Crude Falls a Seventh Day; Gold Rebounds: Commodities at Close
WTI for June delivery fell as much as 52 cents to $96.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.34 at 9:24 a.m. London time. The contract yesterday slid 20 cents to $96.81, the lowest close since Feb. 2. Prices have fallen 2.5 percent this year.
Natural gas futures gained in New York on speculation that a U.S. government report today will show inventories increased at a lower-than-average rate.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude fell $1.30 to $15.92 a barrel at 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, narrowed the most since Nov. 10. Gasoil swaps for June dropped 23 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $125.25 a barrel, PVM data showed. That’s the lowest since Jan. 3.
Fuel oil swaps for June climbed $2.50, or 0.4 percent, to $682.75 a metric ton, according to PVM. Prices snapped a seven- day run of losses. High-sulfur fuel oil declined 69 cents to $4.29 a barrel below Dubai crude, PVM said. That’s the widest discount in a week, signaling growing losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.
Gold rebounded from the lowest level in four months as the metal’s slide, driven by Europe’s debt crisis and a stronger dollar, spurred buying from investors.
Price declines are attracting physical buyers from India and China, according to UBS AG. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. kept its forecast for higher gold prices in six months, citing weaker U.S. growth, renewed European sovereign-debt risks and resilient physical buying. Bullion slumped 3.2 percent in the first three days of this week as Greek politicians struggled to form a government following weekend elections, boosting speculation that the country may quit the euro zone.
Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,591.38 an ounce by 9:38 a.m. in London. June-delivery bullion declined 0.2 percent to $1,591.30 on the Comex in New York.
Copper advanced for the first time in six days after data showed shipments of the metal into China dropped last month, boosting speculation that a surplus in the largest user will shrink.
Three-month copper gained as much as 0.9 percent to $8,129.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,074.75 at 4:23 p.m. in Shanghai. The contract fell to $7,949.75 yesterday, a three-week low, as Europe’s escalating debt crisis increased concern that commodity demand may falter.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn advanced for the second time this week on speculation that yesterday’s plunge, the biggest in a week, may spur importer demand. Wheat climbed.
Corn for July delivery gained as much as 0.7 percent to $6.1175 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.1125 at 2:26 p.m. Singapore time. July-delivery wheat rose as much as 1.3 percent to $6.075 a bushel and last traded at $6.07.
Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.8 percent to $14.4175 a bushel, snapping three days of declines. Futures rose 19 percent this year on concern drought may curb output in South America.
Rubber may decline for a fourth day, overturning early gains, after China reported trade figures that missed economists’ estimates, raising concern that demand from the world’s largest consumer may weaken.
The October-delivery contract was unchanged at 292.3 yen a kilogram ($3,670 a ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange at 12:59 p.m. after earlier rising 1.1 percent. The price ended at 292.3 yen yesterday, the lowest settlement for the most-active contract since Jan. 17 as political turmoil in Greece deepened concern Europe’s debt crisis may reduce demand for commodities.
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