Commodities ravaged as traders flee risk

Times Online – Surging fears of Armageddon in the global financial system ravaged a wide selection of commodities across Asia as groups ranging from hedge funds to day traders spent the day in a headlong flight from risk.

The shock waves from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers reverberated through markets for vegetable oil, soy beans, rubber and industrial metals as confidence in the financial system faltered, global growth prospects dimmed and cash became king.

Broad baskets of commodities — once seen by speculators as a sure-fire bet because of China and India’s apparently unstoppable growth — were sold, with food and metals tracking the sharp declines in crude oil.

Dealing floors in Asia descended into mayhem as analysts forecast a period where commodity markets were effectively “frozen” by a sudden drought of fresh capital.

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