Commodities: Crude recovers as Sandy nears US coast



LONDON (ShareCast) - Crude oil futures registered a modest gain on Friday amid jitters about Hurricane Sandy and after better-than-expected US growth data.

Crude oil for December delivery climbed 23 cents to settle at $86.28 a barrel, after spending most of the session trading in negative territory. Crude posted a weekly loss of 4 per cent.

US gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualised rate of 2% during the third-quarter, beating the previous quarter's reading of a 1.3% increase, figures form the US Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. The data also came in ahead of market estimates of 1.9% growth.

Crude futures however settled the week down 4% on persistent concern about weak demand and surplus US stockpiles. Some disappointing earnings from big guns Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) and (NasdaqGS: AMZN - news) on Thursday weighed on buyer appetite at the end of the week.

Meanwhile US President Barack Obama warned Americans to take Hurricane Sandy seriously. Described as the worst storm in 100 years, it is expected to reach the east coast of America by Monday evening. States of emergency have been declared in New York (Frankfurt: A0DKRK - news) , Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

On the ICE futures exchange December Brent advanced $1.06 a barrel to $109.55 a barrel after upbeat US growth data and on concern that Hurricane Sandy will disrupt US East Coast refinery operations. For the week Brent recorded a weekly loss.

Among precious metals gold logged its third weekly decline on Friday, despite the previous session's gains, as traders mulled economic data from the US and Spain. While US growth came in stronger than expected, Spain's unemployment rate hit a record high in the third quarter.

Gold for December delivery lost $1.10 to settle at $1,711.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange but ended the week 0.7% lower.

December silver fell 4 cents to settle at $32.04 an ounce while December palladium dropped $9.10 to $595.40 an ounce. Platinum for January delivery settled down $22.80 at $1,546 an ounce.