Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Oil settles above $90, copper rises

chart_ws_commodity_energy_oil.top.pngClick chart for more on commodities By Laurie Segall, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices passed the $90 a barrel mark on Wednesday after news that the nation's crude oil supply fell more than expected last week. They settled at about $90.48 a barrel.

Crude inventories fell by a higher-than-expected 5.3 million barrels from the week prior. Analysts surveyed by energy research firm Platts had expected the stockpile to fall by 2.4 million barrels.

Oil prices haven't settled above $90 a barrel since October of 2008.

Copper prices also hovered near record highs. The metal is up nearly 30% this year.

Copper prices, unlike prices of precious metals, usually move up and down in line with economic growth. Spikes in silver and gold often are more tied to inflation concerns than actual demand for those metals.

Wednesday's spike in copper was due to a disruption of shipping from the world's third largest copper mine, as well as expectations of rising investment demand, said Catherine Virga, director of research at CPM Group.

Copper is an important commodity for China. "It's a building block for the development we are seeing in China," Virga said. "It's used to build out their electrical grid."

Virga says copper plays a part in broader-based industrial expansion, rather than solely consumer goods. China's economy consumes around 35% to 40% of the world's annual copper output.

A report in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that a single trader owned 80%-90% of copper at the London Metal Exchange Warehouse also factored in to the rising prices.

"We're likely seeing that had some effect on the market because demand elsewhere is pretty soft," Virga said.  To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.97%4.04%
15 yr fixed3.15%3.20%
5/1 ARM3.33%3.37%
30 yr refi3.99%4.08%
15 yr refi3.17%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 19,756.85 142.04 0.72%
Nasdaq 5,444.50 27.14 0.50%
S&P 500 2,259.53 13.34 0.59%
Treasuries 2.46 0.08 3.23%
Data as of 4:46pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 23.09 0.14 0.61%
Ford Motor Co 13.17 0.14 1.07%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 7.72 0.12 1.58%
Twenty-First Century... 28.21 -0.43 -1.50%
Apple Inc 113.95 1.83 1.63%
Data as of 4:15pm ET

Sections

The public spat between Donald Trump and Boeing, the maker of Air Force One, represents an unusual rift between two historically friendly American institutions?but the tension goes deeper than a tweet about a pair of presidential jets. More

Republican leaders keep saying Obamacare is hurting the economy and killing jobs, but there's scant evidence for it. In fact, a number of studies show that the economy has been growing. More

"Wow." That's former CIA director General Michael Hayden's reaction to President-elect Trump's refusal to believe that Russia hacked the American election. More

The Los Angeles city attorney is suing four major retailers over claims that they deliberately inflated the original price on some items that misled customers into thinking they were getting a better deal. More