Gold hits fresh all-time high

Un artículo acerca del mercado del oro.  La página del oro de The Financial Times  ( tambièn es muy buena

The Financial Times, January 29 2008

By Javier Blas in London

Gold prices on Tuesday hit their third consecutive fresh all-time high, boosted by ongoing supply disruption in South Africa, the world’s second largest producer, and expectations of further interest rate cuts in the US.Spot gold in London rose to $929.40 a troy ounce, up from $929.20 on Monday, on fresh Asia speculative buying. Physical demand from the jewellery industry was, however, stagnant, precious metal traders said.

Gold prices have surged 45 per cent since January 2006 and platinum prices have risen 33 per cent in the same period.

The precious metals price gains were capped after some mines in South Africa restarted production and more were expected to follow later on the week. The mines halted output last week after the country suffered its worst power shortage in decades.

AngoloGold Ashanti, the world’s third gold mining company, said one of its seven mines in South Africa has already resumed full production and it expected others to restart on Thursday.

But other producers, including Gold Fields and Harmony and Anglo Platinum, the world’s top producer of the metal, said they were still carrying out essential maintenance, such as pumping out water from deep mines, and were unsure when production would restart.

Anglo American, the largest mining company in South Africa, said most of its operations, with the exception of coal and iron ore mining, were still shut.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that the current crisis was having an “impact on a number of key metal markets”, adding: “The mining industry’s strategic importance to South Africa’s economic prosperity is well known.”

Mining companies are getting about 75 per cent of their normal electricity consumption, just enough to carry on maintenance works but not to restart some production. Mining executives say they need about 90 per cent to restart output.

In other commodities markets, wheat prices extended gains on strong demand from emerging countries and lower-than-expected US plantations. In Chicago, CBOT March soft wheat rose 12½ cents to $9.75½ a bushel.

Hard wheat, prized by millers and bakers for its high protein content that makes for quality flour, rose much higher. In Kansas City, March winter hard wheat rose 15 cents to $10.15 a bushel while at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange March spring wheat jumped by its 30 cents daily limit to $13.29 a bushel.

CBOT March corn rose 2 ½ cents to $5.04 ¾ a bushel.

Crude oil prices were mixed ahead of the Opec meeting on Friday in Vienna. ICE March Brent moved two higher cents $91.40 a barrel while Nymex March West Texas Intermediate was 11 cents down to $90.88 a barrel.

In early trading on the London Metal Exchange, base metals were higher with copper up 1.0 per cent to $7,155 a tonne. Aluminium rose 0.5 per cent to $2,536 a tonne.



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