SUGAR prices have hit a high this year at 24.87 cents per pound. An increase in demand and export bottlenecks in Brazil could see further rises. Spreadex has a Sugar No 11 October contract at 24.08c -24.18c.

Next stormed ahead yesterday following a fantastic trading update. The jump could be a precursor to further share price gains. Retail stocks have also benefited from some good US sales data this week. Capital CFDs quotes a price of 2,140.9p-2,145.1p.

But the future might not be so rosy – recent results from the sector have shown that inflation is starting to be felt in manufacturing. Dunelm, the furniture manufacturer, is expected to announce that prices will rise and demand will fall in its annual report out today. Cantor Index offers a spread of 398.2p-392.0p.

Silver hit a two-and-a-half-year high yesterday, touching $20.56 an ounce. It has tracked the rise in gold and base metals such as copper, lead, aluminium, zinc and nickel. Since silver also has industrial uses, strong industrial production numbers in India and China have caused the jump. But many spread betters are keeping their stop losses tight since volatility in silver can be more pronounced. ShortsandLongs.com has a daily December spread of $20.39-$20.42.

Having pushed to an all time high this week, there appears to be no end in sight for gold’s upside. Safe haven plays remain popular and as long as uncertainty over the economic outlook – especially in the US – lingers, then this is unlikely to change. American CPI data is due on Friday so a poor reading could spark a jump in the metal. The current IG Index price is $1,267.33-$1,267.83.

Japan intervened in the FX market for the first time in six years to control the yen’s appreciation. The move surprised traders who had thought prime minister Naoto Kan less inclined to intervene. The dollar-yen rally could meet good offers from Japanese exporters who want to hedge their FX risk. Spread Co quotes dollar-yen at ¥85.55-¥85.58.