Oil, gold lead recovery; markets nervous after rout

Oil, gold lead recovery; markets nervous after rout

LONDON/SINGAPORE - Commodities extended a bounce on Tuesday on hopes Europe’s plan to shore up banks would reduce risks of a widespread banking crisis, although this was tempered by caution that the rally was only a respite ahead of further losses.

By (Reuters)

Published: Tue 27 Sep 2011, 6:44 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:58 AM

Spot gold rallied 3 percent, snapping four consecutive sessions of losses as a weaker dollar helped battered commodities stage a comeback. Brent crude rose above $106 a barrel but is poised for a second quarter of decline.

“There is a bit of improved sentiment after all these rumours about a big solution,” Danske Bank analyst Arne Lohmann Rasmussen said, referring to the euro zone debt crisis.

Euro zone officials said they were working to increase the firepower of the region’s rescue fund, but Spain poured cold water on talk the fund could grow to 2 trillion euros.

“The right noises by European policymakers did improve market confidence today but this is only short-term. The euro zone debt problem can’t be waved away anytime soon and it is still bearish in the longer term,” said China Futures Co analyst Yang Jun.

The dollar fell 0.3 percent against a basket of currencies , making gold and other dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.


Spot gold rallied as much as 3.1 percent to a high of $1,676.69 an ounce, after sinking as much as 7 percent on Monday to a 7-1/2-month low near $1,530. US gold futures jumped more than 5 percent.

“I think gold’s bottomed out here,” said Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar in London.

“Longer term, have all the factors that were bullish for gold really been addressed? Currency debasement, economic imbalances, sovereign debt — the factors that were there last week are still here today.”

Concerns over euro zone debt and the outlook for the US economy were key factors pushing gold prices to record highs above $1,920 an ounce earlier this month, as investors sought assets seen as a haven from risk. The worsening crisis has diverted them towards the dollar, however, at gold’s expense.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained as much as 3 percent to $7,483 a tonne after having tumbled to a 14-month low on Monday on recession fears.

The metal used in power and construction has fallen more than 25 percent since hitting a record high of $10,190 in February.

In the event of a global recession, copper is the most “exposed” among the industrial metals, Deutsche Bank AG said in a report.

Tin prices were given a boost by the decision by smelters in Indonesia’s main tin-producing region of Bangka island to impose a full export ban on tin ingot from Oct. 1 until global prices recover.

Three-month tin jumped 5 percent, while tin premiums for delivery to Europe from the Kuala Lumpur market leapt to $1,180.

Swinging oil

Brent futures climbed as much as to 2.2 percent a barrel to a high of $106.19 and US crude jumped 3.2 percent to $82.80 a barrel.

Both prices have stabilised after falling to seven-week lows and posting weekly losses of more than 7 percent last week.

“Clarity on the euro zone plan is still key, crude prices are swinging back and forth depending on what comments come out of Europe,” said Victor Say, an analyst with Informa Global Markets in Singapore.

Grains rebounded, with corn and wheat climbing around 2 percent amid forecasts supplies will tighten as drought affects planting.

“The drought that has existed in the US in the past 12 months is hampering the seeding programme for wheat for 2012,” said Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

Cocoa futures eased and stood near Monday’s one-year low in early trade, under pressure from improving crop prospects in West Africa, while raw sugar and arabica coffee also extended gains, consolidating after last week’s sell off.

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