Metals News
Oil, Copper, Nickel Jump on European Bailout Plan; Gold Drops
industry news
May 11,2010

NEWYORK, May 11  -- Crude oil rose from a 12-week low and copper gained the most in six weeks after European policy makers approved almost $1 trillion in loans to ease a debt crisis that has been jeopardizing global growth.

Oil jumped as much as 4.5 percent to $78.51 a barrel, the biggest intraday increase since Sept. 30. Copper added 2.7 percent to $3.228 a pound in New York, while nickel increased 2 percent to $22,943 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials gained 1.3 percent to 264.65, heading for its biggest gain since March 29.

The CRB gauge plunged 5.9 percent last week, the most since Dec. 5, 2008, on concerns the Greek debt problems would spread. The declines in commodity prices presented a "buying opportunity," Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s analysts said in a report today.

"We remain most constructive on crude oil, copper and precious metals, with copper in particular looking attractive post the recent severe sell-off," Goldman said in the report led by Jeff Currie in London.

The 16 euro nations agreed to lend as much as 750 billion euros ($962 billion) to countries they said are under attack from speculators. The European Central Bank said it will buy government and private debt.

"In the next few days there will be some recovery of risky assets including commodities," said Charles Morris, who manages $2.5 billion at HSBC Global Asset Management's Absolute Return fund in London.

Fifteen of the 19 commodities in the CRB index gained.

Gold Slumps

Gold fell for the first time in four sessions, losing as much as 2.1 percent, as the European loan package reduced demand for the metal as a haven. Prices were up 10 percent this year before today on demand for the precious metal as an alternative to currencies.

"You're seeing commodities trade like equities today as traders are excited about this huge $1 trillion package and the prospects for growth," said Scott Carter, executive vice president of Goldline International Inc.

"Gold investors are taking some profit and maybe moving into the other markets," Carter said. "The easy money and new fiscal stimulus will eventually create inflation, and I wouldn't be surprised to see gold rebound."


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