Crude oil is quietly climbing higher: it was $85 mid-December and is now almost $97.
According to the Financial Times, “a mysterious white substance is being smuggled over the border from Vietnam to China in growing quantities.” Of course this substance is a staple of modern Western society and something increasingly in demand in China and other emerging markets.
Iron ore exports from Brazil and Australia fell 28% and 8% respectively in November. Spot prices are at a six week low and pressured to shrink for the rest of the year thanks to flaccid Chinese demand.
Russia’s state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom (OGZPY, quote) will take over natural gas trading and storage businesses it jointly owns with the world’s largest chemical company, Germany’s BASF (BASFY, quote), as part of an asset swap meant to avoid further winter supply disruptions to Europe that have occurred in recent years.
Fears of a deepening slowdown in China and uncertainty surrounding Spain’s formal request for a sovereign debt bailout has sent copper prices to their lowest level in nearly a month and half.
WTI crude oil price continues to trade slightly higher in the $2.07 range on the first session of the fourth quarter. Price has been holding on positive comments from European Union Commissioner Olli Rehn about the Spanish banking system’s stress tests, suggesting the euro zone debt crisis could be contained.