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Local commodity market plunges on broad selling
August, 18th 2009

Tracking the equity markets, the local commodity markets witnessed a broad-based sell-off on Monday, with farm and non-farm counters registering intraday declines of 1-4%. Agri commodities also came under pressure on IMD (India Meteorological Department) forecast of rains over the next few days in the north-east, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Bihar.

According to analysts, the sell-off was triggered by clients rushing to meet mark-to-market margin calls in the equities space. In line with the fall in stocks across the globe, the Sensex closed down over 4% at 14,784.92 on Monday.

Said Debjyoti Chatterjee from Admisi Commodities: I dont expect the losses of Monday being extended in a major way in forthcoming sessions though a further correction cannot be ruled out. However, this will be tempered by buying at lower levels.

According to Ajeet Kumar from SMC global securities, base metal prices could come under pressure in the near term due to a firm dollar and economic uncertainty. Agri commodities are likely to be influenced by international sentiment, progress of the monsoon and government actions to curb prices, he added.

At the time of going to Press, crude for September delivery on Nymex was down 2.25% from Fridays close at $65.99 per barrel level. Spot gold was down by 1.2% at $936.9 an ounce (31.10 gm) in London. On Bursa Malaysia Derivatives (BMD) exchange, crude palm oil fell as much as 4.6%. The benchmark November contract on the BMD ended Malaysian Ringgits (MYR) 102 down at 2,335 a tonne.

On LME at 5 pm locally, copper was down 3% at $6,056 per tonne, while nickel had shed 3.8% at $18,800 per tonne and tin traded 4.6% down at $13,925 per tonne. Similarly, on local bourse MCX, gold was trading 0.3% down at Rs 14,852 per 10 gm, silver 2.6% down at Rs 23,098 per kg, while crude oil September contract traded 1.4% down at Rs 3,334 per barrel. Base metals such as copper, nickel and zinc were down by 1.5% each.

The IMD forecast supported the fall on farm counters. Soyabean September contract on NCDEX fell by 2.5% at Rs 2,299 per quintal and soya refined oil contract closed 1.6% down at Rs 470 per 10 kg.

Among spices, chilli fell by 4% with the October contract on NCDEX closing at Rs 5,854 per quintal, while jeera September contract closed 1.6% down at Rs 11,587 per quintal. Wheat, mentha oil and chana also fell by approximately 1%.

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