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Commodities Markets Summary – Oil Down, Gold Up, Other Metals Low

Oil tumbled after a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed the American nation's supply of oil and gasoline suddenly surged by 1.3 million barrels last week.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 79 cents, closing the day at $100.49 per barrel in New York.

Brent crude, used to price foreign oil imported by U.S. refineries, lost $1.23 to close at $US109.28 in London.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the continued waning demand for oil-based fuels in the U.S. is pushing supply inventories to grow higher. Government forecast domestic gasoline demand could reach its lowest level this year since 2003.

Oil has been lingering at $100 per barrel for more than a week.

Gasoline supplies grew more than expected, adding 5.1 million barrels for the week ended December 2.

Calls for international sanctions against Iran, the world's third-largest oil exporter, from accusations it is developing nuclear weapons could disrupt its oil trade, as well as suppress global oil supplies regardless if other OPEC members boost total exports of the commodity.

World oil supplies will struggle to keep up with growing global consumer demand by the second half of 2012, even with Iran's oil included, experts forecast, forcing major oil importing nations to dip into stockpiles.

Meanwhile, prices of palladium soared to its highest level in nearly three months spurred by expectations that new car demand will continue to improve.

Palladium for March delivery jumped $14.55 to close at $685.45 an ounce. Though it has risen 20 per cent in the last eight trading sessions, prices of palladium remain down by 14.7 per cent for the year.

According to Autodata Corp., the automobile industry sales in the U.S. grew in November by 14 per cent. With this, car makers expect sales to continue to improve as those who delayed acquisitions during the recession opt to buy a new car or truck in the coming months.

Initial reports from China likewise showed strong November auto sales, Barclays Capital analysts said.

Metals were mostly lower.

Gold for February delivery grew $13 to close at $1,744.80 an ounce.

March silver plummeted $11.7 cents to finish at $32.627 an ounce, March copper dropped $1.95 cents to $3.556 a pound and January platinum tumbled $2 to $US1,522 an ounce.

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


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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