Markets: Oil and sugar leads commodities higher

Crude oil prices rose on Friday while gold held above the $950 mark and concerns about supply problems continued to support sugar prices as commodity markets headed for a strong finish to the trading week.

In energy markets, Nymex September West Texas Intermediate rose 5 cents to $67.22 a barrel. Weak US demand conditions, apparent in the weekly inventories data that were released on Wednesday, weighed on WTI, which traded at a substantial discount of more than $2.20 to Brent.

ICE September Brent pushed towards the $70 a barrel mark, rising 20 cents to $69.45 a barrel.

Dollar weakness bolstered gold which gold held above the $950 level at $950.80, after slipping to $947.15 at the close of trading in New York Thursday.

Traders cautioned that gold could encounter resistance above the $950 level as rising prices have attracted more selling of gold scrap while physical buying interest from jewellery makers has subsided and investor inflows into gold exchange traded funds have been subdued.

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