined the upbeat tone, closing 1.1 per cent higher at $US17,860 per ton.

The metals found strength as investors took advantage of lower prices after heavy losses in the previous session and China, which accounts for around 40 per cent of the world's copper demand, said its economy grew by 7.4 per cent in the first quarter.

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18/04/2014 21:22Sydney, Australia. 18 April,2014
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