At 06:00 SAST today, Brent crude oil rose 0.6% to trade at $114.49/bl. Yesterday, Brent crude oil fell 1.0% to settle at $113.83/bl, amid uncertainty about the Italian election results. Additionally, markets remain on the sidelines ahead of 1 March 2013 deadline for US lawmakers to reach a deal to avert automatic spending cuts. Moreover, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, expressed hopes of achieving a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme, as the nation resumes talks with the US and its partners to seek a long-term agreement in exchange of lifting sanctions.

Yesterday, corn spot prices rose 0.6% to $7.02/bushel.

At 06:00 SAST today, gold prices advanced 0.2% to trade at $1,596.85/oz. Yesterday, gold gained 0.8% to close at $1,593.50/oz, as conflicting early forecasts of the Italian election raised fears of a divided Parliament.

Yesterday, copper rose 0.5% to close at $7,811.50/mt. Meanwhile, data indicated that China’s refined copper imports declined in January, while copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the London Metal Exchange climbed to the highest level in almost 16 months. Aluminium closed 0.6% lower at $1,993.25/mt.

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