The year ahead may yet prove a tough time for commodities, but the outlook from the 2012 Mining Indaba is cautiously optimistic, thanks to China.
The price of New York crude oil soared above $126 per barrel on Friday, lifted by speculative demand amid concerns about tight global energy supplies, analysts said. New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, spiked as high as $126,20 in London trading hours.
Runaway oil prices roared higher on Monday to strike a record high $103,95 per barrel as traders reacted to the plunging United States dollar amid expectations that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will hold output this week.
Oil prices hit fresh record highs on Wednesday, with New York crude at $94 per barrel after news that United States crude inventories had slumped last week, traders said. "The market is clearly reacting to the larger-than-expected drop in crude oil inventories," said Citigroup analyst Tim Evans. Over the course of Wednesday, prices rocketed by as much as $4 to $5.
The price of London Brent oil hit another all-time high on Friday on United States storm concerns at the end of a record-breaking week that saw New York crude soar beyond $84 per barrel. The price of Brent North Sea crude for November delivery surged as high as $79,35 per barrel, beating Thursday's record.