Commodity Prices Drop On Fears Of Slowing Economy

May 6, 2011
Originally published on May 6, 2011 6:29 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Investors have been selling off other commodities as well, like coffee - good for those of us who get up early sugar and silver. Theyre also selling silver.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

JIM ZARROLI: On Thursday, the price of virtually every major commodity fell, including copper, cotton, corn and natural gas. Silver prices fell eight percent. Silver had been rising sharply for weeks, but since April 29th, it has fallen 25 percent.

Frank Lesh is a broker at FuturePath Trading.

Mr. FRANK LESH (Broker, FuturePath Trading): A lot of these commodities have been bid up, of course, quite a bit. And we were a really an overbought status - just a little too much too fast in some of these markets.

ZARROLI: Lesh says prices fell, at least in part, because of recent reports suggesting the economy might be slowing down, which would mean less demand for commodities. Also, the head of the European Central Bank made some remarks yesterday suggesting hes not ready to raise interest rates soon - that caused the dollar to strengthen somewhat, and that led to a decline in the price of commodities, many of which are priced in dollars.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.