Oil traded at a two-week high in New York, erasing earlier losses. Crude for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose as much as 18 cents to $101.09 a barrel, the highest since Jan. 31, and was at $101.06 at 8:39 a.m. London time. The contract earlier fell as much as 0.5 percent to $100.37.
Natural gas rose as much as 1 percent after trading close to its lowest in almost 10 years.
Singapore gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude oil, a measure of refining profitability from the fuel in Asia, fell 12 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $16.90 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread is at the lowest since Dec. 28. Gasoil, or diesel, swaps for March dropped 70 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $131.50 a barrel.
Singapore fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widened 38 cents, or 10 percent, to $4.10 a barrel, PVM said. The discount is the biggest since Jan. 5.
Gold fell after Moody’s Investors Service cut the ratings of six European nations, strengthening the dollar and curbing demand for alternative investments.
Spot gold dropped as much as 0.4 percent to $1,714.78 an ounce and was at $1,718.57 at 3:52 p.m. in Singapore. Bullion for April delivery fell for a third day, dropping as much as 0.5 percent to $1,716.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York, before trading at $1,717.60. Gold holdings in exchange-traded products rose to 2,390.065 metric tons yesterday, about 0.1 percent, or 2.9 tons, from the Dec. 13 record, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.
Copper declined for a third day after Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries, damping the region’s growth and demand outlook. Zinc, nickel and tin dropped.
Three-month copper fell as much as 0.5 percent to $8,380 a metric ton, and traded at $8,401 by 3:38 p.m. Shanghai time. The contract retreated 3.8 percent in the two days to yesterday. May-delivery lost 0.4 percent to $3.8315 a pound on the Comex.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat for May delivery fell 0.3 percent to $6.445 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 1:12 p.m. in Singapore. The price fell 4.7 percent last week as forecasts for rising world output and stockpiles countered concern that dry weather and freezing temperatures in Eastern Europe may have hurt crops.
May-delivery corn declined 0.5 percent to $6.3975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 3:05 p.m. Singapore time.
The April-delivery contract climbed as much as 0.6 percent to 3,187 ringgit ($1,047) per metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the highest price since Jan. 25, and was at 3,180 ringgit at 5:05 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur.
Prices may jump to $2,150 a metric ton on the NYSE Liffe exchange before the expiration of the March options tomorrow, according to Keith Flury , an analyst at Rabobank International in London. That’s 3.7 percent higher than yesterday’s close of 2,074 a ton, a 21 percent increase from the low in January. A 20 percent rally or more from lows is defined as a bull market.
Cotton for May delivery increased 0.5 percent to settle at 92.54 cents a pound at 2:35 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The fiber has plunged 51 percent in the past 12 months.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery declined 0.9 percent to close at $1.842 a pound in New York. The price dropped for the fifth straight session, the longest slump in two months. The commodity has tumbled 19 percent since reaching a record $2.2695 on Jan. 23.
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