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Sunday 12th of October 2008
January 29, 2007

Gold, most base metals prices decline


by Elaine Frei

Profit-taking and doubts among speculators about the potential for crude oil price gains sent prices lower on Monday. Brent crude for March delivery dropped $1.14 to $54.15 per barrel, while March contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1 to $54.41 per barrel.

Despite predictions of more cold weather in the Northeast United States, Nymex February heating oil prices were also down, by 1.5 cents to $1.5760 per gallon.

Gold was lower in metals markets on Monday, trading at $645.70 per troy ounce ahead of a new decision on interest rates from the US Federal Reserve, due Wednesday.

Base metals prices were mostly lower. The major exception was tin, which added 0.4 percent to $12,250 per tonne on a drop of 375 tonnes on stockpiles and worries over a crackdown on independent smelters in Indonesia.

Nickel dropped 1.8 percent to $37,400 per tonne even though London Metal Exchange stockpiles were 600 tonnes lower to only 2,700 tonnes. Aluminium fell 3 percent to $2,710 per tonne as a strike in Guinea ended.

Copper and zinc were each down 3.8 percent, to $5,590 per tonne and $3,500 per tonne respectively. Copper inventories were up by 5,975 tonnes in LME warehouses as consumption has declined, likely as a consequence of the housing slowdown in the United States.

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