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August 2, 2005    

Commodities see strong pricing

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by Brian Turner
Commodities see strong pricing

Prices were higher on a wide range of commodities on Tuesday.

Crude oil was higher but prices did not jump as much as they had on Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed 32 cents higher at $61.89 per barrel, while September contract Brent crude on the International Petroleum Exchange gained 18 cents on the day to close at $60.62 per barrel.

Weekly US inventory figures are due on Wednesday, and are expected to show declines in stockpiles of crude oil and gasoline and another increase in distillates inventories.

Gold settled to $432.10/$432.90 per troy ounce in late trade in London after having risen to a 4-week high of $433 per troy ounce earlier in the day on the announcement that the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa will begin a strike on Sunday after talks on pay between union and management groups broke down.

Prices did not rise further because gold is currently in plentiful supply. Platinum rose to $909 per troy ounce on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange but then declined to $900/$905 per troy ounce by the end of trade in London.

Prices are going up due to worries about a disruption of supplies after talks between unions and management at the world’s largest platinum mine reached a deadlock last week.

Three-month copper hit another record high at $3,582.5 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange as inventories in LME warehouses are still close to 31-year lows.

The low stockpiles are also evident in spot copper prices, which are currently trading above $3,800 per tonne.

Prices for 3-month aluminium reached their highest level since the end of April during the day at $1,889 per tonne.

In New York, raw sugar prices reached 10 cents per pound for the first time since February 2001.

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