January crude oil (COMEX:CLF14) closed at $96.60 per barrel, down 90c on profit taking after recent gains as the data showed larger than expected U.S. gasoline and distillate stock numbers on Wednesday. The U.S. energy Information Administration also reported on Wednesday a decline of 10.6 million barrels of crude as of last week. Expectation of a possible resumption of exports from Libya weighed on prices. We remain bearish for crude going forward.
March copper (COMEX:HGH14) closed at $3.3100, up 1.45c on continued short covering after technically forming a base. We moved from bearish to neutral weeks ago and continue to expect prices to remain in a range barring any production changes from major producers like Chile.
February gold (COMEX:GCG14) closed at $1,234.60 per ounce, up $9.70 and for the week managed a slight gain of 0.5%. Gold lost $30 an ounce on Thursday on concerns that the U.S. Federal reserve may taper its monetary stimulus program this coming week. We remain on the sidelines but for those who must have a precious metal in their portfolio, we prefer silver (COMEX:SIG14), which closed at $19.60 per ounce on Friday, up 15c after a drop of 4.4% on Thursday. January platinum (NYMEX:PLF14) lost $1.50 to close at $1,362.90 per ounce while March palladium (NYMEX:PAH14) lost $4.05 to close at $716.20 per ounce.