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Tuesday 07th of October 2008
July 28, 2006

Oil prices slide despite continuing geopolitical concerns


by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices slid on Friday when new data showed that US domestic product growth lagged behind the level predicted by analysts. So even though Israel and Hizbollah are still fighing with no hope of a diplomatic solution in sight, and Nigerian oil facilities are offline for the foreseeable future after more unrest there, oil prices ended the week lower than where they were on Monday. In addition to output problems in Nigeria, refineries in Venezuela and Texas also remain offline. A fire at Venezuela’s Amuaya refinery will keep it out of commission for vie to seven months, while the ConocoPhillips Wood River facility will not be fully back on line for at least two weeks.

The price for September contracts for Brent crude were $1.43 lower to $73.58 per barrel in London on Friday, for a decline of 0.2 percent this week. West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell $1.44 to $73.10 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a drop of 1.8 percent over the week. Nymex gasoline for August delivery was also down Friday, by nearly 8 cents to $2.2175 per gallon, 3.1 percent lower than at the beginning of the week.

Even with the price of both crude oil and gasoline futures declining, US prices for gasoline at the pump have reached record highs, above $3 per gallon on average. Despite the record prices, however, consumers are still buying, with demand at a record 9.59 million barrels per day.

Precious metals prices were up during the week, with gold up 2.6 percent to $636.05 per troy ounce, silver 5.6 percent higher to $11.33 per troy ounce, platinum adding 0.8 percent to $1,216 per troy ounce, and palladium gaining 4 percent to $313 per troy ounce.

Base metals also saw price increases this week. Aluminium added 2.4 percent to $2,520 per tonne. Nickel was up 4. 7 percent to $24,700 per tonne on low inventories and a strike action in Eastern Canada. Zinc gained 7.5 percent to $3,300 per tonne, while the price of copper added 8.6 percent to $7,620 per tonne.

Precious metals prices were up during the week, with gold up 2.6 percent to $636.05 per troy ounce, silver 5.6 percent higher to $11.33 per troy ounce, platinum adding 0.8 percent to $1,216 per troy ounce, and palladium gaining 4 percent to $313 per troy ounce.

Base metals also saw price increases this week. Aluminium added 2.4 percent to $2,520 per tonne. Nickel was up 4. 7 percent to $24,700 per tonne on low inventories and a strike action in Eastern Canada. Zinc gained 7.5 percent to $3,300 per tonne, while the price of cop

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