Oil cools and metals lose shine

London _ Oil prices fell last week on easing supply worries with the end of winter approaching in the northern hemisphere, Opec’s move to maintain output and relatively smooth Iraqi elections.
But metals were led lower by gold amid speculation that the International Monetary Fund could sell gold reserves under pressure from Group of Seven (G7) nations.
The Commodities Research Bureau index (CBI) of 17 commodities fell to 281.35 points from 284.69 a week earlier.

Gold: Prices fell to the lowest level in 312 months on concern that the IMF may be forced to sell some of its reserves to help clear Third World debt.
Gordon Brown, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has pledged to use Britain’s presidency of the G7 this year to push for a scheme delivering full debt cancellation, trade benefits and financial assistance for the world’s poorest countries, particularly those in Africa.
Gold fell to to $415.90 an ounce in London on Friday, from $426.80 a week earlier. Silver fell to $6.655 from $6.770.
Platinum and palladium: Prices fell in line with poor performances by other metals, closing at $864 an ounce, down from $870 a week earlier. Palladium declined to $182 from $189.
Base metals: Prices fell, pressured by a rising dollar and increasing stockpiles of copper, said Socie{AAC}te{AAC} Gene{AAC}rale analyst Stephen Briggs.
Three-month copper fell to $2,997 per tonne from $3,081, aluminium to $1,829 from $1,840.50, nickel rose to $14,700 from $14,560, lead declined to $925 from $935, zinc gained to $1,296 from $1,295 and tin fell to $7,985 from $8,040.
Oil: Prices dropped as supply fears eroded and traders banked profits. In New York, the light sweet crude contract for March fell to $46.80 a barrel from $48.05 the previous week. Brent North Sea crude for March declined to $44.34 from $45.03.
Rubber: Prices rose amid the low harvest season in major producing countries and the onset of the Chinese New Year.
On the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand, the RSS3 March contract closed at 48.50 baht/kg, up from 46.20 baht the previous week. In Osaka, the March contract rose to 132.90 US cents from 132 cents. Singapore’s March contract rose to 124.75 US cents from 122.25.
Cocoa: Prices steadied after reaching five-week highs week earlier, pressured by concerns over the political situation in major producer Ivory Coast. On the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), cocoa for March delivery dipped to 856 a tonne from 859 a week earlier. On the New York Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE), the March contract eased to $1,569 a tonne from $1,570.
Coffee: Futures advanced on an expected lower harvest in major producer Brazil. On the CSCE, Arabica for March delivery slipped to 104.90 cents a pound from 102.30 cents the previous week. On the LIFFE, Robusta for March delivery gained to $827 a tonne from $781.
Sugar: Futures fell on profit-taking amid speculation that demand would be weaker than expected. On the LIFFE, white sugar for May dropped to $266 a tonne from $273.40 a week earlier. On the CSCE, a pound of unrefined sugar for March delivery declined to 9.07 cents from 9.14.AFP
Source: Bangkok Post