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World oil prices mark weekly gain

Crude futures steadied on Friday after climbing to four-year highs earlier this week, and both Brent and US crude marked weekly gains ahead of US sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 1 cent to settle at $74.34 a barrel.

Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 futures for December delivery fell 42 cents to settle at $84.16 a barrel. On Wednesday, Brent hit its highest price since late 2014, at $86.74.

WTI’s weekly gain was about 1.3 percent; Brent’s was around 1.4 percent.

Price gains this week were limited by Saudi Arabia and Russia’s saying they would raise output to at least partly make up for expected disruptions from Iran, OPEC’s No. 3 producer, due to the US sanctions that take effect on Nov. 4.

Oil prices are up 15-20 since mid-August, at their highest levels since late 2014.

Washington wants governments and companies around the world to stop buying Iranian oil to pressure Tehran into renegotiating a nuclear deal. Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman insisted the kingdom is fulfilling promises to make up for lost Iranian crude supplies, Bloomberg reported.

Gold prices move higher

Gold edged higher on Friday, on track for its biggest weekly gain in six, as the dollar softened after data showed US job growth slowed more than expected last month and a slide in stock markets burnished the appeal of bullion as a safe haven.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,201.82 an ounce by 13:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT), and was on track to rise about 0.8 percent this week, the most since the week of Aug. 24.

US gold futures settled up $4, or 0.3 percent, at $1,205.60.

Despite this week’s gains, gold prices have fallen more than 12 percent from a peak in April largely due to strength in the dollar, which has benefited from a vibrant US economy, rising US interest rates and fears of a global trade war.

Among other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.3 percent to $14.61 and palladium gained over 1 percent to $1,069.40. Platinum inched 0.3 percent lower at $819.49 an ounce.

Palm oil rises for 2nd day, tracks strength in crude oil

Malaysian palm oil futures gained 1.5 percent on Wednesday with the market climbing for a second session to its highest since Sept. 27, supported by rising crude oil prices. Strength in rival soybean oil provided additional support to the tropical oil but gains were capped by higher palm oil reserves in Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer.

The benchmark palm oil contract for December delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 33 ringgit, or 1.5 percent at 2,193 ringgit ($530.09) a tonne, after rising to its highest since Sept. 27 at 2,199 ringgit a tonne earlier in the session.

Aluminium hits highest since June as norsk hydro shuts refinery

The price of aluminium jumped to its highest in more than three months on Wednesday after Norsk Hydro said it would halt output at its Alunorte alumina refinery, stoking concerns about shortages of the raw material.

Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange touched its highest since June 27 at $2,194 per tonne and was up 2.7 percent at $2,175 as of 1202 GMT.


Paris wheat higher on renewed doubts over Russian exports

Euronext wheat futures rose on Wednesday after a Russian agricultural inspection authority re-focused attention on a potential slowdown in shipments from the world’s top supplier.

Benchmark December milling wheat on Euronext settled up 1.25 euro or 0.6 percent at 201.25 euros ($231.84) a tonne, after hitting a one-week high of 203.25 euros. Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor watchdog said late on Tuesday that 30 grain loading points in two export regions could be suspended for up to 90 days due to violations of phytosanitary rules, pushing US futures higher.

Soy, corn ease in technical setback; eye on midwest rains

US soybean futures eased on Wednesday in a technical selling setback following two days of gains despite concerns that rainy weather in parts of the Midwest would delay harvesting and possibly damage some crops. Corn futures were little changed as technical selling largely offset support from strong demand and potential harvest delays. Wheat prices drifted lower with corn and soybeans after rallying more than 2 percent a day earlier on worries about tightening global supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans dropped 2-1/2 cents to $8.63-1/2 per bushel at 11:50 a.m. CDT (1650 GMT), while December corn shed 1/4 cent to $3.67-1/4 a bushel. Both contracts hovered near their 50-day moving averages after closing at or above the key technical level on Tuesday for the first time since mid-August.

Brazil political uncertainty drives down coffee price

Coffee prices are languishing at 12-year lows, dragged down by the weakness in the Brazilian real. The Latin American country is the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee, and selling pressure on the futures price in New York has intensified alongside the real as Brazilians prepare to vote next month in the hotly contested presidential elections.

In addition to the emerging market rout, pessimism over continued fiscal reforms in Brazil by a new government and declining consumer confidence has been depressing the real by more than 20 per cent since the start of the year to R$4.2 against the dollar.

Zinc hits near three-month high as Shanghai supplies shrink

Zinc hit its highest in nearly two months on Tuesday on falling stockpiles and rising Chinese premiums, but gains were capped by signs that growth in top metals consumer China is cooling. Zinc inventories in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses are at more than decade lows and premiums – or surcharges for physical metal – in Shanghai of above $200 a tonne have hit their highest since November 2013, according to Bank of China International (BOCI). Three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange closed up 0.3 percent at $2,665 a tonne after hitting its highest since early July at $2,728. LME zinc has risen around 16 percent since mid-September.

Milk production growth could impact dairy prices

The strong start to the New Zealand dairy season is starting to weigh on prices, analysts said. At yesterday’s Global Dairy Trade auction, prices overall fell by 1.9 per cent, led by a sharp fall in the price of fats. Anhydrous milk fat prices were down 4.4 per cent and butter prices dropped by 5.9 per cent. Whole milk power prices, which have the greatest bearing on Fonterra’s farmgate milk price, fell by 1.2 per cent to US$2753 a tonne, and have lost 14 per cent since the start of the season.

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