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March 17, 2006

Metals, crude oil gain on week

Permalink: Metals, crude oil gain on week by Elaine Frei

Filed under: Investments, Economy

Metals prices were up on Friday, hitting record highs in some cases, while oil prices were up substantially during the week despite mid-week declines.

Zinc was at a record high on Friday on concerns about supply ahead of the peak demand season. Three-month zinc hit a high of $2,485 per tonne during the day on the London Metal Exchange before ending the week at $2,473 per tonne, a gain of 8.2 percent on the week.

Copper also hit a new record high Friday, with three-month LME prices closing at $5,1290 per tonne, up 6.4 percent for the week.

Silver hit a new 22-year high Friday as investors expected the US Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a new investment product by Barclay’s Global Investors, which will make it easier to buy and sell silver. The spot price for silver hit $10.43 per troy ounce at one point during the day, up from Thursday’s high of $10.37. At midday in New York, the price had backed off some but still stood at $10.38 per troy ounce.

Oil prices were up on the week as new inventory figures showed that crude oil stockpiles were up sharply but gasoline and distillates supplies were down sharply. At the midway point in Friday’s trading day, April contract West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange was at $63 per barrel, up 5 percent for the week. Meanwhile, May delivery Brent crude stood at $60.83 per barrel, a 4.4 percent rise since the beginning of the week.

Elsewhere, natural gas prices were up sharply in the UK on colder weather and supply worries. Last Friday, the same-day delivery price was 75p per therm. That rose to 255p per therm on Monday, and while prices dropped later in the week, the same-day deliver price this Friday was still 150p per therm.

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