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Oil sinks on Iran’s nuclear deal, gold dives on dollar

Oil sank this week after a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and Western powers that would allow Iranian crude to flow back into the already saturated global market.

Many other commodities took a heavy knock from the rebounding US dollar, with precious metal gold striking a five-year low point.

The greenback rallied on news of rising US inflation and after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed an interest rate hike by year-end.

Greece’s latest bailout deal also buoyed the US unit, making many dollar-priced commodities less attractive to buyers using other currencies.

OIL: Crude oil prices fell heavily after key crude producer Iran’s nuclear energy agreement with major world powers.

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US clinched a historic deal on Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran’s stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West.

Reached on day 18 of marathon talks in Vienna, the accord is aimed at resolving a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions after repeated diplomatic failures and threats of military action.

The deal puts strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least a decade and calls for stringent UN oversight, with world powers hoping that this will make any dash to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible.

In return, painful international sanctions that have slashed the oil exports of OPEC’s fifth-largest producer and choked its economy will be lifted and billions of dollars in frozen assets unblocked.

However, analysts said that it will take time for additional Iranian oil to hit markets.

Elsewhere, fears over the Greek debt crisis abated after Athens secured its third international bailout deal with creditors.

Greece’s membership of the eurozone in the balance.

By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for September delivery fell to US$56.74 per barrel from US$58.68 a week earlier for the August contract. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for August dropped to US$50.34 a barrel from US$52.74 a barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS: Gold dived to US$1,131.20 per ounce on Friday, striking a level last witnessed on April 6, 2010, as rising US inflation cemented expectations of an interest rate hike and pushed the dollar higher.

Platinum slid to a six-year nadir at US$999.95 and sister metal palladium forged a three-year low at US$616.65.

US consumer prices rose broadly in June, bringing the annual inflation rate back into positive territory, official data showed.

By Friday on the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to US$1,132.80 an ounce from US$1,159.30 a week earlier.

Silver fell to US$15.01 an ounce from US$15.45.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum tumbled to US$998 an ounce from US$1,032.

Palladium slumped to US$621 an ounce from US$655.

BASE METALS: Prices mostly rallied as dealers mulled bright economic growth data in leading base metals consumer China, but gains were then impacted by the rising dollar.

“The upswing enjoyed by metal prices on the back of better than expected Chinese data was brought to a halt … by the firmer US dollar,” Commerzbank analysts said in a research note to clients.

China’s GDP expanded 7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, official data showed on Wednesday, beating expectations as central bank policy stimulus helped support the world’s second-largest economy.

The GDP figure announced by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics matched the 7 percent expansion in the first three months of this year, and exceeded the median forecast of 6.9 percent in an Agence France-Presse survey of 14 economists.

By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell to US$5,507 a tonne from US$5,770.50 a week earlier.

Three-month aluminum increased to US$1,707.50 a tonne from US$1,690.50.

Three-month lead rose to US$1,835 a tonne from US$1,794.50.

Three-month tin soared to US$15,675 a tonne from US$13,975.

Three-month nickel climbed to US$11,465 a tonne from US$11,275.

Three-month zinc advanced to US$2,074 a tonne from US$2,005.50.

Source: AFP

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