Weak demand, global economic data hit prices

London (Aug 17)  Oil and gold prices retreated last week, with demand for the commodities pressured by strains in the global economy. 

Oil - Prices slid on a slew of downbeat economic data from around the world, analysts said. Futures tumbled by more than $2 on Thursday, with Brent crude hitting the lowest closing level for 13 months.  “The steeper-than-expected decline in oil prices is partly in reaction to soft economic data out of major global economies this week,” Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP. The sharp falls in oil prices on Thursday coincided with the release of data showing growth in the 18-country eurozone stalled in the second quarter. By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October slid to $102.38 a barrel compared with $104.89 for the September contract one week earlier. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for September dropped to $95.63 a barrel from $97.42.

Precious metals - Gold dropped over the week, dragged down by weak demand in top consuming countries China and India. Gold consumption fell by an annualised 16 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 as Chinese and Indian buyers cut back after record purchases a year earlier, sector data showed on Thursday. By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold slipped to $1,296 an ounce from $1,309.75 a week earlier. Silver fell to $19.86 an ounce from $20.13. On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum retreated to $1,446 an ounce from $1,475. Palladium increased to $878 an ounce from $857.

Base metals - Prices mostly dropped on the poor economic data from key importer China. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to $6,845 a tonne from $6,982 a week earlier. Three-month aluminium dropped to $2,003.25 a tonne from $2,021.25. Three-month lead slid to $2,199 a tonne from $2,237.50. Three-month tin rose to $22,400 a tonne from $22,367. Three-month nickel increased to $18,700 a tonne from $18,584. Three-month zinc retreated to $2,272 a tonne from $2,295.

Source: KhaleejTimes