Trading Room home page

Commodities markets summary

Market watch top headlines

Australian reports

World reports

Stocks to watch

ALZ, API, BHP, BRL, BSL, FMG, ILU, TPM,

AAP

2012-11-08

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices plunged, mirroring global equities, as traders fret over a looming "fiscal cliff" in the United States following President Barack Obama's re-election and gloomy EU economic forecasts.

Sentiment was also dented by profit-taking, a stronger US dollar and disappointing US crude inventories data that signalled weak demand in the world's biggest oil consuming nation.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December tumbled $US4.25 to $US106.82 a barrel, having briefly climbed above $US111 in the wake of Obama's triumph.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), at close had slumped $US4.27 to $US84.44 a barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures held near steady, cutting earlier gains as traders digested swings in currencies after the re-election of US President Barack Obama.

A second Obama term is widely expected to bring a continuation of easy money policies in the world's largest economy. Those measures can increase investor demand for gold as an alternative to paper currencies.

But gold cut its gains early in New York floor trading after the US dollar erased its losses amid worries about weak European economic data and a coming Greek parliamentary vote on austerity measures.

Worries about Europe's debt crisis have helped cap gold's gains this year by pushing investors into dollar-denominated assets. Gold and the US currency tend to move inversely, as a stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The most actively traded gold contract, for December delivery, recently traded up $US3.10, or 0.2 per cent, at $US1,718.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BASE METALS

Base metals mostly closed in the red on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the initial boost of US President Barack Obama's re-election undone as investors shifted their gaze back to the euro zone.

At the PM kerb close on Wednesday, LME three-month copper was down 1.3 per cent at $US7,600 a metric ton. Tin fell the most, down 1.5 per cent at $US20,315/ton.

Industrial metals initially rallied alongside broader financial markets on Wednesday as news of Obama's victory over Republican candidate Mitt Romney sparked hopes for the continuation of loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, a boon for growth-related assets such as base metals.

Particularly weighing on investor sentiment was the European Commission's decision to cut its European Union growth forecast for next year to 0.5 per cent from 1.3 per cent, said a London-based broker.

Downbeat German industrial production data have also dented the market mood, he added. German industrial production fell by 1.8 per cent in September, led by a 2.3 per cent drop in manufacturing output, data released Wednesday showed.