Copper, Palm Oil Fall; Natural Gas Rises: Commodities at Close
Oil fell for a third day to the lowest level in almost nine months and headed for a second weekly decline amid signs of a global economic slowdown that may curb fuel demand.
Oil for August delivery fell as much as 64 cents to $77.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $77.88 at 3:25 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday tumbled $3.25 to $78.20, the lowest close since Oct. 4. Prices are down 7.3 percent this week and 21 percent lower this year.
Natural gas futures rose for a second day in New York after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles increased less than expected.
Singapore fuel oil’s premium to Dubai crude widened to $1.67 a barrel from $1.15 yesterday, PVM data showed. The premium has gained 38 cents from a week earlier. High-sulfur fuel-oil swaps for July fell $9.50, or 1.6 percent, to $570.75 a barrel. Prices have declined 7.1 percent this week.
The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to the 380- centistoke grade was at $9.75 a ton, down from $10.75 a week earlier, signaling that power station fuel prices fell faster over the period than bunker fuel for ships.
Singapore gasoil swaps for July fell $1.80, or 1.7 percent, to $106.25 a barrel, PVM data showed. Prices have dropped 4.6 percent this week. The premium of gasoil to Dubai crude rose 22 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $18.04 a barrel. Jet fuel traded at a premium of $1 a barrel to gasoil, unchanged from a week earlier. This spread, also known as the regrade, was 5 cents lower compared with yesterday.
Japan naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures fell to $9.19 a metric ton at 11:02 a.m. Singapore time from $38.24 a ton yesterday, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The spread, a measure of refining profitability for the fuel, is at the narrowest since June 13.
Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,562.88 an ounce at 2:03 p.m. in Singapore and is down 4 percent this week, the most since the five days to Dec. 16. Bullion dropped 2.6 percent yesterday, the most since Feb. 29, tumbling with other commodities as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials slumped 22 percent from this year’s closing high, entering a bear market.
August-delivery bullion was little changed at $1,563.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Futures declined yesterday as the slump in equities and commodities drove the dollar up by the most since March against a six-currency basket.
Spot silver declined as much as 0.4 percent to $26.78 an ounce, the lowest level since Dec. 29, before trading at $26.8275. The metal used mainly in industrial applications tumbled 4.5 percent yesterday, the most since February and is 6.5 percent lower this week.
Copper extended losses as China’s manufacturing may shrink for an eighth month and the U.S. Federal Reserve cut growth forecasts, sending commodities to the lowest level since November 2010.
Copper dropped as much as 0.8 percent to $7,285.50 a metric ton, the lowest level since June 8, and traded $7,296.75 at 2:14 p.m. in Seoul on the London Metal Exchange. The price is down 2.9 percent this week and 14 percent this quarter. September- delivery metal fell 0.3 percent to $3.2975 a pound on the Comex. Markets in China are closed for a holiday.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Palm oil declined for a second day, trimming the first weekly gain in four, on speculation that rains in the Midwest will boost U.S. soybean crops and a slowing global economy may curb demand for raw materials.
September-delivery palm oil retreated as much as 2.3 percent to 2,932 ringgit ($919) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 2,936 ringgit at 3:29 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Palm oil is heading for a 3.2 percent weekly advance, narrowing this year’s loss to 7.4 percent. China’s markets are closed today for a holiday.
Soybeans for November delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $13.6625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after closing 1.7 percent lower yesterday. Soybean oil for December delivery lost 1 percent to 50.21 cents a pound. Palm oil and soybean oil are both used in foods and fuels.
Corn headed for the best week in more than a month as dry weather persisted in the U.S. Midwest, threatening to curb yields in the world’s largest grower.
December-delivery corn rose as much as 0.6 percent to $5.5325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The most-active contract was unchanged at $5.50 at 3:23 p.m. in Singapore, set for an 8.7 percent weekly advance, the most since the five days to May 18.
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