Commodity prices faced mixed fortunes last week, but oil fell from recent heights on easing Iraq supply worries and growing US demand concerns, dealers said.
The oil market fell as weak data stoked fresh demand fears in top consumer the United States, while Iraqi crude supplies appeared unaffected by ongoing unrest, analysts said. By Friday on London'sIntercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August fell to $113.18 a barrel compared with $114.66 one week earlier. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for August sank to $105.55 a barrel compared with $107.13 a week earlier.
Haven investment gold continued to climb on stubborn geopolitical worries in Iraq and Ukraine, hitting a two-month peak of $1,325.92 an ounce on Tuesday. Sister metal silver also pushed higher to strike a three-month high at $21.20 an ounce. By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to $1,317.50 an ounce from $1,312.50 a week earlier. Silver increased to $21.04 an ounce from $20.62. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum climbed to $1,479 an ounce from $1,456. Palladium advanced to $839 an ounce from $829.
Most prices rose, with zinc striking another 16-month peak at $2,198 a tonne, after upbeat data in China — which needs vast supplies of commodities to power its growth. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed to $6,956 a tonne from $6,779.75 a week earlier. Three-month aluminium eased to $1,886 tonne from $1,894. Three-month lead grew to $2,166 a tonne from $2,146. Three-month tin slipped to $22,315 a tonne from $22,650. Three-month nickel advanced to $18,825 a tonne from $18,523. Three-month zinc increased to $2,187 a tonne from $2,172.25.
Prices slipped from three-year highs struck the previous week, as traders eyed favourable weather conditions in key producing nations. By Friday on Liffe, London's futures exchange, cocoa for delivery in September eased to £1,924 a tonne from £1,928 a week earlier. On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for September slid to $3,108 a tonne from $3,116 a week earlier.
Prices advanced amid ongoing supply concerns. On ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in September rose to 181.30¢ a pound from 170.50¢ a week earlier. On Liffe, Robusta for September climbed to $2,036 a tonne from $1,978 a week earlier.
The market weakened despite supply worries in key producer Brazil. By Friday on Liffe, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in August receded to $483.10 from $488.50 a week earlier. On ICE Futures US, the price of unrefined sugar for October declined to 18.55¢ a pound from 18.63¢ a week earlier.
Prices in Kuala Lumpur strengthened further, supported by expansion in China's factory activities. The Malaysian Rubber Board's benchmark SMR20 rose to 178.65¢ a kilo from 173.60¢ a week earlier.