Commodities Chalk Up Mixed Week
Oil weakened, gold rose sharply on Friday last week and on Friday, while iron ore was steady and copper, nickel, aluminium all suffered losses.
Seaborne iron ore prices picked up some strength on Friday, as the steelmaking restrictions came into effect in northern China.
That saw the Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index jump $US1.04, or 1.6% to end at $62.61.
That was flat on the previous week’s close of $US62.60 for 62% ore delivered to northern China and close to the highest weekly close for seven weeks.
Comex gold prices rose on Friday to a more than one-month high, and added 1.8% for the week.
December gold climbed by $US18.30, or 1.4%, to settle at $US1,296.50 an ounce on Friday in New York.
Friday’s rise was the largest singe session since May and the weekly rise was its second in a row.
In other metals trading, Comex December silver jumped 30.1 cents, or 1.8%, higher to $US17.373 an ounce, for a weekly gain of 3%.
And Comex December copper prices rose 0.3% to $US3.057 a pound, for a weekly loss of 0.3%.
In London nickel and copper led base metals higher on Friday, supported by the weaker dollar, but both metals dropped over the week.
London Metal Exchange copper closed 0.6% up at $US6,777 a tonne but was off half a percent on the week.
LME nickel added 1.8% to $US11,5720, but lost 4.4% over the week.
Nickel, mainly used in stainless steel, hit a two-year high earlier this month on a rise in demand for use in electric vehicles, but prices have since pulled back because of high inventories.
Aluminium ended Friday’s session barely changed at $US2,103 a tonne, having shed almost 4% last week. But it is still up 24% for the year.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.