Oil traded near the lowest price in two days in New York as rising crude supplies in the U.S. offset hopes that the Federal Reserve will renew efforts to stimulate the world’s largest economy.
Crude for October delivery was at $96.91 a barrel, down 10 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:20 a.m. London time. The contract yesterday slipped 16 cents to $97.01, the lowest close since Sept. 10. Front-month prices are down 1.9 percent this year.
Natural gas futures traded near a six-week high in New York after rising yesterday on estimates of a smaller-than-normal gain in inventories after Hurricane Isaac shut production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gas for October delivery was at $3.060 at 2:12 p.m. Tokyo time after rising 2.4 percent yesterday to its highest closing price since Aug. 1.
Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures fell $1.55 to $111.30 a metric ton at 12:09 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of the profit from making the petrochemical and gasoline feedstock, was in the longest losing streak since July. Naphtha swaps for October were down 50 cents at $986 a ton, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker.
The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude rose 65 cents to $19 a barrel at 10:25 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. The difference, also known as the crack spread, widened the most since Aug. 27. Gasoil swaps for October climbed 30 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $131.90 a barrel, PVM said. That’s the highest since Sept. 4.
Copper swung between gains and drops in London before the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting that may result in more asset purchases aimed at fueling growth in the U.S. economy, the world’s biggest.
The Fed is likely to announce another round of bond purchases today, according to almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The previous two series of so-called quantitative easing totaling $2.3 trillion have failed to revive the labor market. Copper is on course to advance for a fifth week in six on the London Metal Exchange.
Gold may drop for a second day in London as investors wait for the Federal Reserve’s decision on monetary policy.
Gold for immediate delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to $1,730.32 an ounce by 10:14 a.m. in London. The futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,732.70 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn fell for a fourth day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its estimates of U.S. and world inventories as lower demand offsets losses from the country’s worst drought in half a century.
Corn for December delivery lost as much as 0.6 percent to $7.65 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $7.67 at 2:51 p.m. in Singapore. The price dropped after the USDA report to as low as $7.5925 a bushel yesterday, the cheapest since July 24. Corn reached a record $8.49 on Aug. 10.
Soybeans for November delivery declined 0.4 percent to $17.3875 a bushel after jumping 2.6 percent yesterday. The most- active price reached a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.
Wheat for December gained 0.5 percent to $8.9425 a bushel. The price touched $8.6875 yesterday, the lowest since Sept. 6.
Rubber retreated from the highest level in almost eight weeks before the conclusion of a policy-setting meet of the U.S. Federal Reserve today that’s expected to announce additional stimulus to bolster growth.
February-delivery rubber declined as much as 0.6 percent to 241 yen a kilogram ($3,104 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, before settling at 241.6 yen. The most-active contract earlier advanced to 246.5 yen, the highest level since July 20. Futures are heading for a 6.1 percent gain this week.
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