Commodities: Oil, Metals Up as China Avoids Rate Hike
Crude oil is up sharply this morning, gaining $1.33 to 89.11 a barrel after Chinese officials held off from raising interest rates to counter inflation. Gold and copper also are surging.
A Chinese government report showing refineries ran at record levels during November also was bullish for oil futures, which on Friday had fallen to its lowest settlement since Dec. 1. The International Energy Agency also increased its global crude- oil demand forecast for next year, citing consumption gains in North America and China.
Gold is up $7 to $1,391.90 an ounce while March Copper is up nearly $0.07 to $4.1790.
In company news, General Electric Co. ( GE ) agreed to buy British oilfield-services provider Wellstream Holding plc for about $1.3 billion.
Airgas Inc. ( ARG ), meanwhile, disclosed over the weekend that its directors are now disagreeing over the minimum price they would accept for the supplier of industrial gases -- breaking from their unanimous front for the first time as the firm weighs outside offers.