Oil Rises to Nine-Month High; Cocoa Gains: Commodities at Close
Oil traded near the highest price in nine months after euro-area finance ministers agreed on a second bailout for Greece, improving prospects for fuel demand.
Oil futures for March delivery, which expire today, advanced as much as $2.20 to $105.44, the highest intraday price since May 5 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was at $104.84 at 4:24 p.m. in Singapore, while the more actively traded April future gained $1.48 to $105.08. Today’s trades will be booked with yesterday’s electronic transactions for settlement. Prices are 12 percent higher than a year ago.
Natural gas futures fell from the highest close in almost three weeks on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gaining 8.4 percent last week.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude rose 80 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $16.51 a barrel at 11:30 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, widened by the largest percentage since Dec. 16.
Gasoil swaps for March were unchanged after climbing to $133.60 a barrel, PVM said. Jet fuel gained 10 cents to 10 cents a barrel below gasoil. This regrade has been at a discount since Jan. 16, indicating it is unprofitable to produce aviation fuel over diesel.
March naphtha swaps fell $4.25, or 0.4 percent, to $1,034.25 a metric ton, according to PVM. The petrochemical feedstock dropped from the highest since May 5.
Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures was down $5.46 at $128.59 a ton, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread narrowed for the first time in three days.
Gold may gain for a second day in London after euro-area finance ministers agreed to award Greece a bailout package, boosting demand for commodities.
Bullion for immediate delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1,740.27 an ounce by 8:55 a.m. in London. Prices reached $1,743.38, the highest since Feb. 9. Gold for April delivery was 0.9 percent higher at $1,741.80 on the Comex in New York. U.S.
Copper rose for a second day as European governments agreed on a second bailout for Greece. Zinc, lead and nickel advanced.
Three-month copper climbed as much as 1.6 percent to $8,364.75 a metric ton and traded at $8,350 by 3 p.m. Shanghai time. May-delivery copper on the Comex gained 2.2 percent to $3.7965 a pound, while the most-active contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 1.2 percent higher at 60,050 yuan ($9,535) a ton.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans traded near the highest level in five months as European governments agreed on a second debt bailout for Greece and after the U.S. announced last week the biggest one-day sale to China on record.
May-delivery climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $12.8025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest for the most- active contract since Sept. 23, and traded at $12.7925 at 4:07 p.m. in Singapore. The market was shut yesterday for a holiday.
Corn for May delivery was little changed at $6.4425 a bushel, while wheat for delivery in the same month fell 0.3 percent to $6.46 a bushel.
The May-delivery contract climbed as much as 0.6 percent to 3,263 ringgit ($1,082) per metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and traded at 3,256 ringgit at 4:20 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. The most-active contract reached 3,276 ringgit in intraday trade yesterday, the highest level since June 15. Indonesia, the third-biggest grower, usually starts in April.
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