Finance Markets

December 18, 2006

Heating oil demand down on mild weather

Permalink: Heating oil demand down on mild weather

Filed under: Commodities, Oil, Metals, Economy

Prices for crude oil dropped Monday as heating oil demand remained low due to mild weather in both the United States and Europe. Brent crude February contracts wee $1.02 lower to $62.48 per barrel late in the afternoon in London, while early afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange saw West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell 87 cents to $62.56 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Global Energy Studies said in its monthly report that the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries has only managed to enact half of the 1.2 million barrels per day production cuts that were to be enacted in November. CGES further said it in its report that it is not convinced that the new cuts announced in a meeting in Nigeria and expected to be enacted in February are necessary and that it does not believe that they will, in the final analysis, be implemented.

Gold was slightly lower in late afternoon trade on Monday, with the precious metal trading at $612.90/$613.40 per troy ounce. At the close on Friday, gold was trading in the range of $615.00/$616.50 per troy ounce. Silver, meanwhile, dropped 45 cents in late afternoon trading in London to trade at $12.36 per troy ounce.

In base metals, three-month copper was up $45 to $6,680 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange after workers at Xstrata’s Altonorte copper smelter in Chile went on strike Monday after rejecting a final contract offer. Zinc prices were also higher, gaining $30 to $4,345 per tonne. Aluminium prices were lower, however, falling $26 to $2,777 per tonne. In addition, nickel declined by $350 to $34,000 per tonne.

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