West Texas Intermediate crude rose for a second day as Enterprise Products Partners LP said supplies through its Seaway pipeline will increase, helping reduce a glut in the U.S. Midwest.
WTI for March delivery, which expires today, was at $96.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 29 cents, at 9:18 a.m. London time. The contract advanced 80 cents to $96.66 yesterday. The more active April future rose 26 cents to $97.36. The volume of all futures traded was 4 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for April settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was at $117.60 a barrel, up 8 cents. The volume was 13 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $20.26 to WTI, from $20.42 yesterday. The gap expanded to $23.18 on Feb. 8, the widest since Nov. 26.
Copper gained for the first time in four days in London after data showed an improvement in economic sentiment in Germany, the third largest user of the metal. Aluminum, lead and nickel also advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $8,097.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $8,087.25 by 10:47 a.m. Shanghai time. It fell to $8,038 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 29. Nickel rose as much as 0.9 percent to $17,540 a ton slumping after losing 5.4 percent in the first two days of this week.
Gold advanced, snapping a five-day losing run, on speculation that the U.S. central bank may prolong stimulus in the world’s largest economy amid a weaker-than-expected recovery.
Spot gold gained as much as 0.3 percent to $1,609.25 an ounce and was at $1,607.40 at 2:03 p.m. in Singapore before the release later today of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. The price dropped to $1,598.23 on Feb. 15, the lowest since Aug. 15. Bullion for April delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,606.70 an ounce on the Comex as the dollar fell.
Platinum for immediate delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,687.50 an ounce. Silver for immediate delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $29.5631 an ounce. Palladium was little changed at $764.90 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans climbed for a third day to the highest level in more than a week on signs of increasing demand from China, the world’s largest buyer, amid a threat to the crop in Argentina from dry weather.
The oilseed for delivery in May gained as much as 0.7 percent to $14.68 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price since Feb. 8. The contract was at $14.6275 at 1:57 p.m. in Singapore, on volume that was 45 percent more than the 100-day average for the time of day.
Corn for May delivery was little changed at $6.91 a bushel in Chicago. That puts the price of soybeans at 2.12 times the cost of corn, compared with a 10-year average of 2.43 times.
Wheat for May delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $7.375 a bushel on a trading volume that was 75 percent more than the 100-day average for that time of day.
Rubber futures tumbled to the lowest level in more than a month on speculation that shipments from Thailand, the world’s largest producer, may increase as the nation is expected to end a price-support program as planned.
The contract for July delivery fell 3 percent to 305.3 yen a kilogram ($3,273 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, the lowest settlement price for the most-active contract since Jan. 16. The drop widened losses this month to 3.3 percent and cut gains to 0.9 percent this year.
Palm oil advanced for a third day, tracking gains in soybeans, as dry weather in parts of Argentina dims the prospect for global supply of the oilseed crushed to make soybean oil and animal feed.
Palm oil for delivery in May rose as much as 0.7 percent to 2,584 ringgit ($835) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange. The contract traded at 2,568 ringgit at the midday close, extending this week’s advance to 2.5 percent.
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