West Texas Intermediate oil traded near the highest level in more than a week in New York after the biggest gain since January. U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows. spread between Brent and WTI should come together.”
Crude for March delivery was at $96.94 a barrel, down 9 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:17 p.m. Tokyo time. The volume of all futures traded was 15 percent above the 100-day average. The contract increased $1.31 to $97.03 yesterday, the most since Jan. 2 and the highest closing price since Feb. 1.
Brent for March settlement, which expires tomorrow, fell 5 cents to $118.08 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active April contract slid 7 cents to $117.14 a barrel. The volume of all futures traded was 7 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade for March was at a premium of $21.14 to WTI futures. The gap narrowed $2.08, the most since Dec. 17, to $21.10 yesterday.
Copper traded near a one-week low as markets in China, the biggest buyer of the metal, are closed this week for the Lunar New Year holiday and data this week may show a contraction in euro-zone economies.
The metal for delivery in three months traded little changed at $8,190.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:00 p.m. in Seoul. The price yesterday fell 1.2 percent, the biggest drop since Dec. 20, touching $8,171, the lowest intra- day level since Jan. 31. Futures for March delivery were also little changed at $3.7195 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Gold rallied from its lowest level in more than a month as North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, spurring demand for a haven. Platinum advanced.
Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,646.40 an ounce at 3:12 p.m. in Singapore after losing as much as 0.3 percent to $1,642.90, the cheapest since Jan. 4. Spot silver was 0.3 percent lower after declining as much as 0.7 percent to $30.735 an ounce, the lowest since Jan. 28.
Spot platinum gained 0.6 percent to $1,698.87 an ounce, while cash palladium was little changed at $759.50 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn fell for an eighth day, the longest losing streak since March 2010, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast an increase in production.
Corn for March dropped as much as 0.7 percent to $6.975 a bushel, the lowest level since Jan. 11, on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $6.9775 at 3:31 p.m. Singapore time. The most- active contract has lost 5.7 percent this month.
Soybeans for May delivery little changed at $14.17 a bushel. The contract lost 4.6 percent in the four days to yesterday. Wheat for March delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $7.4075 a bushel.
Rubber futures in Tokyo recovered from a one-week low as Japan’s currency traded at the weakest level in almost three years, raising the appeal of yen-denominated contracts.
The contract for delivery in July rose 0.2 percent to 331 yen a kilogram ($3,511 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange at 11:41 a.m. Futures recovered after dropping to 323.4 yen in after-hours trading on Feb. 8, the lowest level since Feb. 4. The most-active contract has gained 9.4 percent this year.
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