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Friday 21st of November 2008
May 10, 2006

Prices on copper, zinc hit new highs


by Elaine Frei

Metals prices were up again on Wednesday, with copper and zinc both hitting new record highs and gold going above $700 per troy ounce. Silver was the only metal to see a decline on the day, dropping only fractionally to $14.34 per troy ounce.

Gold went as high as $704.50 per troy ounce during the day before settling back to $701.70 per troy ounce later on. If the dollar weakens any more after the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, due today, most analysts expect gold to go even higher.

Elsewhere in the precious metals markets, platinum was up 0.9 percent to $1,249 per troy ounce after going up to a record $1,265 per troy ounce during the day.

Among base metals, copper breached the $8,000 level to hit a new record price of $8,085 per tonne during the day before settling back to $8,070 per tonne. Prices soared after Grupo Mexico said it would close its San Martin mines due to strikes. Also spurring supply concerns was a statement from Antofagasta that output from one of its mines in Chile will likely fall by 4.4 percent during 2006. Zinc was also affected by the Grupo Mexico announcement, gaining 5.5 percent to $3,660 per tonne, also a new record price.

Aluminum and nickel were both up as well. Nickel was up 1.8 percent to $20,300 per tonne after going as high as $20,450 during the day on continued talk of a strike against Canadian miner Inco. Meanwhile, aluminium added 2.8 percent to $3,095 on an expected rise in demand from automobile manufacturers.

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