Mild recovery despite eurozone fears

MARKETS remain volatile this week as credit rating agencies downgraded Spain’s debt but a better-than-expected US jobs report has led to some recent recoveries around the world over the past day.

While some commentators suspect the US Plunge Protection Team has been intervening in the US stock markets again, the growing sovereign debt crisis issues in Europe are likely to cause more fear and volatility for at least the next few months.

Asia Pacific benchmark Singapore Tapis crude closed at $US77.86 a barrel overnight, up 94c from a week ago, while trading over the past fortnight suggests there is resistance around the $74 level.

Spot gold is around $1205 an ounce this morning, almost $9 off the close of last Friday.

The London Metal Exchange cash official price for copper is around $6495 a tonne this morning, 6% down from the closing price a week ago.

While copper is still well-priced in a historical context, falls in the commodity could be seen as a leading indicator that China is cutting back on its ongoing construction activity, with the national government already signalling that it is trying to address the rampant growth in housing prices.

LME cash official nickel was at $19,205/t this morning, almost 11% down from the closing price of last Friday.

The price is still in safe ground, but should it move south of $15,000/t, some of the higher-cost nickel operations around the world will face some tough decisions.

Looking at PNG-related stocks, most have made some recovery this week.

New Guinea Energy shares lifted 7% as the company gets closer to drilling its much anticipated Panakawa-1 well in PNG.

Gold producers did well as there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty facing investors around the world.


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