You are here
Copper falls amidst concerns about global demand
Copper prices lost ground Wednesday as global events such as Japan’s crisis renewed concerns about demand in the next few months. Copper for May delivery fell 7.25 cents to settle at US$4.274 a pound. The price has fallen nearly five per cent since March 1. Investors question whether copper demand will soften with Japan’s recovery from the earthquake and tsunami, Europe’s ongoing financial problems and rising oil prices, CPM Group analyst Carlos Sanchez said. Copper is used in manufacturing a variety of consumer products, from construction materials to electronics and some auto parts.
Thousands of factories in Japan were idled by tsunami damage and power disruptions after the devastating earthquake earlier this month. That has left shortages of auto parts and technology components. Meanwhile, Portugal’s borrowing rates continued to rise, which could weaken market confidence in the region’s ability to resolve the crisis. Europe already has arranged multi-billion dollar bailouts for Greece and Ireland. There also are concerns that oil prices above US$100 a barrel may cause consumers and businesses to cut back consumption, Sanchez said.
June palladium rose US$5.15 to settle at US$758.10 an ounce and July platinum gained US$30 to settle at US$1,774.10 an ounce. May gold added US$7.60 to settle at US$1,423.80 an ounce and silver gained 52.4 cents to US$37.511 an ounce. In other trading, oil prices slipped after the Energy Department said U.S. crude supplies rose more than expected last week. Crude supplies increased 2.9 million barrels to 355.7 million barrels, which is 0.4 per cent above year-ago levels, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts expected an increase of 2.2 million barrels, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Benchmark crude for May delivery lost 52 cents to settle at $104.27 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In April Nymex contracts, heating oil fell 0.39 cent to settle at US$3.0534 per gallon and gasoline rose 1.37 cents to US$3.0573 per gallon. Natural gas for May delivery added 9.2 cents to settle at US$4.355 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wheat, corn and soybeans were mixed ahead of a government forecast due today on what crops farmers will plant this year. In May contracts, wheat prices fell ten cents to settle at US$7.2725 a bushel, corn lost 8.5 cents to US$6.6325 a bushel and soybeans rose 10.5 cents to US$13.72 a bushel. (AP)
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.