Gold, Oil Choppy - Copper, Sugar Plunge After Fed Tapering
• Copper slid down 2.26% last week and 5.8% in January after manufacturing slowdown in China
• Sugar nosedived to the lowest level since 2010
• Cocoa jumped to the highest level in more than two years amid production concerns
Commodity markets remained choppy throughout last week as the Federal Reserve’s stimulus reduction, turmoil in emerging economies and manufacturing slowdown in China overshadowed steady growth in the US. On the COMEX division of New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), light sweet crude oil futures for March delivery or West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 0.75% to $97.49 on Friday. WTI surged 0.87% last week for a third weekly gain in a row. Money managers and hedge funds increased bullish bets on oil futures during last week, statistics from Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday.
Gross buy positions in oil jumped by 11,966 to 306,886 contracts, while gross sell positions dropped by 17,814 to 46,604 lots. Net buy contracts remained 260,282 during last week. Meanwhile, Brent oil futures for March delivery slid down 1.44% on Friday hence settling the week at $106.40 per barrel. March Brent oil plunged 1.37% over the week. Gold futures for April delivery dropped 0.22% to $1244 on Friday.
Gold price on COMEX fell 1.58% last week as the Fed's tapering decision accelerated bearish sentiment in the price of the precious metal. Gross buy positions increased by 6,273 to 120,096 contracts while gross sell orders declined by 11,047 to 59,424 lots. Net buy positions totaled 60,672 during last week, according to CFTC statistics.
Silver futures for March delivery declined 0.03% to $19.12 on Friday. Silver prices slumped 3.23% last week, the second consecutive weekly drop. Elsewhere, copper futures for March delivery dropped to $3.190 per pound on Friday, the lowest level since December 4.
Copper prices on COMEX plunged 2.26% over the week, the third consecutive weekly decline. Copper prices slid down 5.8% in January amid turmoil in emerging economies and a manufacturing slowdown in China, the biggest consumer of copper.
Platinum futures for April delivery declined 0.5% to $1,375.70 per ounce on Friday with price dropping 3.7% over the week. Palladium futures for March delivery ticked down 0.5% to $703.20 per ounce. Palladium prices price fell around 4.3% over the week.
On Friday, tin fell from $22,000 to $21,925 per tonne. The three-month aluminum price slid down from $1,768 to $1,713.50 per tonne. Lead retreated from $2,152 to $2,108 per tonne. The three-month nickel price slipped from $14,553 to $13,750 per tonne. Zinc dipped from $2,027 to $1,964 per tonne.
Sugar prices dived to 14.70 cents per pound on COMEX, the lowest level since 2010. Cocoa prices jumped to the highest level in more than 2.5 years amid concerns of another production deficit in 2014. On US ICE Futures, cocoa futures for March delivery rose from $2,806 to $2,921 per tonne. Rubber prices in Malaysia slipped as ringgit strengthened against USD and jitters persisted about slowing growth and manufacturing in its top consumer: China. Malaysia’s Rubber Board benchmark slid down from 213.70 cents per kilo to 193.20 cents per kilo last week.
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