G. Chandrashekhar

Mumbai, Oct. 2

The international metals market showed signs of revival on Monday, after softening last Friday with the exception of copper and nickel. Gold in particular gave up some of the gains it made earlier in the week to end lower than $600 an ounce on Friday, weighed down by a firmer dollar and easing crude prices.

However, on Monday, the yellow metal picked up in line with base metals, and was trading above $600/oz in London. CFTC data showed net speculative length in gold continuing to trend lower with the non-commercial net long position in Comex gold futures falling.

ECB data, a key event

Over the next few days, the key event would be the release of the ECB weekly statement on Wednesday. This is likely to show gold sales for the week ended September 29, which is expected to show how much gold the central banks disposed of at the end of the agreement year.

It is widely expected that the European central banks have indeed completed the sales of the 500 tonnes annual quota.

Most likely, this augmentation of supply lent a softening tendency to the yellow metal in recent days in addition to reduced geopolitical concerns and reduced inflation fears.

The Indian market, which was closed on Monday on account of Dasara holiday, is expected to open on a slightly firmer note on Tuesday after taking a cue from New York prices.

Among base metals, copper continued to maintain its steadily rising trend, trading at $7,575 a tonne in early trades in the London market. Chinese market participants were largely absent because of holidays.

CFTC data for the week ended September 26 showed that speculators reduced their net short exposure to Comex copper primarily on the back of establishment of fresh long positions.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 3, 2006)
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