Most commodity prices moved higher on Friday and last week, thanks mostly to suggestions about how parts of the long reported trade deal with China were supposed to be closer to settlement.
That story has been around for a week or more but got new life on Friday thanks to briefings from Trump administration officials. The stories took attention away from this week’s Fed meeting and fears about the weak economy (in parts).
The US Trade Representative’s office said on Friday that the Trump administration and China have come close to finalising parts of the so-called phase one deal.
That saw West Texas Intermediate crude futures for December delivery rise 43 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $US56.66 a barrel in New York. That was a month high and the contract ended up 5.2% for the week.
In Europe, December Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 35 cents, or 0.6%, at settle at $US62.02 for a weekly rise of 4.4%. That was also a month high
Another driver for the week’s climb came from the surprise fall in US oil and product stocks reported by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
The EIA on Wednesday reported that US crude stocks fell down 1.7 million barrels for the week ended October 18.
Data on Friday from oil-field services firm Baker Hughes revealed a fall of 17 in the number of active US rigs drilling for oil last week, to 696 rigs. That followed increases in each of the last two weeks.
Meanwhile Comex gold futures ended above the key support level of $US1,500 an ounce on Friday.
December gold on Comex rose 60 cents, or 0.04%, to settle at $US1,505.30 an ounce after trading as high as $US1,520.90 during the session.
For the week, gold rose by about 0.8%, for a second straight weekly rise.
Comex silver for December delivery meanwhile, added 12.2 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $US17.926 an ounce. Silver saw a gain of 2% over the week.
Comex December copper added 0.3% to $US2.6755 a pound, with prices up 1.5% for the week.