Oil, gold make gains

OIL prices climbed this week after the US Commerce Department reported the country’s economy grew at an annual rate of 1.17% in the second quarter, more than previously thought.

Further support came from a Labor Department report that initial unemployment claims fell in the week ended September 25 while the Energy Information Administration said US oil inventories had dropped.

In its weekly report, the EIA said crude dropped 500,000 barrels in the week ended September 25 while stockpiles of petrol and distillate stocks shed 3.47 million barrels.

"The market is still viewed as economics-led," BNP Paribas Commodity Futures broker Tom Bentz told Bloomberg.

"People are looking ahead to when the economy is going to recover, and demand is going to cause draw-downs in some of the inventories."

However, oil inventories are still higher than average and some analysts don't believe demand will pick up to push prices higher.

Oil trader Stephen Schork told AP he believed investment funds were behind the recent rise in oil prices adding there was effectively no demand.

Singapore's Tapis was up $2.34 per barrel, to close at $US86.52 last night.

All of the major commodities had a good run this week, with gold breaking firmly through the $US1300 per ounce mark. Spot gold hit a week-long high of $1314.72 on Thursday before falling back.

Nickel and copper also had solid runs on the London Metal Exchange through the week.

Nickel closed last Friday at $22,900 per tonne, taking a $275/t bounce on Monday before dropping back through the week and closing last night at $23,390/t

Copper made steady gains through the week, barring a weaker close on Tuesday, closing last Friday at $7911/t and moving up to 8053.5/t at the close of trading last night.


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