Oil, Copper Advance

Oil, copper and corn rose after President-elect Barack Obama pledged the biggest U.S. public works program in about 50 years to revive the economy.

Commodities rebounded from last week’s losses on speculation spending on roads, bridges and repairing school buildings will boost raw material demand and engineer a recovery in the world’s largest economy. Obama said that his economic plan would create or preserve more than 2.5 million jobs.

Oil for January delivery rose for the first time in seven days, gaining as much as 6.5 percent to $43.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $43 at 12:21 p.m. London time. Copper futures rose as much as 7.3 percent in London, while corn advanced 4.4 percent.

Libya’s top oil official, Shokri Ghanem, said today OPEC should make a substantial” output cut at its meeting next week. State-oil company Saudi Aramco announced today it will reduce crude oil supplies to Japan in January for a second month as the world’s largest oil exporter complies with the cut members agreed last month.

Oil fell the most since 1991 and metal prices slumped last week after economic data showed the recession is getting worse. The U.S. economy lost 533,000 jobs in November, the most since 1950 bar two months when the decline was inflated by a strike or natural disaster.

Copper for March delivery rose for the first time in eight days, reaching a high of $3,274 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. It traded at $3,250 a ton at 12:15 p.m. London time. Corn futures for December delivery rose to $3.0650 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Brent crude oil for January settlement rose as much as $2.64, or 6.6 percent, to $42.28 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It traded at $41.87 at 12:17 a.m. local time.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumps more than 40 percent of the world’s oil and cut daily output 1.5 million barrels in October as prices slumped and inventories rose. Chakib Khelil, OPEC president, said on Dec. 6 that the group may make a severe” reduction in production to stem the 70 percent decline in prices from July’s record.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
12/8/2008 5:23:55 AM