Gold Rises; Rubber, Crude Oil Prices Drop: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate crude fell, extending the biggest drop in two weeks, while Brent slid for a fourth day. London- traded oil may be capped at $140 a barrel this year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
WTI for March delivery, which expires tomorrow, slid as much as 61 cents to $95.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.40 at 4:04 p.m. Singapore time. The more-active April future dropped 52 cents to $95.89. Yesterday’s transactions will be booked with today’s trades for settlement.
Asia’s fuel oil contango narrows for the first time in five days. Asia’s gasoil crack declined.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude widens 4 cents to $6.04/bbl at 10:35 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • March Japan naphtha swaps up $3.15 at $1,001.68/mt • March East-West naphtha spread up 1 cent at $10.60/mt
• Middle Distillates • Singapore gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude down 22 cents at $21.52/bbl • March gasoil swap up 1 cent at $134.29/bbl • March gasoil swap’s premium over April contract down 2 cents at 51 cents/bbl • March East-West gasoil spread down 75 cents at $4.25/mt • Jet fuel regrade unchanged for a fourth day at 20 cents/bbl • March kerosene swap’s premium over April contract down 2 cents at 81 cents/bbl
• Fuel Oil • Singapore fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows 26 cents to $8.84/bbl. Crack narrows for first time in five days • March 180-fuel oil swap up $3.10 at $659.92/mt • March fuel oil swap’s discount to April contract narrows 35 cents at $1.49/mt. Timespread narrows for first time in five days. • Viscosity spread unchanged after rising to $6.74/mt • March East-West fuel oil spread up 48 cents at $26.51/mt from yesterday’s $26.03, lowest since Jan. 31
Nickel fell to the lowest level in three weeks as lead declined to a one-week low on concerns that demand in China may not be strong enough to absorb rising supplies.
Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange declined as much as 0.8 percent to $17,720 a metric ton, the lowest since Jan. 29, while lead fell as much as 0.5 percent to $2,379.75 a ton, the lowest since Feb. 12. The LME Index of six primary metals lost 1.5 percent to 3,546.9 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 29.
LME nickel stockpiles rose to 154,122 tons on Feb. 12, the highest since April 2010, and were at 153,270 tons yesterday, exchange data showed. Recycled battery lead from electric bicycles is leaving China with the largest glut in six years.
Gold increased for the first time in a week on speculation prices near a six-month low will boost demand amid concern that the U.S. economic recovery may slow. Silver climbed, while platinum declined.
Gold for immediate delivery gained as much as 0.3 percent to $1,615.35 an ounce and traded at $1,612.62 at 4 p.m. in Singapore. Prices dropped to $1,598.23 on Feb. 15, the lowest since August. Silver added 0.2 percent to $29.9962 an ounce.
Platinum for immediate delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,684.87 an ounce, erasing an earlier 0.3 percent advance. Clashes between labor groups at Anglo American Platinum Ltd.’s Siphumelele mine in South Africa disrupted operations and caused one serious injury, according to police and the company, the world’s largest producer.
Palladium declined 0.1 percent to $761.30 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans advanced by the most in almost three weeks on concern that importers will struggle for supplies before the next U.S. harvest even as South American crops increase to a record. Wheat gained.
The contract for May delivery rose as much as 1.7 percent to $14.385 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest intraday advance for futures since Jan. 30. The price was $14.3725 at 1:32 p.m. Singapore time. The market was closed yesterday for a U.S. holiday.
Corn for May delivery was little changed at $6.9675 a bushel. That puts the price of soybeans at 2.07 times the cost of corn, compared with an average of 2.43 times in the past decade. Beans compete with corn for acreage. Wheat for May delivery added 0.3 percent to $7.5075 a bushel in Chicago.
Rubber futures slumped by the most in more than three months as Thailand may end a price-support program next month, spurring speculation shipments may increase from the world’s largest producer.
The contract for July delivery tumbled 3 percent to 314.6 yen a kilogram ($3,366 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the largest daily loss since Nov. 5. It was also the lowest settlement for the most-active contract since Jan. 29. The drop pared this year’s gain to 4 percent.
Palm oil advanced for a second day on speculation that shipments from Malaysia, the second-largest producer, will increase this month as exporters boost sales before a tax increase in March.
The contract for delivery in May climbed as much as 1.3 percent to 2,568 ringgit ($828) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, before trading at 2,565 ringgit at 4:04 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur.
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