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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 1, 2006

Metals prices fall; crude oil up slightly


by Elaine Frei

Metals prices were down on Thursday, but crude oil prices rebounded slightly after new reports showed that demand for gasoline in the US is still high despite high pump prices.

Demand for gasoline in the US was up 0.9 percent to 9.32 million barrels per day, while demand for all oil products gained 4.8 percent to 21.1 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories were up 0.8 million barrels during the week ending May 26 according to the US Energy Information Administration, when analysts had expected stockpiles to add 1.1 million barrels. All this data combined to raise the price of July delivery gasoline on the New York Mercantile exchange by 0.5 cents to $2.1500 per gallon.

Crude oil inventories were up by 1.6 million barrels last week even though they had been predicted to be 0.9 million barrels lower. Still, July delivery Brent crude on the International Petroleum Exchange added 3 cents to $70.44 per barrel, while Nymex July contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude was up 14 cents to $70.44 per barrel.

In the metals markets, gold dropped 2 percent to $630.60 per troy ounce after going as low as $620.90 during the day. Silver was down 3.3 percent to $12.08 per troy ounce, while platinum declined by 1.7 percent to $1,227 per troy ounce.

Among base metals, three-month copper dropped 3.7 percent to $7,607 per tonne, but had been as much as 7.1 percent lower at $7,340 per tonne earlier in the day. Among the circumstances leading to the decline were the upcoming auction of as much as 100,000 tonnes of copper as well as the switch to longer trading hours for the London Metal Exchange, a change which was made in order to accommodate the Asian markets.

Elsewhere, aluminium dropped 1.9 percent to $2,600 per tonne and zinc was 4.4 percent lower at $3,510 per tonne. Nickel dropped 4.3 percent to $20,550 per tonne, but earlier in the day it had been 9.6 percent lower than Wednesday’s close and was trading at $19,800 per tonne.

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