Nickel prices dive

COPPER prices have remained strong while nickel prices lack support as the European sovereign debt crisis continues to cause more volatility.

European stock markets closed in the red overnight - which was impacted by Spanish and French bond auction results along with a negative survey on European manufacturers.

London Metal Exchange cash nickel has closed down 4.4% overnight to $US16,721 a tonne.

This price is down 1.4% from last Friday, while anything below the $15,000/t level represents dangerous ground going by the mine closures during the global financial crisis.

LME cash copper closed down 1.2% overnight to $7763/t, but this price was up 7.7% since last Friday - with ongoing supply issues providing support to the red metal.

Singapore Tapis crude hit $119.57 a barrel overnight and this was a 2.3% gain from the end of last week.

Gold fever is infecting markets again as there is hope of quantitative easing measures for Europe. Spot gold is trading at around $1742.42 an ounce - up 3.5% from last Friday.

Gold and oil producers on our watchlists generally performed well for the week.

However, there were large falls for shares of Highlands Pacific and New Guinea Energy on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange - which might signal there was a glitch on the local bourse.

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