Oil Falls as European Equities Decline on Economy Worries, Gold Hits Record High as Safe Haven


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Oil is falling in early morning trade as European equities slump and the euro continued to slide. Concerns about the spillover effect of Europe's sovereign debt crisis, coupled with worries about the U.S. economic recovery not being as strong as once expected, are weighing down industrial commodity prices in general.

Gold, on the other hand, is bouncing back up again and reached a record high in European trade as its attraction as a safe haven asset particularly compared to the foreign exchange market.

At 0800 ET, Brent crude is 0.3% lower at $71.94 a barrel, while light sweet crude is up 0.2% at $71.57 a barrel, and natural gas is flat at $4.92 a million British thermal units.

Gold is up 0.7% at $1,249.30 an ounce, while silver is up 1.1% at $18.36 an ounce, and copper is 0.4% lower at $2.75 a pound.

BP plc ( BP ) is facing even greater scrutiny than before as it continues to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. President Barack Obama said in a NBC television interview that he wants to know "whose ass to kick" in dealing with one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. Obama also said that BP's CEO Tony Hayward would have been fired by now had Hayward been working for him.

In Malaysia, ConocoPhilllips Co. ( COP ) is in talks with Petronas to expand its upstream sector in the country, according to Reuters.

In the metals market, German steel group Salzgitter ( SZGG ) is seen to miss its earnings target for the steel sector this year, according to CEO Wolfgang Leese. He told shareholders that the company's break even target for its key business operation was "still within reach, but more unlikely" to be realized.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: BP , COP , SZGG

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