Oil plunges, gold loses shine
Oil prices fell this week to their lowest levels since 2004, despite a record Opec output cut, while many commodities were dragged lower on fears of a looming global recession and weak demand.
"Commodity markets have fallen back sharply under the weight of a rapidly deteriorating outlook for global growth," said Barclays Capital analysts in a research note to clients.
OIL: New York crude oil hit a low point of 33.44 dollars per barrel in New York, which was a staggering 77 percent beneath the record high 147.27 dollars per barrel that was forged in July.
A record oil output cut by the Opec crude producers' cartel failed to stop the slide to a 4.5-year trough that was last seen on April 2, 2004.
New York's January contract was also driven lower in technical trade due to its expiry on Friday.
The fresh falls prompted Opec President Chakib Khelil to stress that the cartel would continue cutting output until prices stabilise.
The 13-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which produces some 40 percent of the world's crude, agreed Wednesday to cut output by 2.2 million barrels a day.
But stubborn demand concerns refused to go away despite news of the historic production cut at an Opec ministerial meeting in Oran, Algeria.
The market also plunged lower as many traders doubted whether all members of the 13-nation Opec cartel would fully enforce the reduction.
The market plunged also lower as many traders questioned whether all members of the 13-nation Opec cartel would fully enforce the reduction.
By Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), light sweet crude for delivery in January tumbled to 36.91 dollars from 44.51 dollars.
On London's InterContinental Exchange (ICE), Brent North Sea crude for February was steady at 44.67 dollars, from 44.49 dollars a week earlier when January was the most traded contract.
PRECIOUS METALS: The prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium fell.
On the London Bullion Market, gold rose to 835.75 dollars an ounce at Friday's late fixing from 826.50 dollars a week earlier.
Silver increased to 10.61 dollars an ounce from 10.07 dollars.
SUGAR: Sugar prices pulled lower as oil prices tumbled. Sugar is used in the production of ethanol, a cheaper alternative to motor fuel which is refined from crude oil. When crude futures fall, demand drops for ethanol.
By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in March eased to 313.20 pounds from 319.40 pounds the previous week.
On NYBOT, the price of unrefined sugar for March drooped to 11.18 US cents per pound from 11.72 cents.
GRAINS AND SOYA: Grains and soya prices rebounded on the weak dollar.
"The main driver has been the collapse of the US dollar, commodities have rallied this week because of that," said analyst Bill Nelson at Doane Advisory Services.
By Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade, maize for delivery in March firmed to 3.78 dollars a bushel from 3.73 dollars the previous week.
March-dated soyabean meal -- used in animal feed -- advanced to 8.69 dollars from 8.56 dollars.
Wheat for March increased to 5.65 dollars a bushel from 5.13 dollars.