Oil Falls Below $95; Gold Gives Up Gains: Commodities at Close
Crude for June delivery fell as much as $1.40 to $94.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest intraday price since Dec. 20. It was at $94.74 at 8:38 a.m. London time. Prices slid 95 cents to $96.13 on May 11 and are down 4.1 percent this year.
Natural gas futures fluctuated in New York amid forecasts for mild weather that may limit cooling demand after a government report last week showed a below-normal increase in stockpiles.
Naphtha swaps for June rose $1.95, or 0.2 percent, to $916.45 a metric ton at 11:04 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. Prices gained for the first time since April 24, ending a 12-day declining streak.
Japan naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures rose to $74.07 a ton from $68.73 on May 11. The spread narrowed 28 percent last week, the most since Nov. 11.
The premium of gasoil to Dubai crude rose 9 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $16.45 a barrel, PVM data showed. The spread narrowed 3 percent last week, the most since March 23. Singapore gasoil swaps for June fell 5 cents to $124.40.
Gold dropped to a four-month low in London as concern Europe’s debt crisis is deepening strengthened the dollar and cut gold’s appeal as an alternative asset. Other precious metals declined.
Bullion for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.6 percent to $1,569.32 an ounce, the lowest price since Jan. 3, and was at $1,573.97 by 8:53 a.m. in London. June-delivery futures were 0.7 percent lower at $1,573.50 on the Comex in New York.
Silver for immediate delivery fell as much as 1.6 percent to $28.45 an ounce, the lowest price since Jan. 3, and last traded at $28.5475. Palladium slid as much as 1.6 percent to $593.25 an ounce, the lowest price since Nov. 30, and was last at $595.75.
Copper declined to a four-week low on concerns China’s bank reserve requirement cut signaled a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy may be steeper than expected and amid speculation Greece may exit from the euro area. Zinc, lead and nickel also slid.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn gained after last week’s decline to a seven-month low boosted the appeal of the U.S. grain to importers and investors. Wheat increased.
July-delivery corn rose as much as 0.9 percent to $5.86 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, rebounding from the May 11 low of $5.7225, which equaled the intraday low for the most- active contract on Oct. 3. It traded at $5.8125 at 3:01 p.m. Singapore time, snapping three days of losses. Futures fell 6.3 percent last week, the most since the five days ended Jan. 13.
Wheat for delivery in July gained as much as 0.7 percent to $6.01 a bushel, after posting a second weekly loss in the five days ended May 11. It last traded at $5.99 a bushel.
Soybeans for July delivery lost as much as 1.5 percent to $13.8525 a bushel, the lowest price for the most-active contract since March 30. It traded at $13.8525 after declining 4.9 percent last week, the biggest weekly loss for the most-active contract since the five days ended Nov. 25.
Rubber for October delivery extended its decline, falling as much as 2.2 percent to 277.30 yen a kilogram on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange before trading at 278 yen. That was the lowest level for the most active contract since Jan. 16.
Palm oil declined to the lowest level in almost three months on concerns that an escalating debt crisis in Europe, boosting the dollar, and a deepening economic slowdown in China may curb demand for commodities.
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