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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
December 4, 2006

Crude prices drop despite likely new production cuts


by Elaine Frei

Proving, perhaps, that the weather has more to do with oil prices than Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries does, crude oil prices dropped on Monday after the National Weather Service in the United States said that temperatures in most parts of the US will likely be above normal for the next two weeks. The prices were down even though both Saudi Arabia’s oil minister and the president of OPEC made comments implying that the organization thinks the market is still oversupplied and that it will cut production again later this month.

Brent crude for January deliver was down 95 cents to $63.67 per barrel. Meanwhile, January contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude was 97 cents lower to $62.46 per barrel after dropping as far as $61.90 per barrel earlier in the session.

In the metals markets, gold dropped 0.2 percent to $644.30 per troy ounce as demand for bullion as an investment has gone up even as jewelry demand has dropped as prices have risen.

Among base metals, three-month aluminium was up to $2,832.5 per tonne at one point during the session and dealers expected that it could go as high as $3,000 per tonne before December options expire on Wednesday. By the end of the session, however, aluminium ended up 0.3 percent lower to $2,809.5 per tonne. Nickel dropped 1 percent to $22,550 per tonne, while copper was steady at $7,000 per tonne despite an increase of 4,500 tonnes in London Metal Exchange inventories.

Base metals prices were mixed, however, as zinc was 1.4 percent higher to $4,460 per tonne and lead gained 2.6 percent to $1,739 per tonne as LME stockpiles fell by 1,325 tonnes.

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