Commodity markets enjoy mixed fortunes
Commodity markets enjoyed mixed fortunes last week as traders eyed growing speculation over a full bailout of debt-plagued Spain, and amid rising doubts over the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus plan.
“Commodity prices were down over the week as European debt concerns intensified, leading to choppy price action,” noted Barclays Capital analyst Sudakshina Unnikrishnan.
Financial markets were rocked on Tuesday as violent protests in Madrid and a general strike in Greece spooked investors and stoked jitters over the eurozone crisis.
New York crude plunged close to a two-month low under $89 (€69) a barrel on eurozone woes, but prices ended the week on a mixed note. The market has since recovered, helped by a weaker dollar, steps taken by Spain to help reduce its debt mountain, and on easing Middle East tensions, analysts said.
The euro rose against the dollar on Friday. A weaker US currency makes dollar-denominated crude cheaper for buyers using rival currencies, pushing up demand. Oil prices also won some support from Middle East tensions according to traders.
“Tensions between Iran and the West reinforced concerns about potential supply disruptions,” Phillip Futures said .
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew his ‘red line’ for Iran’s nuclear programme in a speech at the United Nations... and voiced confidence the United States shares his view,” it added.