Oil traded near the highest level in almost three weeks in New York as investors waited to see if the U.S. will add stimulus to its economy, countering concern that Europe’s bailout plan will falter and derail the recovery.
Crude for October delivery was at $96.44 a barrel, down 10 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:37 p.m. Singapore time. It earlier slid as much as 46 cents. The contract rose 12 cents to $96.54 yesterday, the highest close since Aug. 22. Prices are 2.4 percent lower this year.
Natural-gas futures in New York rose for a second day on speculation that government data will show a smaller-than-normal increase in stockpiles after Hurricane Isaac shut production.
High-sulfur fuel oil fell 4 cents to $3.25 a barrel below Asian marker Dubai crude at 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The discount widened for a third day. Fuel-oil swaps for October dropped $1.50, or 0.2 percent, at $688 a metric ton, PVM said.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude rose 10 cents to $18.90 a barrel at 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, widened for the second time in three days. Gasoil swaps for October decreased 10 cents to $130.50 a barrel, PVM data showed.
Gold rose, after dropping for the first day in three yesterday, as the outlook for more stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve spurred demand for the metal as a store of value. Palladium headed for the best run since 2008.
Cash gold climbed as much as 0.4 percent to $1,732.60 an ounce before trading at $1,730.97 by 3:13 p.m. in Singapore. The metal gained to $1,741.70 on Sept. 7, the most expensive since Feb. 29, on speculation of additional stimulus. Assets in gold- backed exchange-traded products expanded to a record 2,480.428 metric tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Cash palladium rose for an eighth day in the best run since February 2008. Investors increased their holdings in exchange-traded products by 27,220 ounces last week, the most since May. The metal gained as much as 0.7 percent to $671.85 an ounce, after climbing to $673 yesterday, the highest price since May 2.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat declined for a second day on signs that a 36 percent jump in prices this year is set to damp demand for the grain from the U.S., the largest shipper.
The December-delivery contract lost as much as 0.7 percent to $8.835 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $8.845 at 2:12 p.m. in Singapore. The most-active contract surged to $9.4725 a bushel on July 23, the highest level in almost four years.
Soybeans for November delivery declined 0.4 percent to $17.12 a bushel, erasing a 0.6 percent gain. Corn for December delivery slid 0.2 percent at $7.8175 a bushel.
Palm oil declined to the lowest level in more than three weeks on concern that declining exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer, may boost stockpiles amid a seasonal pick-up in output.
The November-delivery contract dropped as much as 2 percent to 2,878 ringgit ($928) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the lowest level since Aug. 16, and ended the morning session at 2,883 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur.
Rubber climbed for a fourth day to the highest level in more than seven weeks on speculation that the U.S. and China may take additional measures to bolster economic growth, supporting demand for raw materials.
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