Copper near 7-year high as investors regain nerve; gold and oil firm up

prices pushed towards multi-year highs on Wednes­day, as investors spooked by the emergence of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus regained their nerve.

Benchmark on the London Metal Exchange (LME) traded up 0.5 per cent at $7,784.50 a tonne in official rings, nearing Friday’s peak of $8,028, its highest since 2013.

Gold and oil prices, too, inched higher on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump’s threat not to sign the pandemic relief Bill triggered a drop in the dollar.

Spot gold was up 0.77 per cent at $1,876.63 an ounce (8.33 pm IST). Bullion has climbed about 23 per cent so far this year and is poised for its biggest annual gain since 2010 as central banks and governments globally unleashed unmatched stimulus to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis.

Oil prices, too, firmed on Wednesday, but an unexpected rise in US crude oil inventories capped gains.

Brent crude futures were up 58 cents, or 1.16 per cent, to $50.66 a barrel (8.41 pm); WTI crude was trading at $47.66 a barrel, up 0.64 cents, or 1.36 per cent. Both contracts fell nearly $1 earlier in the session, a day after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday that US crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for 3.2 million barrel draw.

“The API set the US glut alarm bells ringing,” Stephen Brennock of oil brokerage PVM said.

The falling US dollar, however, supported prices. A weak greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, such as crude oil, cheaper to holders of other currencies.

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