Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Commodity Prices Rise to 24-Year High

Commodity prices surged to a 24-year high, led by gains in copper and crude oil, on concern that global economic growth is eroding inventories of raw materials faster than supplies can be replenished.

Copper reached a 16-year high, and oil rose near an all-time high in New York, extending the rally in the Reuters-CRB Index of 17 commodities to the highest since January 1981. The index gained 7.1 percent in February, the most in any month since August 1983.

The Reuters-CRB Index rose 2.79 to 312.16 at 11:45 a.m. in Chicago, the eighth straight gain. Commodity prices are up 15 percent in the past year, in part because of rising demand and a decline in the dollar, which makes commodities priced in the U.S. currency cheaper for buyers using the euro or yen.

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