Oil, Copper Decline, Natural Gas Rises: Commodities at Close
Oil fell a second day in New York, trimming a weekly gain, after interest-rate cuts in Europe and China failed to assure investors the moves will be enough to boost economic growth and support demand.
Oil for August delivery fell as much as $1.35 to $85.87 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $86.14 at 8:54 a.m. London time. Prices have risen 1.4 percent this week and are heading for a second weekly gain, the first back-to-back increase since April. Crude is down 13 percent this year.
Natural gas futures climbed above $3 per million British thermal units in New York for the first time in almost six months on speculation data today will show a smaller-than normal increase in stockpiles.
Naphtha swaps for August rose $17.50, or 2.2 percent, to $817.50 a ton, according to PVM. That’s the highest since May 31.
Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures advanced $22.70 to $64.02 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, was the widest since May 23.
Gasoline’s premium to naphtha yesterday declined $1.02 to $16.21 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. A narrower reforming margin means it is less profitable to make motor fuel.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude gained 7 cents to $17.30 a barrel, according to PVM.
Gold is set decline for a third day in London as a strengthening dollar curbs demand for the metal as an alternative investment.
Bullion for immediate delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1,599.68 an ounce by 9:34 a.m. in London. Prices are up 0.1 percent this week. August-delivery futures were 0.6 percent lower at $1,599.70 on the Comex in New York.
Silver for immediate delivery declined 0.3 percent to $27.5775 an ounce. Palladium was down 0.5 percent at $583.34 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.4 percent at $1,467.75 an ounce.
Copper was seen slumping for a third day in London before a report that may round out the weakest quarter for employment in more than two years in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.
Copper for three-month delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $7,676 a metric ton by 9:27 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Prices are little changed this week. September-delivery copper fell 0.2 percent to $3.485 a pound on the Comex in New York.
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