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 fixed3.93%3.86%
15 yr fixed2.99%3.02%
5/1 ARM3.26%3.20%
30 yr refi3.98%3.92%
15 yr refi3.05%3.06%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,812.19 19.51 0.11%
Nasdaq 5,102.81 0.33 0.01%
S&P 500 2,089.14 2.55 0.12%
Treasuries 2.24 -0.01 -0.31%
Data as of 11:34pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 30.66 0.07 0.23%
Pfizer Inc 31.97 0.64 2.04%
Bank of America Corp... 17.47 0.00 0.00%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.30 0.30 3.75%
Synchrony Financial 31.34 -0.21 -0.67%
Data as of 4:00pm ET


The financial deck appears to be stacked against blacks and Hispanics in America. They earn considerably less. They are more likely to be unemployed or in poverty and they are less likely to own a home. Yet despite all this, blacks and Hispanics are far more optimistic about being able to live the American Dream these days than whites. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

Your new credit card might be safer, but it could lead to more headaches at the check-out line this holiday season. More