Commodities from oil to precious metals showed their strength Wednesday, April 18, pushing higher across the board.
While gold futures for June delivery were up 0.34% to $1,354.10 per ounce, other metals were rallying harder. Silver futures for May delivery gained 2.61% to $17.23 per ounce. Copper futures for July delivery soared 2.37% to $317.65 per pound. Platinum spot prices jumped 0.95% to $945.96 per ounce.
Aluminum surged, as London-listed futures rallied to their strongest level since 2011 early Wednesday. Aluminum futures gained 0.25% to $2,405 per metric ton. The rapid price gain came in tandem with increased trader concern over supply following U.S. sanctions on Russian aluminum producer Rusal. Prices have gained more than 20% since the sanctions were announced earlier this month.
Energy commodities also surged Wednesday as the possibility of supply disruptions amid an unstable Middle Eastern political scene worried traders. The move this weekend by U.S., U.K. and French allies to launch an air strike on Syria raised concerns that access to crude supplies in the region might be interrupted.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May delivery jumped 2.07% to $67.90 per barrel Wednesday to their highest price since December 2014. The midday rally came after the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly report showed an unexpected reduction in crude inventories. Also Wednesday, Brent crude oil futures for June delivery rose 1.79% to $72.86 per barrel.
Other energy products including gasoline, natural gas and heating oil were also higher Wednesday.
The CRB Commodity Index, a key measure of commodity prices, reached its highest level in more than two years Wednesday, up more than 1% to 201.88 at midday. The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG) gained 1.58% to $17.34.
Energy stocks were also higher Wednesday with the sector leading the S&P 500 in midday action.
Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) rallied 6.4%, Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) jumped 4.4%, Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) gained 5.7%, Action Alerts PLUS holding Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC) increased 4.1% and Apache Corp. (APA) pushed higher 3.5%.