Crude traded near the highest price in two days in New York as the risk that Iran will disrupt oil supplies countered doubts that an economic rebound is intact.
Oil for April delivery was at $106.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 2 cents, at 4 p.m. Singapore time. The contract climbed 2 cents yesterday to $106.72, the highest settlement since March 1. Prices fell last week for the first time in four weeks, reducing their gain this year to 8.2 percent.
Natural gas futures tumbled to a six-week low in New York as forecasts of above-normal temperatures across the continental U.S. signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.
Fuel oil rose 20 cents to $4.94 a barrel below Asian marker Dubai crude at 12:30 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The discount narrowed for a fifth day, the longest rising streak in more than five weeks.
April high-sulfur fuel oil swaps climbed $9.25, or 1.3 percent, to $750.25 a metric ton, PVM said. That’s the highest in six days.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude slid 7 cents to $15.04 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread, a measure of refining profit, is the narrowest in a week. Gasoil swaps for April increased $1.35, or 1 percent, to $135.40 a barrel, PVM said.
Gold declined for a third day alongside equities and other metals after China said it’s targeting slower growth this year, even as holdings in exchange-traded products expanded to a record.
Spot gold fell as much as 0.4 percent to $1,700.13 an ounce, and traded at $1,703.13 at 3:23 p.m. in Singapore. It lost 0.7 percent in the past two days as the dollar climbed 0.6 percent against a six-currency basket including the euro. Bullion assets in ETPs advanced for a fourth day to 2,405.903 metric tons yesterday, data tracked by Bloomberg show.
Copper declined for a third day on concern that global economic growth is slowing, reducing demand prospects for industrial metals.
The metal for three-month delivery fell as much as 0.8 percent to $8,435 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,453 by 4:01 p.m. in Tokyo. The Comex May-delivery contract was down 0.4 percent at $3.8455 a pound.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn declined from the highest level in almost four months on speculation that farmers in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower, will boost production. Wheat and soybeans decreased.
May-delivery corn fell 0.3 percent to $6.585 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 2:57 p.m. in Singapore. The price reached $6.6525 yesterday, the highest price for a most-active contract since Nov. 9, on speculation that China will increase imports from the U.S., also the biggest shipper.
Wheat for May delivery declined 0.6 percent to $6.68 a bushel. Soybean futures for May delivery were little changed at $13.2525 a bushel.
Palm oil declined for a third day, falling to the lowest level in more than two weeks, in Malaysia on concerns that demand may continue to weaken in the near term. The May-delivery contract dropped as much as 0.7 percent to 3,222 ringgit ($1,066) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the lowest price since Feb. 17, before closing the morning session at 3,230 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell 1.2 percent to settle at $1.284 a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, capping the biggest drop since Dec. 5. Prices have still climbed 5.7 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for April settlement dropped 1.5 percent to $1.5895 a pound. On March 2, the commodity rose to a record $1.6205. Hog futures for April settlement slid 1.1 percent to 89.425 cents a pound. The commodity has gained 6.1 percent this year.
Cotton for May delivery climbed by the exchange limit of 4 cents, or 4.5 percent, to settle at 92.23 cents a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since May 31.
Cocoa for May delivery dropped 2.2 percent to settle at $2,283 a metric ton at 12:07 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Feb. 23.
Raw-sugar futures for May delivery declined 1.1 percent to 24.68 cents a pound. Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $2.017 a pound.
In London futures trading, cocoa, robusta coffee and refined sugar declined on NYSE Liffe.
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