Natural Gas Rises; Gold Set to Increase: Commodities at Close
Oil traded near the lowest close in two days in New York before a government report that may show crude inventories rose to a 21-year high in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity.
Crude for June delivery was at $104.66 a barrel, down 21 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:46 p.m. Sydney time. The contract yesterday fell 6 cents to $104.87, the lowest close since April 26. Prices gained 1.8 percent last month and are 5.9 percent higher this year.
Natural gas futures rose for a third day as cooler weather forecast for next week may help ease a glut.
Gold may advance for a sixth day, set for the best run since August, as business activity in the U.S. expanded at the slowest pace since November 2009, spurring demand for alternative assets. Palladium reached the highest in almost six weeks.
Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,667.95 an ounce, the most expensive since April 13, and traded at $1,664.82 at 2:05 p.m. in Singapore. June-delivery bullion gained as much as 0.3 percent to $1,668.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Spot palladium rose as much as 0.6 percent to $686.75 an ounce, the highest since March 22, and traded at $683.59. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the metal advanced for a third day to 60.189 tons yesterday, the highest level since Sept. 29, Bloomberg data show.
Copper declined for a second day after data showed China’s manufacturing accelerated in April, damping speculation that the world’s second-largest economy will add monetary stimulus to support growth. Aluminum dropped.
Three-month delivery copper fell as much as 0.4 percent to $8,367.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,385 at 3:12 p.m. Tokyo time. The contract retreated 0.5 percent in April, a second monthly decline. July-delivery metal was little changed at $3.8235 a pound on the Comex. The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed for a public holiday.
GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn dropped as planting in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, progressed faster than last year’s pace, boosting expectations farmers will sow the most acres since 1937.
Corn for July delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $6.31 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.3225 at 2:07 p.m. in Singapore. Prices dropped 1.5 percent in April on speculation that rapid U.S. planting will boost yields.
Soybeans for July delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $14.975 a bushel before trading at $15.0025. Prices have climbed 24 percent this year as dry weather in Argentina and Brazil harmed crops. About 12 percent of the U.S. soybean crop was planted, compared with 6 percent a week ago and the previous five-year average of 5 percent, the USDA said.
July-delivery wheat dropped as much as 0.8 percent to $6.495 a bushel before trading at $6.50.
Rubber advanced for a fourth day as data showed China’s manufacturing accelerated in April, raising speculation demand from the world’s largest consumer may expand.
October-delivery rubber gained as much as 1 percent to 316 yen a kilogram ($3,963 a metric ton), the highest level since April 11, before settling at 313.9 yen on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The most-active contract lost 3.9 percent last month, the second monthly decline. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
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