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Friday 13th of June 2008
February 5, 2006

Metals prices at new highs


by Elaine Frei

Despite rising metal inventories, prices for base metal increased to new records in the week ending February 3. The price of copper raced through the $5,000 per tonne level to a record high of $5,055 per tonne, gaining 4 percent over the week. Just three months ago, copper passed the $4,000 per tonne mark.

Long-term prices are rising along with front-month prices; London Metal Exchange December 2010 copper is currently trading around $3,300 per tonne. This implies that investors expect copper prices to remain above that level over the next five years.

Aluminum prices were up over the week as well, with three-month London Metal Exchange aluminum trading at $2,638.5 per tonne Friday, its highest price since August 1988. December 2010 aluminum was trading above $2,300 during the week even though inventories are at a 13-month high.

Only zinc saw a decrease in inventories. Its price rose to a record high of $2,410 per tonne on Friday.

Meanwhile, precious metals also hit highs during the week. Silver was up nearly 3 percent for the week to $9.74 per troy ounce. Platium held steady at $1,072 per ounce on Friday, only $8 below its record high, reached Thursday. Gold traded around the $569.30/$569.80 per troy ounce level on Friday, near its Thursday level of $574.60 per ounce, a 25-year high.


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