Oil traded near the highest level in two months as U.S. lawmakers prepared to resume budget talks and the United Arab Emirates said it arrested members of a terror cell that was planning attacks on crude-exporting nations.
WTI for February delivery was at $91.07 a barrel, up 9 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4 p.m. in Singapore. The volume traded for all contracts was 25 percent below the 100-day average. Futures advanced $2.37 to $90.98 yesterday, the highest close since Oct. 18.
OIL PRODUCTS Asia’s naphtha crack spread rebounded to the widest in seven weeks, signaling increased profit for refiners making the gasoline and petrochemical feedstock. Jet fuel remained at a premium to gasoil.
• Light Distillates • Naphtha’s premium to London Brent crude up $18.23 at $126.43/ton at 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • Crack spread widest since Nov. 7 • January naphtha swaps up $16.50, or 1.8%, at $961.50/ton, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd. • Gasoline reforming margin yesterday fell 34 cents to close at $13.51/bbl, data compiled by Bloomberg show
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up 4 cents at $19.59/bbl at 10:15 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM • Crack spread widens for the first time this week • January gasoil swaps up $1.55, or 1.2%, at $126.30/bbl • Jet fuel premium to gasoil, or regrade, unchanged after rising to 20 cents/bbl
• Fuel Oil • High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrowed 26 cents to $8.21/bbl at 10:15 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM • Crack spread narrows for second time this week • January HSFO swaps up $11.25, or 1.8%, at $625.50/ton, biggest gain since Nov. 7 • Viscosity spread unchanged for seventh day at $10.25/ton
Copper in London jumped by the most in almost a month on expectations that a recovering Chinese economy will boost demand from the largest user. Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also advanced.
Gold fell for the first time in five days as some investors sold the metal amid negotiations between U.S. lawmakers to strike a budget deal before the year-end.
Spot gold lost as much as 0.4 percent to $1,653.55 an ounce and was at $1,657.80 at 3:15 p.m. in Singapore. Bullion is 6 percent higher this year, set for a 12th annual gain, as investors sought the metal as a protection of wealth after central banks around the world took steps to stimulate economies.
Cash silver was little changed at $30.0088 an ounce, after swinging between gains and losses. The metal has climbed 7.8 percent in 2012 as holdings in exchange-traded products rose 9.4 percent this year to a record 18,915.13 metric tons yesterday.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat rebounded from the lowest level since July on speculation that the decline may spur increased demand from importers in the Middle East. Corn and soybeans climbed.
Wheat for March delivery gained as much as 0.5 percent to $7.78 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $7.75 at 2:35 p.m. in Singapore. Earlier, the most-active price fell to $7.7125, the lowest since July 2, after a report showed slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the biggest exporter.
Soybeans for March delivery rallied as much as 0.7 percent to $14.285 a bushel before trading at $14.2825. That took the gain this year to 18 percent.
Corn-export inspections dropped 18 percent from a week earlier to 13.475 million bushels in the week, the USDA said.
Futures for March delivery rose as much as 0.3 percent to $6.955 a bushel and traded at $6.9525, taking gains this year to 7.5 percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its export sales report on Dec. 28 at 8:30 a.m. in Washington.
Rubber rallied above the 300-yen level for the first time since May as Japan’s currency dropped to a 27-month low on prospects for additional stimulus driven by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new government.
Rubber for delivery in June advanced 1.6 percent to 300.7 yen a kilogram ($3,507 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the highest settlement for the most-active contract since May 8. Futures have gained 14 percent this year.
Palm oil rallied to a five-week high on speculation that a seasonal decline in output, combined with rising shipments, will deplete record reserves from this month.
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