Commodities mixed after OPEC leaves output alone

AP News
Posted: Jun 08, 2011 3:55 PM
Commodities mixed after OPEC leaves output alone

Commodity prices were mixed Wednesday as concerns about the pace of global economic growth were offset by a surprise decision from OPEC countries to leave oil production levels the same. Investors had been expecting production increases.

Oil and other energy products rose after the news. Most metals fell. Wheat, corn and soybeans settled higher.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries debated whether to increase production to ease concerns that crude oil has become too expensive. OPEC members deadlocked on the issue and left production at current levels, which pushed oil prices higher.

Benchmark oil for July delivery rose $1.65 to settle at $100.74 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after reaching $101.89 earlier in the day.

Investors have speculated about whether global demand for oil, metals and agricultural products will fall as consumers pull back on spending because of higher prices for gas and food.

Gold for August delivery fell $5.30 to settle at $1,538.70 an ounce.

In July contracts, silver fell 42.6 cents to settle at $36.62 an ounce, copper fell 4.1 cents to $4.1085 a pound and platinum gained 50 cents to $1,831.20 an ounce. September palladium dropped $3.80 to settle at $805.70 an ounce.

Wheat, corn and soybeans all rose ahead of a key U.S. Agriculture Department report due Thursday that will provide updated estimates for global supply and demand.

Barclays Capital analysts said investors will watch for any revisions in stockpiles of corn and grain because of recent bad weather conditions that have affected the crops.

Corn also benefited from optimism about prospects for demand for ethanol in the wake of OPEC's decision, said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting LLC.

In contracts for July delivery, wheat rose 14.25 cents to settle at $7.48 a bushel, corn gained 27.5 cents to $7.64 a bushel and soybeans rose 7.5 cents to $14.015 a bushel.

In other Nymex contracts, heating oil rose 1.67 cents to settle at $3.0937 per gallon, gasoline fell 1.32 cents to $2.9787 per gallon and natural gas gained 1.6 cents to $4.847 per 1,000 cubic feet.