Oil slid from the highest level in a week as U.S. lawmakers disagreed on measures to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff that threaten to curb economic growth and fuel demand.
Crude for January delivery fell as much as 39 cents to $86.38 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $86.52 at 4:07 p.m. Singapore time. The contract advanced 98 cents to $86.77 yesterday, the highest close since Dec. 5. Prices are down 12 percent this year, set for the first annual decline since 2008.
OIL PRODUCTS Asia’s fuel oil crack spread widened for a third day this week, signaling increased losses for refiners turning crude into residual products. Gasoil swaps rose to a one-week high.
• Fuel Oil • High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widens 38 cents to $7.19/bbl at 10:22 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd. • Crack spread widest in a week • January HSFO swaps unchanged for a second day at $614/ton • Viscosity spread unchanged after climbing to $11.50/ton
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up 22 cents at $20.02/bbl at 10:23 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM • Crack spread widens for a third day, matching the longest rising streak since October • January gasoil swaps up 60 cents, or 0.5%, at $123.90/bbl • Jet fuel regrade narrows 5 cents to minus 25 cents/bbl
Copper dropped from a seven-week high along with other industrial metals as optimism about Federal Reserve plans to expand economic stimulus faded and the dollar strengthened.
Gold declined to a one-week low as a rally to the highest level this month prompted some investors to sell the metal amid concern about the U.S. budget deadlock. Silver, platinum and palladium retreated.
Spot gold slumped as much as 1 percent to $1,694.35 an ounce, the lowest price since Dec. 7, and traded at $1,699.17 at 3:04 p.m. in Singapore. The metal climbed to $1,723.40 yesterday, the most expensive since Nov. 30, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it will expand asset purchases. The rally was “modest” as additional Fed balance sheet expansion was already “priced in,” according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat declined to the lowest level in five months on concern that India, the world’s second-largest grower, may ship more of the grain from government stockpiles, intensifying competition among exporters.
The grain for March delivery lost as much as 0.6 percent to $8.07 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest price for the most-active contract since July 11. Futures traded at $8.075 by 2:20 p.m. in Singapore, trimming this year’s advance to 24 percent. The world’s most used food-grain is the best performer this year among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Corn for delivery in March slipped as much as 0.5 percent to $7.22 a bushel before trading at $7.225, while soybeans for March delivery declined 0.3 percent to $14.66 a bushel.
Rubber retreated from a 10-week high in a volatile trade after a producer group gave no new measures to boost prices and as commodities fell amid concern about a U.S. budget deadlock.
The contract for delivery in May dropped 0.2 percent to settle at 271.5 yen a kilogram ($3,247 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Futures earlier rose to 274.8 yen, the highest since Oct. 5, and have gained 3.1 percent this year.
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