Gold and WTI crude prices spiked during the week after the crisis in Yemen intensified as Saudi Arabia began military incursions against Houthi rebels who had overtaken much of the country in recent months and removed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power. Saudi Arabia has a long history of political influence over its southern neighbour, determined to keep a Saudi friendly regime in power. Meanwhile the Houthi rebels are mostly Shi’ite Muslims and are closely linked to Shi’ite-led Iran. The escalating conflict spooked markets which sent gold higher, breaking the $1,200 per ounce for the first time in three weeks before finishing at $1,199 per ounce. Oil followed a similar trend on concerns over restricted supply, with WTI crude breaking the $52 per barrel level, then retreating as supply concerns eased and speculation that a U.S.-backed nuclear deal would be struck with Iran drew closer. WTI crude finished at $48.36 per barrel on Friday. In precious metals, silver (up 1.3%) finished at $16.95 per ounce, while platinum (down 0.1%) and palladium (down 4.7%) finished at $1,137 and $742 per ounce respectively. In base metals, copper (up 1%), nickel (down 7.4%), lead (up 2%) and zinc (up 0.7%) all finished at $2.76, $6.00, $0.83 and $0.94 per pound respectively. Premium Low Vol metallurgical coal crashed below the $100 per tonne FOB (Aus) mark during the week, finishing at $96.15 per tonne, while the UxC Broker Average Price (BAP) of uranium finished at $39.38 per pound, up 0.3% for the week.
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