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Commodities fall as investors cut back on risk

Commodities fall as investors cut back on risk

Commodities mostly fell again Thursday as investors become more averse to risk and as demand for basic materials wanes.
Prices for copper have been especially hard hit by China's efforts to slow down its economy, Kevin Davitt, a senior market analyst at LaSalle Futures Group said. Rapid growth in China has been an important factor in driving up prices for copper and other commodities recently.
Traders are still on edge about President Barack Obama's plans to restrict trading by big banks and China's move to rein in lending and tighten interest rates. China also has increased the amount of money banks must hold in reserve in an effort to avoid inflation and speculative bubbles.
Copper for March delivery fell 12.45 cents, or 3.9 percent, to settle at $3.098 a pound. The contract has fallen 8.7 percent over the past three days.
April gold dipped 90 cents to settle at $1,084.80 an ounce, while March silver fell 22.8 cents to $16.212 an ounce.
Natural gas dropped for the fourth straight day after a new report showed demand has been weaker than expected. The Energy Information Administration said natural gas supplies dropped by 86 billion cubic feet last week, less than analysts expected. Reserves remain above average for this time of year.
The natural gas contract for March delivery gave up 8.6 cents to settle at $5.138 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 3 cents to settle at $73.64 a barrel on the Nymex.
A strengthening dollar is also weighing on commodities. A stronger dollar makes it more expensive for foreign investors to buy commodities. The ICE Futures US dollar index rose 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, sugar rebounded after a two-day slump and orange juice paused in its climb.
Sugar for March delivery rose 0.64 cents, or 2.3 percent, to settle at 29 cents per pound. Sugar had fallen the last two days after touching a 29-year high earlier in the week. Concerns about supply had pushed prices sharply higher over the past six weeks.
Orange juice prices pulled back a bit after a recent run up. The price of March frozen orange juice concentrate contracts fell 2.85 cents to $1.433 a pound.
Frozen orange juice concentrate prices have been volatile all month as freezing temperatures in Florida a few weeks ago have investors concerned about crop destruction. Analysts say the full damage from the cold snap will not be known for a long time, which has added to the price instability.
Grain prices rose. Wheat for March delivery rose 3.25 cents to settle at $4.87 a bushel and corn rose 3.5 cents to $3.6175 a bushel. Soybeans fell 2.75 cents to $9.3175 a bushel.


Updated : 2021-05-08 01:42 GMT+08:00