Finance Markets

January 16, 2007

Emergency OPEC meeting seen as unlikely

Permalink: Emergency OPEC meeting seen as unlikely

Filed under: Commodities, Oil, Metals, Economy

After going higher early on speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would call an emergency meeting to deal with low oil prices, crude oil prices were lower by late morning in New York. The decline in prices came after the oil minister of Saudi Arabia said that further production cuts would not be necessary. This statement added to a growing feeling that OPEC will not call an unscheduled meeting, even though Venezuela, a member nation, had called for one.

Brent crude February contracts, scheduled to expire at the end of the day’s trade, were 76 cents lower to $52.36 per barrel and then closed out at $52.30 per barrel. March contracts, meanwhile, dropped $1.30 to $52.15 per barrel. February delivery West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.43 to $51.56 per barrel in late morning trade after going as low as $51.15 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Later in the day, WTI had dropped to $51.48 per barrel, $1.50 lower than its previous close. Nymex gasoline was 4.3 cents lower to $1.38.90 per gallon, heating oil dropped 2 cents to $1.4860 per gallon, and natural gas was 2.9 cents lower to $6.572 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In the precious metals markets, gold, sliver and platinum were all trading around previous levels, with gold at $625.70 per troy ounce, silver at $12.81 per troy ounce and platinum at $1,138 per troy ounce.

Base metals prices were mixed on the session. Three-month aluminium dropped to $2,681 per tonne on a rise of 10,050 tonnes in London Metal Exchange inventories, but copper, nickel and lead all traded higher on declines in stockpiles. Copper was trading at $5,660 per tonne on a decline of 2,550 tonnes in LME warehouses. Nickel was higher as well, trading at $34,100 per tonne as LME stockpiles dropped by 270 tonnes, while lead was at $1,605 per tonne on a drop of 525 tonnes in LME inventories.

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