Brent oil traded little changed after rising yesterday as a North Sea pipeline system stayed shut and Venezuela, OPEC’s fourth-biggest crude producer, reported the death of President Hugo Chavez.
Brent oil for April settlement was at $111.65 a barrel, up 4 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 3:48 p.m. in Singapore after earlier advancing as high as $112.23. The volume of all futures traded was 50 percent above the 100- day average. Prices gained $1.52 to $111.61 yesterday, the biggest increase since Feb. 8. The European benchmark grade’s premium to WTI futures was at $20.86, widening for a fifth day.
WTI for April delivery was at $90.79 a barrel, down 3 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 15 percent below the 100-day average.
Asia’s gasoil crack spread widens after three days of losses, signaling increased profit for refiners making diesel. Fuel oil swaps extend gains.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude widens 10 cents to $5.98/bbl as of 11 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • April Japan naphtha swaps up $15.93 at $924.14/mt • April East-West naphtha spread down $1.16 at $14.72/mt
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up 84 cents at $19.40/bbl • April gasoil swaps up $1.27 at $126.31/bbl • April gasoil swap trades at 75 cents/bbl above May contract • April East-West gasoil spread down 26 cents at $5/mt • Jet fuel regrade down 20 cents at 35 cents/bbl discount to gasoil • April kerosene swap trades 65 cents/bbl above May contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows 1 cent to $5.84/bbl • April 180-cst fuel oil swaps up $1.37 at $640.31/mt • April fuel oil swap trades 14 cents/mt above May contract • Viscosity spread widens 19 cents to $7.50/mt • April East-West fuel oil spread narrows 2 cents to $31.96/mt
Copper rose for a third day as better-than-estimated service-sector growth in the U.S., the second-biggest user, boosted the demand outlook.
Copper for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $7,812.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was little changed at $7,768 at 4:18 p.m. in Seoul. The May contract on the Comex in New York gained 0.3 percent to $3.524 per pound.
Gold climbed for a second day as physical demand picked up and investors weighed the continuation of stimulus measures by central banks against improving economic data. Silver, platinum and palladium advanced.
Spot gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,578.21 an ounce at 3:16 p.m. in Singapore, after earlier falling by 0.2 percent. Gold for April delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $1,577.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Bullion also increased as the Bank of Korea joined Russia and Kazakhstan in adding gold to reserves.
Cash silver gained 0.2 percent to $28.76 an ounce, spot platinum climbed 0.3 percent to $1,594.60 an ounce, and palladium added 0.5 percent to $739.80 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn declined for the second time this week as snowfall in the U.S., the biggest producer, improved prospects for the crop before the planting season starts in April.
The contract for May delivery lost as much as 0.4 percent to $7.0625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, and was at $7.0875 by 2:55 p.m. Singapore time. Futures gained 0.8 percent yesterday after falling 0.7 percent on March 4, when a Bloomberg survey showed that U.S. inventories may be larger than a government estimate last month.
Wheat for May delivery was unchanged at $7.06 a bushel, after touching an eight-month low of $6.975 on March 4. Soybeans for May delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $14.6325 a bushel.
Rubber futures gained for a second day as oil and equity markets rallied on improving U.S. service industries data.
The contract for delivery in August advanced as much as 1.7 percent to 292.5 yen a kilogram ($3,134 a metric ton) and closed at 289.1 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. That pared this year’s decline for a most active contract to 4.4 percent.
Palm oil in Malaysia climbs 0.3% to 2,407 ringgit a metric ton. The contract for May delivery erases losses of as much as 0.3% earlier on Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.
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