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Thursday 30th of October 2008
December 22, 2006

Copper prices lower on inventories


by Elaine Frei

In the base metals markets, copper prices were slightly above Thursday’s levels on Friday, but traded as low as $6,325 per tonne during the day, near an eight month low. While three-month copper prices are generally on the decline, however, an analyst pointed out that prices for December 2010 copper on the London Metal Exchange are up $35 per tonne on the week.

Copper prices have dropped 28 percent from record highs in May, but they are still 45 percent higher than they were a year ago at this time. Recent declines in the price of copper are largely due to higher inventories, which are at April 2004 levels currently. The last time there was this much copper in storage, prices were at approximately $3,000 per tonne.

Meanwhile, prices for nickel added 3.5 percent on Friday, to $33,450. This put the price at around 3 percent lower than its record but up 140 percent on the year.

In precious metals, meanwhile, gold was up slightly over Thursday’s close to trade in a range around $619.00/$620.00 per troy ounce. This put the price of gold about 1 percent higher this week and up $100 so far this year.

Crude oil prices were up slightly early in the day on Friday after declines on Thursday. West Texas Intermediate was up 21 cents to $62.87 per barrel in electronic trading at midday in Europe after having dropped more than $1 on Thursday. Weather predictions that have temperatures remaining mild in the Northeast United States through the first of the year have limited the price gains due to lower demand for heating oil.

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