Gold, corn and tin hit record highs on Monday, silver price touched its highest in 31 years, lead price hit a three-year peak and U.S. crude oil price was at its strongest in 2-1/2 years as investors sought protection from inflation and fretted about supply, WSJ informs. After rallying to a record high of USD 1,476.21 an ounce in early trade, spot gold eased back to USD 1,474.90, up USD 2.20 on the day, while silver traded 5 cents short of its 31-year peak at USD 41.93 struck earlier. This week, perhaps, the focus could be on whether the Federal Reserve actually indicates to the market whether they will be exiting their loose monetary policy, and whether they display any hawkish signals.
In its turn, corn price hits the highest level in nearly three years Monday, 24.25 cents, or 3.3 pc, to USD 7.6025 a bushel, on expectations that supplies will remain tight even if a bountiful crop is produced this summer, according to BBC News. In the summer of 2008, storms and flooding raised concerns about crop damage. Corn’s rally began Thursday after the government released two reports that indicated corn supplies likely will remain short even though farmers plan to plant 92.2 million acres this year, up 5 percent from a year ago. The price of corn has increased about 21 percent this year and is more than double what it was at the start of April 2010. Analysts expect the price to continue to climb because of shrinking supplies and steady global demand.
Wheat prices rose as investors speculated that producers may use it instead of corn to feed livestock. There are also ongoing concerns about how much damage dry weather has done to the winter wheat crop in southwest Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas. Wheat for May delivery added 30.5 cents, or 4 percent, to settle at USD 7.90 a bushel while soybeans fell 9.75 cents to USD 13.84 a bushel.
Oil prices hit a 30-month high as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa renewed concerns about the flow of oil from the region. Libya’s exports have been shut down by the fighting between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government rebels. Analysts don’t expect the country to ship much oil for at least the next several months. Libya supplied about 2 percent of the world’s oil supplies, most of which went to Europe. Benchmark crude for May delivery gained 53 cents to settle at USD 108.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, the contract reached USD 108.78 per barrel, which was the highest price since September 2008.
In other Nymex contracts for May, heating oil added 3.69 cents to settle at USD 3.1714 per gallon, gasoline gained 1.75 cents to settle at USD 3.1688 per gallon and natural gas fell 7.3 cents to settle at USD 4.289 per 1,000 cubic feet.