Commodities ended Thursday trading mixed, with gold up slightly
and crude oil lower as the stock market struggled to keep
Gold for April delivery ended up $3.30, or 0.3%, at $1,127.50 an
ounce at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold advanced as doubts rose about the euro zone's aid plan for
the Greek government amid talk that Greece might resort to help
from the International Monetary Fund.
In other metal futures, silver for May delivery dropped $0.09 to
$17.42 an ounce. Copper for May delivery fell $0.01 to $3.40 a
pound. Platinum for April delivery fell $4.6 to $1,631 an ounce and
palladium for June delivery fell $0.10 to $478.75 an ounce.
Meanwhile, Crude oil for April delivery finished down $0.73, or
0.9%, at $82.20 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil futures remained lower despite U.S. reports showing jobless
claims fell in the latest week and consumer prices were unchanged
Crude-oil futures "are running ahead of fundamentals and remain
disconnected from the physical market," Mike Fitzpatrick, vice
president of energy trading at MF Global, said in a note, quoted by
MarketWatch. "The longing for real value can be the only rational
explanation for rising oil prices."
In energy stocks, shares of ConocoPhillips (
) were down 0.57%, or $0.30, to $52.68.
Russia's No.2 crude producer LUKOIL said it will consider
whether to buy back some of its shares, its chairman said on
Thursday. That comes after reports that ConocoPhillps (
) might halve its stake in the company.
Investors were also looking toward a ConocoPhillps analyst
meeting in New York next week.
Meanwhile, Tesoro Corp. (
) has closed down several units at its refinery in Anacortes,
Washington as boilers have failed to produce the steam needed to
keep operations going. No further details have been provided by the
Tesoro shares were down 0.28%, or $0.04, to $14.18.
In other energy futures, heating oil was down 1.02%, or $2.18,
to $211.77. Natural gas futures was down 4.81%, or $0.20, to
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