Oil in New York headed for the first monthly increase since April before meetings of central bank policy makers to discuss the economy and a report tomorrow that may show U.S. crude stockpiles declined.
Crude for September delivery was at $89.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 8:47 a.m. London time. The contract yesterday slid 0.4 percent to $89.78, the lowest close since July 26. Prices have climbed 5.5 percent this month and have dropped 9.3 percent this year.
Natural gas rose from a seven-month high in New York after forecasters said the weather will be hotter than normal, which may boost demand from power plants.
Naphtha swaps for August remained unchanged at $860 a ton, according to PVM. Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures, or crack spread, rose 0.3 percent to $60.04 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Gasoline’s premium to naphtha fell 17 cents to $23.55 a barrel yesterday from $23.72, the highest in nine months, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. A narrowing reforming margin means it is less profitable to make motor fuel.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude increased 19 cents to $17.96 a barrel, according to PVM. The crack spread was the widest since July 23.
Gold headed for a second monthly gain, the best run since November, on speculation that central banks around the world may take additional measures to spur growth, boosting demand for bullion as a store of value.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,621.75 an ounce at 2:15 p.m. in Singapore, after reaching a six-week high of $1,629.35 on July 27. Bullion is 1.5 percent higher this month following a 2.4 percent advance in June, and is up 3.7 percent this year.
Spot silver added as much as 0.4 percent to $28.295 an ounce, up for a fifth day in the best run since January. The price was at $28.1650, set for the first monthly gain in five.
Cash platinum rose as much as 0.5 percent to $1,423.75 an ounce, gaining for a fifth day in the best run since October. The metal, poised for monthly decline, traded at $1,421.
Copper advanced, trimming a monthly decline, as China increased its railway spending plan for the second time in a month, boosting demand prospects.
Three-month copper rose as much as 0.6 percent to $7,590 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,566.50 by 4 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal is still down 1.5 percent this month. The September-delivery contract advanced 0.4 percent to $3.43 a pound on the Comex.
Copper for November delivery added 0.4 percent to close at 55,050 yuan a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn surged to a record for a second day and headed for its best month in more than two decades as crop conditions deteriorated for an eighth week amid the worst U.S. drought in half a century.
The December contract added 0.5 percent to $8.18 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, before trading at $8.175. Futures rallied 29 percent this month, the most since June 1988. Wheat for September dropped 0.3 percent to $9.12 a bushel, paring the monthly gain to 20 percent, the most in two years.
Soybeans for November delivery fell 0.2 percent to $16.405 a bushel, trimming the monthly advance to 15 percent.
Rubber declined for a fifth month amid concerns that Europe’s debt crisis will be prolonged, weakening demand for the commodity used for tires and gloves.
January-delivery rubber fell as much as 1.8 percent to 228.3 yen a kilogram ($2,960 a metric ton) before settling at 229.8 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The most-active contract lost 4.3 percent this month.
Palm oil futures declined, widening a third monthly drop, as an industry estimate showed that exports from second-largest producer Malaysia fell in July, signaling a switch to shipments from Indonesia.
The October-delivery contract lost as much as 1.9 percent to 2,948 ringgit ($942) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 2,960 ringgit at 4:23 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are poised to retreat 2.1 percent this month.
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