Commodities Climb on Greek Bailout Talks, China Bank Reserve Cut

Commodities gained after China cut banks’ reserve requirements and optimism that Europe is set to agree on a second bailout deal for Greece weakened the dollar.

Oil rose as much as 2.1 percent to $105.44 a barrel in New York, the highest intraday price since May 5, after Iran halted some crude exports to Europe, according to a report. Copper in London advanced as much 2.7 percent to $8,396.50 a metric ton, rising for the first time in seven days as industrial metals rallied.

China cut the amount of cash that banks must set aside as reserves by half a percentage point from Feb. 24, the People’s Bank of China said Feb. 18. European finance ministers meet in Brussels today to seek agreement on a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) Greek bailout. The dollar declined against most of 16 major counterparts tracked by Bloomberg.

“Prices across the complex are firmer after positive weekend news from China and Greece,” Barclays Plc said in an e-mailed research note. “The flow of macroeconomic news, as well as market expectations of further accommodative global monetary policy measures, has helped sentiment stabilize so far this year.”

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities rose to 689.75 on Feb. 17, the highest since Aug. 1. There was no updated data today as some U.S. financial markets are closed for a holiday.

Oil for March delivery traded at $105.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:10 p.m. in London, gaining for a fourth day in the best winning run this year.

Alternative Asset

Three-month copper traded at $8,249 a ton on the London Metal Exchange, rebounding from the longest losing streak since September, on speculation that base-metal demand may increase in the world’s largest user. Zinc, tin, lead, nickel and aluminum advanced.

Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.5 percent to $1,735.00 an ounce as a weaker dollar spurred demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

Wheat for May delivery advanced 0.5 percent to 210.75 euros ($279.50) a metric ton on the NYSE Liffe exchange in Paris, amid concern crop damage in Ukraine may prompt the country to curb exports of the grain.

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