West Texas Intermediate crude traded near its lowest level in more than a week after dropping the most since November following a surge in U.S. stockpiles.
WTI for May delivery was at $94.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 4 cents, at 8:55 a.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 31 percent above the 100-day average. The contract dropped $2.74 to $94.45 yesterday, the most since Nov. 20 and the lowest closing price since March 22. WTI is up 2.9 percent this year.
Brent for May settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was at $107.37 a barrel, up 26 cents. It fell 3.2 percent to $107.11 yesterday, the lowest price since Dec. 7. The volume of all futures traded was 4.8 percent higher than the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $12.88 to WTI futures, from $12.66 yesterday.
OIL PRODUCTS Asia’s gasoil crack spread snaps a three-day rising streak, signaling reduced profit for refiners making diesel. Naphtha and fuel oil swaps rebound.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude widens 19 cents to $11.54/bbl as of 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • May Japan naphtha swaps up $1.99 at $861.64/mt • May East-West naphtha spread widens $1.31 to $15.41/mt
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude down $1.27 at $17.48/bbl • May gasoil swaps down 91 cents at $121.58/bbl • May gasoil swap trades at 12 cents/bbl below June contract • May East-West gasoil spread narrows 47 cents to minus $5/mt • Jet fuel regrade down 1 cent at parity to gasoil • May kerosene swap trades 22 cents/bbl below June contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widens 1 cent to $6.34/bbl • May 180-cst fuel oil swaps up $2.18 at $620.69/mt • May fuel oil swap trades at 18 cents/mt below June contract • Viscosity spread widens 21 cents to $5.77/mt • May East-West fuel oil spread widens 25 cents to $28.74/mt
Copper pared an earlier loss to the lowest level in eight months as the Bank of Japan (8301)’s announcement that it will double asset purchases outweighed worse-than-estimated U.S. economic data.
The contract for three-month delivery slid as much as 0.8 percent to $7,331.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the lowest price since Aug. 3 before trading at $7,381.75 at 4:07 p.m. in Tokyo. China’s financial markets are closed today and tomorrow for national holidays. Aluminum was down 0.2 percent at $1,867.75 a ton.
Gold extended losses for a third day, nearing a bear market after 12 years of gains, on concern that investors are seeking higher returns in other assets as the global economy recovers. Platinum and palladium dropped.
Gold for immediate delivery lost as much as 1 percent to $1,541.82 an ounce, the lowest level since May 30, and was at $1,551.72 by 2:32 p.m. in Singapore. The metal has slumped 18.3 percent from its record close of $1,900.23 in September 2011, nearing the 20 percent that typically defines a bear market.
Spot silver fell as much as 1 percent to $26.73 an ounce, the lowest level since July 24, and was at $26.94. The metal is headed for a fourth day of losses, the worst streak since May.
Spot platinum slumped as much as 1.5 percent to $1,509.50 an ounce, the lowest since Aug. 31. Palladium lost as much as 1.4 percent to $741 an ounce, the cheapest since March 20.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans dropped for a second day on concern that a new bird flu outbreak in China may scare consumers, slowing meat consumption and feed use in the world’s largest buyer of the oilseed. Corn and wheat also fell.
The contract for May delivery lost as much as 0.3 percent to $13.76 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $13.7675 by 3:22 p.m. Singapore time. Futures fell 1 percent yesterday.
Corn for May delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $6.395 a bushel, while wheat declined 0.4 percent to $6.935 a bushel.
Palm oil fell as crude oil traded near the lowest price in more than a week on rising stockpiles in the U.S., reducing the appeal of biofuels.
The contract for delivery in June dropped as much as 1.5 percent to 2,360 ringgit ($766) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, before trading at 2,372 ringgit at 4:09 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Prices have tumbled 33 percent in the past year as stockpiles expanded amid slowing demand.
Rubber pared the biggest loss in two weeks as the Bank of Japan’s plans to double asset purchases weakened the yen, improving the appeal of yen-based contracts.
The contract for delivery in September on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange fell 1.2 percent to end at 258.7 yen a kilogram ($2,711 a metric ton), the lowest since Nov. 29. Futures earlier fell as much as 3.7 percent, the most in two weeks, and passed the threshold into a bear market on April 1.
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