WORLD OIL PRICES UP BY 1PC

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

OIL prices rose about one percent on Friday after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, Barclays Bank Zambia has said.

The bank in its daily market uodate said prices however remained on track for a weekly loss on fears that trade disputes would dent global oil demand.

“Brent futures settled 70 cents, or 1.1 percent, higher at US$62.01 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, to close at US$52.51,” said the bank.

The bank also said copper prices fell on Friday after weak manufacturing and investment data from top consumer China reinforced expectations of damage to growth and demand prospects from the protracted U.S.-China trade war.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.6 percent to US$5,822 a tonne in closing open-outcry trading.

Prices of the metal used widely in the power and construction industries has dropped as low as US$5,740 this month to its weakest in five months.

Meanwhile, the Zambian Kwacha remained unchanged against the dollar on Friday helped by low dollar demand offset by decent supply from corporates.

The bank indicated that the Kwacha at 08:30 hours was quoted at K13.05/13.12 per dollar on the bid and offer respectively.

This, the bank said, was similar levels to Thursday’s close and it traded flat throughout the day until closure.

“Near term, the local unit is anticipated to trade in a tight band with demand and supply almost evenly matched,” said the bank.

Elsewhere, the South Africa’s rand held steady on Friday as investors assessed local and international political developments ahead of a long weekend.

Investors were also looking towards the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week to see whether the first of two anticipated interest rate cuts would happen, said Andre Botha, Senior Dealer at Treasury ONE in a morning note.

“At 0618 GMT, the rand traded at 14.8625 versus the dollar, 0.05 percent up from its previous close,” said the bank.

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