Commodities enjoy best year since 1973

COMMODITY markets have enjoyed their strongest year since 1973, lifted by oil's biggest annual gains in a decade and a more than doubling of copper and sugar prices.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB index is expected to reveal an overall 24 per cent rally in 2009. Gold has recorded its ninth increase in as many years, white sugar touched record highs in the closing days of 2009 and cocoa racked up its fourth annual rise. Analysts said 2010 would see less influence from the dollar.