Yemen unrest, dollar send oil and gold higher
Tokyo (Mar 28) The stronger dollar and unrest in the Middle East have caused international prices of commodities such as gold and crude oil to climb off recent lows on Saturday.
The Nikkei Commodity Index, which indicates total price fluctuations for dollar-denominated commodities, reached 142.816 on Thursday, the highest since early March.
New York gold futures rebounded to $1,200 per troy ounce for the first time in three weeks, a $50 improvement from the mid-March low. Investment funds have been buying back into gold, driving the price slowly higher since last week. On Thursday, when Saudi Arabian military action against Yemen surfaced, it hit a high of $1,220.
Oil also was at a three-week high, with Dubai crude climbing to $56 a barrel Friday morning on concerns that any deterioration of the situation in Yemen could disrupt oil shipments. Higher capacity utilization at U.S. refineries also is said to be supporting crude oil prices.
But many observers say any upside in prices is limited, as oil supplies from the Middle East have not been disrupted.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper is trading for around $6,080 a ton, up 10% from the low in late January, and it hit a three-month high of $6,294 on Thursday.