Corn, Wheat Fall; Oil Hits Six-Month Low: Commodities at Close
Oil dropped to the lowest price in more than six months in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles increased and talks to form a coalition government in Greece collapsed, raising concern the region’s debt crisis will worsen.
Crude for June delivery decreased as much as $1.85 to $92.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest intraday price since Nov. 3. It was at $92.21 at 2:33 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract fell 0.8 percent to $93.98. Prices are 6.7 percent lower this year.
Natural gas futures rose in New York for a second day on forecasts of warmer-than-normal weather that may boost demand for the power-plant fuel.
Gas gained 0.3 percent today, extending yesterday’s 2.8 percent advance. MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland, predicted above-normal temperatures across most of the central and eastern U.S. through May 29. The Energy Department said last week gas use by power plants may rise this year as generators switch from more expensive coal.
High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrowed 2 cents to $4.24 a barrel at 10:14 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The crack spread is the highest in a week, showing a reduced loss for refiners turning oil into residual products.
Fuel-oil swaps for June decreased $5.75, or 0.85 percent, to $668.25 a metric ton, according to PVM. Prices have declined for 11 of the past 12 days.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude gained 90 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $16.55 a barrel at 10:14 p.m. Gasoil swaps for June were unchanged at $123.60 a barrel, PVM data showed.
Gold entered a so-called bear market, dropping for a fourth day, after Greek leaders failed to form a government, increasing speculation that the country may quit the euro and driving the Dollar Index to a record advance.
Immediate-delivery gold lost as much as 1.1 percent to $1,526.97 an ounce, more than 20 percent below its all-time high in September on an intraday basis and fulfilling a common definition of the market slump. That’s the cheapest since Dec. 29. The precious metal traded at $1,530.85 at 3:36 p.m. in Singapore.
June-delivery bullion lost as much as 2 percent to $1,526.70 an ounce in New York, declining more than 20 percent from its record. Futures have also dropped into a bear market twice since reaching the record last year.
Copper fell to a four-month low on concern that Greece’s failure to form a ruling coalition and the deepening slowdown in China, the biggest user, will curb demand.
The metal for delivery in three months dropped for a fourth day, losing as much as 1 percent to $7,689.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the lowest since Jan. 11. The contract traded at $7,695 by 1:04 p.m. Shanghai time. The July contract on the Comex fell 1.1 percent to $3.48 a pound. citing unidentified person familiar with the matter.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn dropped as planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower and exporter, neared completion, cutting risks that acreage may miss the government forecast. Wheat and soybeans retreated.
July-delivery corn lost as much as 0.8 percent to $5.9225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $5.925 at 3:10 p.m. Singapore time. Futures jumped 2.4 percent yesterday, the most since April 27.
Wheat for July delivery fell 0.3 percent to $6.07 a bushel, after climbing 1.7 percent yesterday, the biggest gain for the most-active contract since April 27. Soybeans for delivery in July lost 1.2 percent to $13.955 a bushel. The most-active contract advanced 1.8 percent yesterday, the biggest gain since April 20.
July-delivery futures lost as much as 1.6 percent to 3,175 ringgit ($1,019) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and were at 3,179 ringgit at the close of the morning session in Kuala Lumpur. The most-active contract advanced 2.4 percent yesterday, the most since April 2, on speculation demand may increase before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Rubber tumbled to the lowest level in more than four months after Greek leaders failed to form a government, raising concerns European debt crisis may deepen, slowing global economy and commodity demand.
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