Brent crude fell from the highest close in two weeks amid speculation that U.S. budget negotiations faltered, threatening the economy of the world’s biggest oil user.
Brent for February settlement slid as much as 57 cents to $109.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange and was at $109.89 as of 9:10 a.m. local time. The volume traded for all futures today was about 36 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark was at a premium of $20.32 to West Texas Intermediate, compared with $20.38 yesterday.
Asia’s fuel oil crack spread widens, signaling bigger losses for refiners turning crude into residual products. Gasoil and naphtha swaps gain.
• Fuel Oil • High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widens 1 cent to $7.83/bbl at 10:24 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd. • Crack spread widest since Dec. 5 • January HSFO swaps unchanged after rising to $621/ton • Viscosity spread unchanged for a third day at $10.25/ton
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up $1.14 at $20.12/bbl at 10:24 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM • Crack spread widens for the first time in five days • January gasoil swaps up $1.15, or 0.9%, at $125.75/bbl • Jet fuel down 5 cents at premium of 5 cents/bbl to gasoil • Regrade falls for a second day
• Light Distillates • Naphtha’s premium to London Brent crude up $7.96 at $113.51/ton at 10:34 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • Crack spread widens for the first time in three days • January naphtha swaps up $5.25, or 0.6%, at $942.25/ton, PVM said • Gasoline reforming margin yesterday climbed 14 cents to close at $13.58/bbl, data compiled by Bloomberg show
Copper declined to the lowest level in three weeks amid concerns that budget negotiations deteriorated in the U.S. Zinc, lead, nickel and tin also fell.
Metal for delivery in three months fell as much as 0.8 percent to $7,863 a metric ton, the lowest since Nov. 29, before trading at $7,868.25 on the London Metal Exchange at 1:58 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper has climbed 3.5 percent this year. The contract for March delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.5 percent to 56,770 yuan ($9,111) a ton.
Gold traded near the lowest level since August as an impasse in U.S. budget talks helped to boost the dollar, countering investor holdings in exchange-traded products at an all-time high.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,667.95 an ounce at 2 p.m. in Singapore after dropping 0.2 percent yesterday and falling to $1,661.10 on Dec. 18, the lowest since Aug. 31, on signs of progress in the U.S. negotiations. Gold for February delivery was at $1,668.40 an ounce from $1,667.70 on the Comex.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans dropped for a fourth day to the lowest price in more than three weeks on concern that demand for U.S. supplies may weaken after China canceled some orders, and as growing conditions improved in Brazil.
The oilseed for March delivery fell as much as 0.4 percent to $14.2525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the cheapest for the most-active contract since Nov. 27. The price was at $14.26 at 3:24 p.m. in Singapore, 18 percent higher this year.
Corn for delivery in March fell as much as 0.3 percent to $7.0125 a bushel, the lowest price for the most-active contract since July 11, and was at $7.015. Futures, which surged to a record $8.49 in August, are up 8.5 percent this year. Wheat for March delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $8.04 a bushel in Chicago, paring this year’s advance to 23 percent.
The contract for March delivery fell as much as 1.5 percent to 2,296 ringgit ($750) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the most since Dec. 12, and ended the morning session at 2,318 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are heading for a 27 percent drop this year, the worst annual loss since the 2008 financial crisis, as stockpiles in Malaysia climbed to a record.
Rubber retreated from the highest level in more than seven months on concern that U.S. budget talks were deteriorating and as gains in the Japanese currency reduced demand for yen-based contracts.
Rubber for delivery in May lost 1.7 percent to end at 282.8 yen a kilogram ($3,366 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The most-active contract settled at 287.7 yen yesterday, the highest price at close since May 10. Futures have gained 7.4 percent this year.
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