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Friday 21st of November 2008
December 8, 2006

Crude oil prices up on day, drop over week


by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices rose on Friday but was still down over the week after Nigerian militants threatened more attacks on oil facilities there and on comments from the president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that he supports further production cuts by the group in order to moderate supply further. OPEC meets next Thursday to consider such a move.

Brent crude for January delivery added $1.09 to $63.66 per barrel in London, while January contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude gained 86 cents to $63.35 per barrel. Brent prices dropped 1.4 percent during the week, however, while WTI lost 0.2 percent this week.

Natural gas prices were down 8.3 percent over the week to $7.725 per million British thermal units as inventories remained at record levels and US weather forecasters continued to predict that the winter will be a milder than average one.

In the metals markets this week, gold dropped 2.4 percent to $630.1 per troy ounce as the US dollar strengthened. In base metals, nickel ended the week at $34,200 per tonne as London Metal Exchange stockpiles stood at a mere 4,320 tonnes. Aluminium was 0.4 percent higher on the week to $2,828 per tonne. Tin prices were higher as well, gaining 2.8 percent to $11,100 per tonne, on supply uncertainties. The price of zinc dropped 1.2 percent to $4,345 per tonne even though less than three days worth of global consumption remain in LME warehouses. Copper, meanwhile, fell 1.9 percent to $6,865 per tonne despite the possibility of a strike at an Xstrata smelter in Chile.

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