Oil is up in early morning trade, lifted by a stronger than expected U.S. durable goods orders in August. A rise in Asian equities too is increasing optimism for greater global energy demand.
Gold, meanwhile, continues to nudge up to extend its record highs, exceeding the psychologically critical $1,300 an ounce barrier. While profit-taking is seen keeping a lid on the yellow metal's gain in the near term, many analysts expect gold to continue trending higher amid persisting concerns about economic risks worldwide, especially with demand from India continuing to be strong during the festive season.
At 0750 ET, Brent crude is up 0.2% at $79.04 a barrel, while light sweet crude is up 0.3% at $76.74 a barrel, and natural gas is down 3.3% at $3.75 a million British thermal units. Gold is up 0.2% at $1,300.02 an ounce, while silver is up 0.8% at $21.58 an ounce, and copper is down 0.4% at $3.61 a pound.
Russia's Gazprom OAO (GAZP) signed a deal with privately held China National Petroleum Corp to provide 30 million cubic meters a year of gas to the Chinese group. Deliveries will beginning from the end of 2015, and China is expected to invest in Russia's gas processing facilities as well.
Also in Russia, Lukoil OAO (LKOH) said it got back the 5% stake from ConocoPhillips for $2.4 billion. ConocoPhillips Inc ( COP ) still has another 6.5% shareholder in the company available at $56 a share.
Halliburton Co ( HAL )'s vice president of cementing Thomas Roth said that BP plc's ( BP ) faulty well design was the cause for the explosion that led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as BP workers ignored indications that the well was not sealed properly. Roth was speaking at a National Academies hearing on the oil spill.
In the mining sector, Barrick Gold Corp ( ABX )'s CFO Jamie Sokalsky said that gold can reach above $1,500 next year as "significant new buyers" enter the market, according to Reuters.
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