March 18, 2011 / 3:05 PM / 9 years ago

COMMODITIES-Oil slips on Libyan ceasefire, gold holds up

 * Oil moves into red after Libya halts military action
 * Gold retains most gains on global uncertainty
 * Copper edges lower, aluminium higher
 * Robusta coffee touches fresh three-year high on tightness
 
 LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Oil prices tipped lower on
Friday after Libya said it would halt all military action, but
gold held most of its gains as global uncertainty still unnerved
investors.
 Oil prices gave up gains and turned negative after Libyan
Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa told reporters Libya had called
an immediate ceasefire, accepting a U.N. resolution.
[ID:nWEA9501
 Brent crude shed 0.8 percent to $114.04 a barrel by 1430
GMT, off a session high of $117.29. U.S. crude fell 0.5 percent
to $100.96.
 Oil markets had risen to their highest in more than a week
after a U.N. meeting on Thursday evening that authorised
Western-led military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi.
 Although the ceasefire triggered a sell-off, analysts noted
the situation was still complex. 
 "This does not mean we are near a resolution of the
situation in Libya. We may be facing the possibility of an
entrenched status quo between pro and anti Gaddafi groups," said
Harry Tchilinguirian, analyst at BNP Paribas.
 Gold gave up some of its gains after the Libyan ceasefire
announcement, but the metal's safe-haven status kept it firmly
in positive territory.
 "The uncertainty across the different global centres is
still there and that should support precious metals," said Saxo
Bank analyst Ole Hansen.
 Gold came off a daily high of over $1,423 an ounce to
$1,422.25, up more than 1 percent from late levels in New York
on Thursday.
 
 COPPER
 Among industrial metals, copper edged lower after the
succession of global crises, but a G7 joint intervention to calm
market nerves over the Japanese earthquake disaster helped
cushion the losses and boost overall risk appetite.
 Copper had briefly extended losses after China's central
bank said it would raise lenders' required reserves again.
 "China is taking some moderate measures to cool down the
economy. This may have a negative impact in the near-term but we
don't think it will derail China's growth in terms of base
metals," Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Graber said.
 Analysts said commodities should benefit from an agreement 
by the Group of Seven on joint intervention to curb the soaring
yen and calm markets jittery over the Japanese nuclear power
plant crisis. 
 "Overall we are seeing a rebound in risk appetite and in
demand for commodities," Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen
said.
 "The idea that a weaker yen would be able to improve
Japanese companies' competitiveness is spurring market optimism
that the Japanese industry will be coming back on track sooner
... This is quite positive for base metals."
 Copper dipped 0.5 percent while aluminium rose 1.2 percent
and nickel added 1.3 percent.
 European wheat prices surged again on Friday to hit new
week-long highs as robust grain exports turned attention back to
fundamentals.
 May milling wheat futuresin Paris surged 3.5  percent to
231.50 euros a tonne, after rising earlier to 237.50 euros, a
highest level since March 9.
 Robusta coffee futures touched a fresh three-year high on a
shortage of deliverable supplies.
 London second-month robusta coffee futures rose to a fresh
three-year high of $2,672 per month basis second-month on
investor buying.
 The premium of May robusta over July robusta stood at $142
per tonne, an indication of how tight the deliverable supply
situation is, although it was down from $200 per tonne on
Thursday.
 (Reporting by Nia Williams, Rebekah Curtis, Marie-Louise
Gumuchian, Guy Trompiz and David Brough; writing by Eric Onstad)

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