Oil was poised for the biggest monthly drop in more than three years in New York on speculation Europe’s worsening debt crisis and a slowing U.S. economy will reduce fuel demand.
Crude for July delivery was unchanged at $87.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3 p.m. Singapore time. The contract slid $2.94 yesterday to $87.82, the lowest settlement since Oct. 21. Prices are down 16 percent this month, the biggest drop since December 2008, and are 11 percent lower this year.
Naphtha swaps for June fell $19.50, or 2.3 percent, to $823 a ton at 10:29 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker.
Japan naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures fell $15.89, or 25 percent, to $47.07 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spread is at the lowest level since May 24.
Singapore fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude, a measure of refining losses from making the fuel, widened to $1.13 a ton from 89 cents yesterday, PVM data showed. High-sulfur fuel-oil swaps for June dropped $13.50, or 2.1 percent, to $632.50 a ton.
Gold is poised for the worst run of monthly losses in almost 13 years as concern that Europe’s fiscal crisis is escalating drove investors to seek the dollar as a haven over the precious metal.
Spot gold fell as much as 0.3 percent to $1,558.75 an ounce, and was at $1,560.95 at 3:01 p.m. in Singapore, after climbing 0.5 percent yesterday. Bullion is 6.2 percent lower in May for its biggest drop this year as the dollar rallied 5.2 percent against a six-currency basket including the euro. A fourth monthly decline would be the metal’s longest run of losses since the period to August 1999. by gold yesterday even as the dollar strengthened.’’
August-delivery bullion fell as much as 0.3 percent to $1,560.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York and was last at $1,564.20. Trading volumes set a record of 484,721 contracts on May 29, which included electronic trading while the floor was closed on May 28 for Memorial Day, according to the exchange.
Cash platinum rose for the first day in three, gaining as much as 0.6 percent to $1,409 an ounce, before trading at $1,402. One ounce of platinum bought as little as 0.8932 ounce of gold today, the least since Jan. 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The metal, which fell to the lowest level this year yesterday, is on course for a third monthly drop, the longest period of decline since 2008.
Copper may drop for a third day, heading for the biggest monthly drop since September, on concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen, curbing demand for the metal used in wires and pipes.
The metal for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange declined as much as 0.7 percent to $7,422.75 a metric ton, the lowest level since Dec. 29. The contract traded little changed at $7,488 at 2:28 p.m. Shanghai time, poised for a third monthly decline, losing 11 percent this month.
July-delivery metal on the Comex fell 0.6 percent to $3.37 a pound. Copper for September delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 1.3 percent to 54,590 ($8,559) a ton.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans headed for the biggest monthly decline since September after planting progress in the U.S., the biggest producer, accelerated and rain boosted the outlook for harvest.
Soybeans for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $13.7675 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 2:05 p.m. Singapore time. Prices are set to drop 8.6 percent in May, the biggest monthly decline since September.
Corn for July delivery gained as much as 0.6 percent to $5.63 a bushel and last traded at $5.6075. Prices are set to drop 11.6 percent this month, the biggest loss since September.
July-delivery wheat fell as much as 0.8 percent to $6.485 a bushel and traded at $6.495, heading for a 0.8 percent decline this month. Prices fell to as low as $6.4425 a bushel yesterday, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 17, as rain in the U.S. boosted crop prospects.
Palm oil dropped for a second day, heading for the biggest monthly loss in more than two years, on concern that Europe’s escalating fiscal crisis may damp demand for commodities.
The August-delivery contract declined as much as 0.9 percent to 3,083 ringgit ($969) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 3,101 ringgit at the close of the morning session. Futures have slumped 11 percent this month, set for the biggest monthly decline since September 2009.
Rubber declined to a six-month low, having the worst month since September, as concern grew that Europe’s debt crisis may derail the global recovery, weakening demand for the commodity used in tires.
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