May 08 - Commodity prices are sharply weaker across the board in late Tuesday trading as worries of lower demand caused by slowing economies in the U.S. and across Europe rattled investors. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Commodity prices are pulling back as worries of slower global growth put a crimp on investor demand across the board. Crude oil prices are down for a fifth day in a row in the U.S. and Europe, with NYMEX crude trading below the $100 mark for the third day running. On the supply side: Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter, says it is pumping oil as fast as it can. But on the demand side: signs of slower economic growth across Europe and the U.S. suggest energy demand will drop-off. Industrial metals like copper also caught up in the sell-off, heading lower for the fourth session in five. Copper is a key component in building construction, and there are concerns construction will slow in the U.S. and Europe. And a report out of China this week is expected to show copper imports likely fell for a second consecutive month as demand wanes and supplies build. Douglas Blake of Newbridge Securities: SOUNDBITE: DOUGLAS BLAKE, SENIOR WEALTH MANGER, NEWBRIDGE SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are sort of back to that phase where we are in between stimulus, we are seeing if the market can sort of fight for itself, the economy can stand on its own two feet, and every time we've done that since the Great Recession we've been disappointed." Gold prices are at four-month lows, touching below $1600 for the first time since January. Gold is being pressured by a weaker euro with the single currency facing a questionable future after anti-austerity political backlash in France and Greece. Those jitters are also reverberating around the rest of Wall Street. Conway Gittens, Reuters.