February 23, 2010
Copper often acts as a leading indicator reflecting investor confidence in industrial economic recovery because it is consumed extensively both in construction and manufacturing. And so, as the global economy recovers, demand for copper usually rises in tandem.
Indeed, copper prices have more than doubled over the past year. The metal was trading at about $3.15 per pound in mid-February, up from less than $1.50 per pound a year earlier.
Natural gas falls
Natural Gas for March delivery fell 14.9 cents (three percent) to close at $4.895 per million BTUs in New York on February 22, and speculators bet prices still have further to fall.
"Weather becomes a factor, the market is oversupplied and demand is still weak,” said Fadel Gheit, director of oil and gas research at Oppenheimer & Co in New York. "So far, we haven’t seen what we thought would be a significant decline in production."
Corn and soybean seeding may be delayed this year, if wet weather persists in growing areas of the US, the world’s largest exporter of both commodities. In the past 60 days, as much as three times the normal amount of snow and rain has fallen in parts of Iowa and Illinois, the largest US producers of both crops.
As a result, in Chicago on February 22, corn for March delivery closed up 11.5 cents (3.2 percent) at $3.7150 per bushel.
Soybeans climbed 16.5 cents (1.8 percent) to close at $9.615 per bushel.
Soybean oil gained 0.31 cents to close at 38.83 cents per pound.
Wheat for May delivery rose 11.25 cents (2.2 percent) to close at $5.1525 per bushel.
In Kansas City, May wheat closed up 10.25 cents at $5.1950 per bushel.
In Minneapolis, it gained nine cents to close at $5.2850 per bushel.
This update was provided by Propurchaser.com. For-up-to-date commodity information and analysis in areas such as metals, natural resources and energy visit www.propurchaser.com/pb2b.
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