Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
SYDNEY, Feb 25 AAP
February 25 2013, 07:06AM
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil prices recovered slightly, after two days of losses stoked by concerns that prices had outrun weak growth in demand.
New York's main contract, WTI crude for April, gained 29 US cents to $US93.13 a barrel on Friday.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for April delivery finished at $US114.10 a barrel up 57 US cents from Thursday.
The modest rebound came after New York prices fell more that $US4.50 a barrel over the past two days.
Gold futures ended at a seven-month low, resuming their downward march, as some investors opted to leave the market amid growing dissatisfaction with gold's performance.
The most actively traded contract, for April delivery, on Friday fell $US5.80, or 0.4 per cent, to settle at $US1,572.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. This is the lowest settlement price since July 18 at $US1,570.80 a troy ounce.
Gold has slumped 2.3 per cent this week, and is down 12.5 per cent from its October 4 high of $US1,796.50 a troy ounce.
Gold's decline came amid increased competition from better performing equity markets and as investors worried about the exit of large fund managers like George Soros from the bullion market.
Brokers and analysts said that easing fears with regard to Europe's future added to the pressure on bullion prices.
Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed mostly lower, fulfilling earlier predictions by analysts that the metals would not hold onto overnight gains.
At the close of open-outcry trading on Friday, LME three-month copper was down 0.8 per cent on Thursday's settlement price at $US7,800 a metric ton.
Nickel, which had led declines in earlier sessions to post a sharp fall overall for the week, and thinly traded tin, closed higher, likely on bargain-buying.
Overnight, market participants picked up industrial metals at year-to-date low prices following a slump Thursday on the back of concerns the US may curtail economic stimulus measures and weak euro-zone purchasing managers index data.
But over Friday's session, most of the metals relinquished their slight recovery to close lower on the day.
The euro also turned weaker on the day against the US dollar, rendering the dollar-denominated metals more costly to euro holders and reflecting the wider market risk aversion.