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Chinese commodity prices poised to tumble in post-Spring Festival trading

By Michael Bellart in Shanghai (Global Times)

08:21, February 18, 2013

Chinese commodity futures are positioned to fall Monday when the markets reopen following a broad drop in prices on international markets over the week-long holiday.

The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, which tracks prices across 19 commodity markets across the globe, fell about 1 percent last week, Reuters reported Friday.

The losses were especially heavy in the precious metals and crude oil markets.

The most traded Comex gold contract fell about 1.6 percent Friday to settle the week down about 3.5 percent at $1,609.50 per ounce. The March silver contract lost 1.6 percent Friday to finish the week down about 5 percent at $29.85 per ounce.

The March Nymex crude oil contract rose 1.5 percent Friday to settle at $95.86 per barrel, erasing most of the contract's gains for the week.

Precious metal prices fell on a strengthening US dollar. The US Dollar Index, which weighs the greenback against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.05 percent Friday, but had jumped about 1.6 percent over the previous two weeks.

Crude oil and other commodity prices fell after US industrial production slipped 0.1 percent in January. Economists had expected output to rise again in January after a modest increase in December, Reuters reported.

The benchmark three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange added about 0.4 percent Friday to finish at $8,240 per ton.

The Chinese mainland financial markets were closed all of last week for the Spring Festival holidays that last from February 9 to 15.

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