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Crude Oil Declines; Copper, Gold Increase: Commodities at Close

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.3 percent to 665.64 at 4:50 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials fell 0.01 percent to 1,570.691.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell for the first time in four days, paring a third weekly advance in New York, on speculation that its rise to a three-month high was not sustainable.

Oil for September delivery fell as much as 62 cents to $94.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $95.11 at 2:45 p.m. Singapore time. The contract increased $1.27 yesterday to settle at $95.60, the highest price since May 11.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures dropped for a third day in New York amid forecasts for cooler-than-normal weather that may reduce fuel demand for electricity generation and add to a supply glut.

Gas slipped as much as 0.9 percent today. Commodity Weather Group LLC predicted normal or below-normal temperatures in most of the eastern and central U.S. through Aug. 25 after a July that was the hottest month on record.

OIL PRODUCTS

Japan naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures rose $22.24, or 30 percent, to $96.51 a metric ton at 11:17 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The premium is the widest since May. Naphtha swaps for September gained $3.25, or 0.3 percent, to $958.25 a ton, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker.

The premium of gasoil to Dubai crude fell 35 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $19.30 a barrel, PVM data showed. The spread declined for the first time since Aug. 13. Gasoil swaps for September dropped 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $130.25 a barrel.

BASE METALS

Copper rose for a second day after U.S. building permits climbed to a four-year high, indicating demand may improve from the second-largest user.

Copper for delivery in three months advanced as much as 0.4 percent to $7,475 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange , before trading at $7,468 at 2:09 p.m. Shanghai time. The contract has lost 0.3 percent this week.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold is set to gain for a third day, paring a weekly loss, on speculation governments from China to U.S. may take steps to spur growth. Platinum rose to a five-week high after production disruptions at a mine in South Africa.

Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,618.52 an ounce and was at $1,617.90 at 2:48 p.m. in Singapore. The price is down 0.1 percent this week. December-delivery bullion was little changed at $1,620.10 on the Comex in New York.

Spot platinum gained as much as 0.6 percent to $1,450 an ounce, the highest since July 10, before trading at $1,449.50. The metal rallied 3.3 percent yesterday amid disruptions at the mine owned by Lonmin Plc, the third-biggest producer.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES

Wheat gained, paring a second weekly loss, as inventories declined in Russia, last year’s third-biggest shipper, and the onset of El Nino threatens the Australian crop. Corn dropped.

December-delivery wheat advanced as much as 0.9 percent to $8.895 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures were $8.885 a bushel at 3:28 p.m., set for a 1.4 percent weekly loss.

December-delivery corn lost as much as 0.6 percent to $8.03 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The most-active contract was at $8.0525 a bushel, poised for a 0.5 percent loss this week. Futures, which reached a record $8.49 on Aug. 10, are up 25 percent this year, after the worst drought in a century parched crops.

Soybeans for November delivery were little changed at $16.2575 a bushel, heading for a weekly decline of 1.1 percent.

Palm oil climbed for a third day, heading for the first weekly gain in six, after exports from Malaysia, the largest producer after Indonesia, rebounded as the lowest price in 10 months lured buyers.

The November-delivery contract gained as much as 0.6 percent to 2,959 ringgit ($944) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the highest price for the most-active contract since Aug. 1, and ended the morning session at 2,950 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur. Futures, which dropped to a 10-month low of 2,820 ringgit on Aug. 14, are poised to advance 2.4 percent this week.

Rubber posted the biggest one-day gain this year, snapping a run of five weekly losses, after Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to cut shipments by 300,000 metric tons to try to boost prices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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