Commodities markets summary

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:


The oil market has enjoyed a strong rally, lifted by upbeat comments on the demand growth outlook from the head of the OPEC cartel of crude producers.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November leaped $US1.63 to $US49.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November, the crude-oil global

benchmark, finished at $US53.20 a barrel in London, a gain of $US1.72.

It was the highest close for WTI since July 21 and for Brent since August 31. Both contracts had fallen Wednesday after weekly US data showed increases in US crude inventories and production.

"The optimistic remarks made about oil demand by OPEC Secretary General El-Badri still appear to be having after-effects," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Abdalla Salem El-Badri, secretary-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said that demand will rise more than projected this year.


Gold prices have turned lower after Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed its was unsettled by signs of a global economic slowdown.

Spot gold eased 0.4 per cent to $US1,139.86 an ounce, having rallied 0.5 per cent to $US1,151.20 after the September minutes were released.

The Fed thought the economy was close to warranting an interest rate hike in September but policymakers decided it was prudent to wait for evidence a global economic slowdown was not knocking America off course, minutes from the September 16-17 meeting showed.

"Gold's initial rally above $US1,150 and subsequent modest sell-off reflects a deep ambivalence in the market regarding the possibility of the December Fed rate hike," said Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets.


Copper prices slid on Thursday, as worries about slowing demand growth in China outweighed falling stocks and output cuts.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $US5,135 a tonne, losing one per cent as fund selling picked up following the end of a week-long holiday in China.

Prices were weighed down by renewed concerns about demand growth in China, which accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption.

The impact of the country's economic slowdown was highlighted by data showing German exports for August marked their sharpest fall since the global financial crisis. China and other emerging economies are major export markets for Germany.

Market Data

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