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Commodities markets summary

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

ENERGY

World oil prices have fallen after two days of modest gains, as the market was not encouraged by a stronger-than-expected estimate of US economic growth in the third quarter.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery lost $US1.08 to $US81.12 a barrel on Thursday.

In London trading, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December shed US88 cents to $US86.24 a barrel.

Prices remained slightly above the multi-year lows struck in mid-October.

The market received no boost from the first official estimate of US economic growth in the July-September quarter, which came in at a peppy 3.5 per cent, compared with expectations of only 3.0 per cent.

But that helped the dollar, which when stronger can make crude more expensive for other currencies.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices slid to the lowest level in nearly a month and other precious metals also fell sharply, as hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve and strong US economic data indicate the central bank could raise interest rates sooner than expected.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, on Thursday closed down $US26.30, or 2.2 per cent, at $US1,198.60 a troy ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the contract's first settlement below $US1,200 an ounce since October 3.

Silver for December delivery shed 4.9 per cent, to $US16.420 a troy ounce, its lowest close since February 26, 2010. It was silver's biggest percentage drop since September 20, 2013.

January platinum was down 1.8 per cent, to $US1,245.90 a troy ounce, its lowest close since October 3. December palladium snapped a nine-session winning streak, ending down 2.5 per cent, at $US780.70 a troy ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper futures closed lower on the London Metal Exchange, as the hawkish Federal Reserve tone continued to weigh down prices.

The LME's three-month copper contract was down 1.2 per cent at $US6,735.00 a metric ton at Thursday's PM kerb close.

Zinc and nickel were the only metals to fight back, closing up 0.2 per cent at $US2,300.00 and 0.7 per cent at $US15,775.00, respectively.

The other base metals closed lower. Aluminium closed down 0.2 per cent at $US2,025.00, lead closed down 1.6 per cent at $US2,008.00 a ton, and tin closed down 0.1 per cent at $US20,100.00.

01/11/2014 11:20Sydney, Australia. 1 November,2014
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