Oil traded near a two-week low in New York as the risk of a debt downgrade in Europe countered forecasts that crude stockpiles dropped in the U.S.
Crude for January delivery was at $97.78 a barrel, up 1 cent, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:41 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract slid $1.64 to $97.77, the lowest settlement since Nov. 25. Prices are 7 percent higher this year after rising 15 percent in 2010.
High-sulfur fuel oil swaps for January climbed $1.50, or 0.2 percent, to $638.75 a metric ton at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. Prices lost 3.5 percent over the previous two days.
Fuel oil’s discount to Asian marker Dubai crude narrowed 47 cents to $5.80 a barrel, based on PVM data. The gap yesterday was the widest since September, indicating losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.
The three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.5 percent to $7,567.25 a metric ton and traded at $7,579 at 4:41 p.m. Tokyo time. The metal dropped as much as 3.2 percent yesterday, the biggest decline in three weeks. The March-delivery contract slumped 0.6 percent to $3.4435 per pound on the Comex in New York.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, LIVESTOCK
Soybeans for delivery in January fell 0.2 percent to $11.095 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 4:04 p.m. Singapore time, erasing an earlier gain of 0.5 percent. Corn for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $5.9275 a bushel, after rising as much as 0.4 percent. Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $5.9375 a bushel after rising as much as 0.5 percent.
Immediate-delivery gold lost as much as 0.9 percent to $1,650.93 an ounce, the lowest level since Oct. 25, and traded at $1,655.40 at 1:43 p.m. in Singapore. February-delivery bullion declined 0.6 percent to $1,658.40 on the Comex.
Cotton futures for March delivery dropped 3.6 percent to settle at 87.16 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York yesterday, the fourth straight decline. The fiber has plunged 40 percent this year. Orange-juice futures for January delivery slid 2.2 percent to $1.6625 a pound on ICE, after touching $1.635, the lowest level since Oct. 18.
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