Metals prices mixed; crude oil sees slight gains

| June 26, 2006 | 0 Comments

Most precious metals prices were mixed on Monday, while base metals saw prices increase during the day.

Gold dropped 0.7 percent to $579.15 per troy ounce as prices remained caught up in concerns over economic growth and rising inflation. Silver prices also declined, dropping 1.8 percent to $10.11 per troy ounce. On the other hand, the price of platinum was up 1.4 percent and the price of palladium gained 3 percent, to $1,182 per troy ounce and $310 per troy ounce respectively.

Copper prices added 2.3 percent to $6,937.5 per tonne late in the day in London. Forecasts have mine capacity growing faster than smelter capacity through 2009. Meanwhile, the price of nickel was 2.7 percent higher, to $19,775 per tonne as London Metal Exchange stockpiles dropped by 750 tonnes to 11,800 tonnes.

Crude oil prices were somewhat higher, with Brent crude August contracts up 1 cent to $69.94 per barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange in London, while West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery had gained 18 cents to $71.05 per barrel by mid-morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Part of the gains had to do with a threat by Iran over the weekend that it would use oil as a weapon if there was a confrontation with Western nations over its nuclear enrichment program. Meanwhile, in Iraq, the oil minister there said that his nation’s oil output could rival Saudi Arabia’s in a decade. Oil production in Iraq was up in May. Data also showed that demand for oil was up in China in May, with a 13.5 percent increase year-on-year as output has increased and exports were cut.

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