Oil fluctuated after a report showed U.S. fuel demand climbed while crude supplies shrank at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest U.S. storage hub and the delivery point for the New York-traded contract.
Crude for March delivery was at $96.52 a barrel, down 10 cents in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:43 p.m. Singapore time. It roses as much as 27 cents to $96.89 a barrel earlier today. The volume of all contracts traded was 50 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 5.1 percent this year.
Asia’s gasoil crack spread rebounds, signaling increased losses for refiners making diesel. Fuel oil’s discount to crude narrows.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude narrows 1 cent to $5.74/bbl as of 11:25 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • March Japan naphtha swaps up $1.75 at $974.56/mt • March East-West naphtha spread at $10.61/mt
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude widens 9 cents to $20.90/bbl • March gasoil swaps up 22 cents at $132.90/bbl • March gasoil swap trades at 69 cents/bbl above April contract • March East-West gasoil spread at $5.25/mt • Jet fuel regrade unchanged for third day at 20 cents/bbl • March kerosene swap trades 99 cents/bbl above April contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows 2 cents to $7.60/bbl • March 180-cst fuel oil swaps up 93 cents at $662.91/mt • March fuel oil swap trades 52 cents/mt below April contract • Viscosity spread narrows 1 cent to $6.75/mt • March East-West fuel oil spread at $29.68/mt
Zinc dropped for a third day in London on speculation an oversupply is building with stockpiles up 3.9 percent this year in China, the world’s largest buyer, and as Barclays Plc forecast a surplus for the first quarter.
Zinc for delivery in three months fell as much as 1.1 percent to $2,144 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading $2,148.25 at 3:55 p.m. in Beijing. Zinc for delivery in May fell 0.8 percent to close at 15,840 yuan ($2,541) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. On the LME, copper, aluminum, lead, nickel and tin also fell.
Platinum gained for a fifth day to the highest level in more than 16 months on increased concern that supplies will decline from South Africa, which produces of about 73 percent global output.
Platinum for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.3 percent to $1,742 an ounce, the most expensive since Sept. 22, 2011, and was at $1,736.12 at 8:01 a.m. in London. Spot gold was little changed at $1,677.60 an ounce. The gap between the two metals, at $58.52 today, ended at $58.55 yesterday, the widest since August 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Gold for April delivery was little changed at $1,678 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Cash bullion of 99.99 percent purity rose 0.3 percent to 338.02 yuan a gram ($1,685.47 an ounce) on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Futures gained 0.2 percent to 30,771 rupees per 10 grams ($1,799.83 an ounce) on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn declined for a fifth day, the longest losing streak since December, on speculation that the U.S. government will raise its estimate for stockpiles in the country, the world’s largest shipper.
The contract for March delivery fell as much as 0.3 percent to $7.2025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $7.2075 at 1:39 p.m. in Singapore. Futures declined 2.4 percent in the four days to yesterday’s close.
Soybeans for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $14.8425 a bushel in Chicago. That put the oilseed at 2.0593 times the price of corn, the highest level since Nov. 2.
Wheat for March delivery declined as much as 0.4 percent to $7.5875 a bushel in Chicago, and was at $7.6025.
Palm oil advanced on speculation that reserves in Malaysia may drop from a record as India, the world’s largest importer, boosts purchases.
The contract for delivery in April gained as much as 0.8 percent to 2,567 ringgit ($830) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 2,564 ringgit at 4:58 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures have gained 5.2 percent this year.
Rubber futures in Tokyo retreated from a 10-month high on concerns that demand in China, the world’s largest consumer, will slow during holidays next week.
The contract for delivery in July dropped 0.3 percent to end at 333 yen a kilogram ($3,561 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange after falling as much as 1.2 percent. Futures climbed to 334 yen yesterday, the highest settlement since March 28. The most-active contract has gained 10 percent this year.
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