Oil for May delivery fell as much as 62 cents to $101.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $101.88 at 3:45 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday declined 85 cents to $102.46, the lowest close since April 4. Prices are up 3.1 percent this year.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian-marker Dubai crude fell 40 cents to $15.13 a barrel at noon Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, narrowed for a fifth day, the longest losing streak since an eight-day run ended Nov. 28.
Gasoil swaps for May rose 25 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $134.05 a barrel, PVM said. That’s the first gain in four days.
May naphtha swaps were up $8, or 0.8 percent, at $1,047 a metric ton, according to PVM. The petrochemical feedstock rebounded from the lowest in a week. Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures advanced $10.11 to $124.91 a ton, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The difference, also known as the crack spread, widened for the first time in three days.
Gold climbed for a fourth day on speculation that central banks in the U.S. and China may take more steps to spur growth after data missed estimates, spurring demand for precious metals. Silver, platinum and palladium rose.
Spot gold gained as much as 0.9 percent to $1,654.90 an ounce, the highest level in a week, and was at $1,651.83 at 2:24 p.m. in Singapore. Bullion is set for the longest run of gains since the four days to Feb. 23. The dollar fell for a third day against a six-currency basket including the yen as Japan refrained from adding to monetary easing.
June-delivery gold rose as much as 0.7 percent to $1,655.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York, and traded at $1,653.60. Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products were 2,397.577 metric tons yesterday, within 0.6 percent of a March 13 record.
Copper declined to the lowest level in more than a month after data showed that China imported less metal in March from a month earlier, stoking concerns that demand may be weakening in the world’s largest user.
The metal for delivery in three months fell as much as 1.7 percent to $8,221 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the lowest price since March 7, before trading at $8,272.25 by 3 p.m. Shanghai time. The bourse was closed for two days due to public holidays. Copper for delivery in July on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.8 percent lower at 59,370 yuan ($9,407) a ton.
May-delivery copper on the Comex rose 0.8 percent to $3.7505 a pound, after falling to a seven-week low yesterday.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Palm oil stockpiles in Malaysia, the second-largest supplier after Indonesia, slumped below 2 million tons in March for the first time in seven months as production fell from a year earlier. Futures climbed.
Inventories tumbled 5 percent to 1.96 million tons from 2.06 million tons in February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said in a statement today. That was less than the 2.01 million tons predicted in a Bloomberg survey last week. Output increased 2.1 percent to 1.21 million tons from 1.19 million tons in February, and was 14 percent less than a year earlier. Exports rose 10.8 percent to 1.34 million tons, it said.
The June-delivery contract advanced as much as 1.2 percent to 3,619 ringgit ($1,176) a ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 3,610 ringgit at 4:09 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures, up 14 percent this year, reached 3,623 ringgit yesterday, the highest price since March 8, 2011.
Soybeans climbed before a U.S. government report that may show smaller global supplies after drought deepened losses in South America.
The May-delivery contract gained 0.6 percent to $14.395 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 2:35 p.m. in Singapore. In China, the world’s largest buyer, the January-delivery contract climbed as much as 0.9 percent to 4,774 yuan ($757) a metric ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the highest price for the most-active contract since Sept. 5.
Corn for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $6.5275 a bushel in Chicago. Wheat for delivery in the same month was little changed at $6.4275 a bushel.
Rubber declined for a sixth day, the longest streak in more than nine months, on concern that signs of slowing economic growth in the U.S. may reduce demand for the commodity used in tires and gloves.
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