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Sunday 12th of October 2008
July 31, 2006

Crude oil up; metals prices mixed


by Elaine Frei

Worries about supply disruptions in Europe and comments from the defense minister of Israel that dashed hopes of an imminent ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah forces in Lebanon sent crude oil prices higher on Monday.

By late in the afternoon in London, September contracts for Brent crude had added 95 cents to $74.36 per barrel after having dropped as low as $72.70 per barrel during the day. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery gained 41 cents to $73.70 per barrel by early afternoon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold was lower on Monday, dropping $1 to $634.20/$635.45 per troy ounce. Platinum, however, was up by $9 to $1,229/$1,233 per troy ounce after the chief executive of Anglo Platinum said that while prices probably won’t rise as much in the next year as they have in the past year, they are fairly sure to stay at current levels.

Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were up 3 percent to $7,950 per tonne after workers at Chile’s Escondida mine voted last week to strike on August 7 if talks do not bring a resolution to the contract dispute there. In the absence of an agreement, 2,000 workers will stop work at the mine, which produced 8.5 percent of the world’s copper last year.

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