Oil rose for the first time in four days in New York as U.S. crude inventories were forecast to drop, a storm headed for the Gulf of Mexico and a fire continued to burn at Venezuela’s biggest refinery.
Oil for October delivery advanced as much as 87 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $96.34 a barrel and was at $96.10 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:27 a.m. London time. The contract fell 68 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $95.47 yesterday, the lowest close since Aug. 15. Prices are 2.8 percent lower this year.
Natural gas fell for a fourth day on speculation that production cuts in the Gulf of Mexico because of Tropical Storm Isaac will do little to ease a supply glut.
Gas dropped as much as 1 percent in New York today. The National Hurricane Center said Isaac, in the southeastern Gulf, will become a hurricane before reaching U.S. Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. About 48 percent of offshore output was shut yesterday, the government said. The Gulf accounted for 7 percent of U.S. gas production in 2011, down from 17 percent in 2005.
The premium of Japan naphtha to London-traded Brent crude futures fell $20.33, or 16 percent, to $110.39 a metric ton at 6:33 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of the profit from making the gasoline and petrochemical feedstock, narrowed for the first time in four days.
Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude rose 10 cents to $21.03 a barrel at 6:11 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The difference, also known as the crack spread, yesterday was the widest since November.
Copper neared a one-week low in New York on signs Asian economies are slowing and speculation that U.S. policy makers will refrain from a fresh round of stimulus.
Immediate-delivery bullion rose 0.1 percent to $1,664.95 an ounce by 10:20 a.m. in London. Prices reached $1,676.90 yesterday, the highest since April 13. December-delivery futures were 0.5 percent lower at $1,667.20 on the Comex in New York.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn for December delivery fell 0.3 percent to $7.985 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade as of 10:46 a.m. in London. The price, which touched a record $8.49 on Aug. 10, has slipped 4.8 percent in the past five sessions.
Soybeans for November delivery were little changed at $17.18 a bushel, after rallying to a record $17.605 a bushel yesterday. Thirty percent of the U.S. soybeans were in good-to- excellent condition as of Aug. 26, down from 31 percent a week earlier and the worst since 1988, the USDA said.
Wheat for delivery in December was little changed at $8.8175 a bushel in Chicago. In Paris, November-delivery milling wheat dropped 0.1 percent to 260 euros ($326) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe.
Rubber declined, set for a sixth straight monthly loss, after Japan’s government downgraded its assessment of the world’s third-biggest economy, hurting demand for the raw material used in tires.
January-delivery rubber fell 1.6 percent to settle at 225 yen a kilogram ($2,865 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures have dropped 2.1 percent this month, extending this year’s loss to 15 percent. The February-delivery contract, listed today, ended at 226.1 yen after opening at 230 yen.
Palm oil dropped on concern that a rally to the highest level in six weeks may crimp demand and as speculation intensified that there may not be further stimulus from the U.S., hurting commodities.
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