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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
December 11, 2006

Crude oil prices mixed as OPEC readies meeting


by Elaine Frei

Crude oil prices were mixed on Monday ahead of a meeting later in the week of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC is scheduled to talk about cutting oil production by 500,000 more barrels per day at the meeting, but reports are now mixed on whether the cartel is likely to make the cut or to leave quotas at their present levels.

Brent crude for January delivery was 30 cents higher by late afternoon in London, trading at $62.60 per barrel. On the other hand, January contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down 13 cents to $61.90 per barrel in early afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Base metals prices hit record prices Monday, but not all of them maintained the gains by the end of the session. Lead added $35 dollars to trade at $1,765 per tonne by the end of the session after reaching a record high of $1,772.5 per tonne earlier in the day. Lead prices are up 61 percent so far this year as London Metal Exchange inventories have dropped by around 10 percent to their present level of 43,600 tonnes. Demand for the metal is mostly due to its use in lead-acid batteries for cars.

Tin hit a high of $11,325 per tonne before dropping back to $11,100 per tonne late in the session. Prices are up 70 percent this year while stockpiles have gone down by 18 percent. Meanwhile, copper added $50 to $6,930 per tonne, while aluminium dropped $30 to trade at $2,795 per tonne.

In precious metals, gold added $5 to trade at $629.00/$629.55 per troy ounce, while silver was up around 11 cents to trade in the $13.67/$13.74 range.

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