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Oil Drops on Economy Fears; Copper Falls: Commodities at Close

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 2.5 percent to 635.50 at 5:32 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slid 2 percent to 1541.466.


Oil dropped to the lowest level in four days in New York, falling below $89 a barrel amid speculation that global fuel demand will falter as China’s economy slows and Europe struggles to control its debt crisis.

Crude for September delivery fell as much as $3.43 to $88.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $88.47 at 9:33 a.m. London time. The contract decreased 1.2 percent to $91.83 on July 20. Prices are 10.4 percent lower this year.


Natural-gas futures were little changed at $3.078 in New York for a second day after forecasts for hotter-than-normal weather that may erode a surplus of the power-plant fuel.


The premium of gasoil to Dubai crude rose 10 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $18.27 a barrel at 10:14 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The spread is the widest since Feb. 8.

Singapore gasoil swaps for August dropped 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $120.95 a barrel.

Japan naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures rose $8.17, or 11 percent, to $79.81 a ton, according to Bloomberg calculations based on PVM data. This spread is the widest since May 17.

Naphtha swaps for August fell $2, or 0.2 percent, to $874.50 a ton, PVM data showed.


Gold declined in London as concern that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening boosted the dollar and curbed demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

Bullion for immediate delivery fell 1 percent to $1,569.05 an ounce by 9:24 a.m. in London. Prices are up 0.3 percent this year. August-delivery futures were 0.9 percent lower at $1,568.40 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $26.88 an ounce. Palladium slipped 1.4 percent to $567.92 an ounce. Platinum was 1.6 percent lower at $1,391.24 an ounce.


Copper fell for a second day in London, extending last week’s drop, as increasing concern that Greece may leave the euro zone bolstered the dollar.


December-delivery corn advanced 0.5 percent to $8 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, beating the previous high of $7.9925 set in 2008, before dropping 0.7 percent to $7.905 at 2:57 p.m. in Singapore. Soybeans peaked at $16.915 a bushel, beating a high set last week, before dropping to $16.6675.

Soybeans for November delivery rose as much as 0.3 percent to $16.915 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, a record for the most-active contract, before retreating 1.2 percent to $16.665. December-delivery soybean oil declined 1.4 percent to 54.42 cents per pound. Palm oil and soybean oil are used in food and fuels.

Wheat for September delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $9.2925 a bushel, after climbing to $9.4725, the highest price for a most-active contract since August 2008. Soybean meal for December delivery advanced as much as 1.1 percent to $509.80 per 2,000 pounds in Chicago, an all-time high for the most-active contract, before declining 0.9 percent to $499.90.

Palm oil fell to the lowest level in a month on concern that demand for commodities will decline as Europe struggles to contain its debt crisis and economic growth slows in China, the top cooking-oil user.

October-delivery palm oil lost as much as 2.2 percent to 2,976 ringgit ($938) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the lowest price for the most-active contract since June 22. Futures traded at 2,984 ringgit at 4:25 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, after falling 0.8 percent last week.

Rubber declined the most in eight months after a central bank adviser in China, the biggest consumer, forecast slower economic growth and on concern that Europe’s debt crisis may worsen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ee Chien Chua in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at

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