Palm Oil, Gold, Copper Climb, Crude Drops: Commodities at Close
Oil dropped from the highest price in four months in New York before U.S. lawmakers vote this week on budget measures and European finance ministers meet today to discuss the debt crisis that threatens the region’s economy.
WTI crude for February delivery, which expires tomorrow, fell as much as 51 cents to $95.05 a barrel and was at $95.27 at 4:06 p.m. Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more active March contract was down 25 cents at $95.79. Front-month futures rose 7 cents on Jan. 18 to the highest close since Sept. 17.
The average volume of all contracts traded was 27 percent below the 100-day average. Floor trading will be closed today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Asia gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude slid to the least in two weeks, signaling reduced profit from producing the middle distillate. The fuel oil crack widened from the narrowest level in two weeks.
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude down 87 cents at $19.56/bbl at 10:49 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd. • Crack spread at the narrowest since Jan. 7 • February gasoil swaps unchanged after rising to $126.70/bbl • Jet fuel regrade unchanged after falling to 40 cents/bbl
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widens 32 cents to $5.49/bbl, according to PVM • February swaps up $3.50, or 0.6%, at $645.50/ton, at 50 cents discount to March contract • Viscosity spread unchanged after rising to $7.50/ton
• Light Distillates • Naphtha’s premium to London Brent crude up $11.06 at $103.08/ton at 11:21 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • February naphtha swaps up $8.50, or 0.9%, at $943.50/ton, PVM said • Gasoline reforming margin fell 81 cents to close at $15.16/bbl on Jan. 18, data compiled by Bloomberg show
Copper rose for a third day as improving U.S. economic data fueled expectations that demand from the second-largest user will improve this year.
Metal for delivery in three months climbed as much as 0.3 percent to $8,085.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,067.25 at 1:11 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper advanced to a one-week high of $8,130 on Jan. 18.
On the LME, aluminum advanced, while nickel, zinc and lead were little changed.
Gold advanced toward a one-month high on expectations for more stimulus while U.S. lawmakers wrangle over the debt limit. Silver traded near the highest level since Dec. 18 and was set for the longest rally in a year.
Spot gold rose as much as 0.4 percent to $1,691.50 an ounce, and was at $1,689.55 at 3:36 p.m. in Singapore. The metal last week climbed for a second week, the first back-to-back gain since September, and reached a one-month high of $1,696.28 on Jan. 17.
Cash silver gained as much as 0.8 percent to $32.11 an ounce, after touching a one-month high of $32.1225 on Jan. 18, and traded at $31.895. The metal is up for a sixth day, the longest rally since January 2012.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Palm oil climbed for a second day on speculation that shipments from Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer, may rebound after announcing a zero export tax for a second month to trim record inventories.
The contract for delivery in April climbed as much as 1.2 percent to 2,428 ringgit ($802) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, before trading at 2,417 ringgit at 4:15 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures rose 1.4 percent last week, the first such advance in three weeks.
Rubber declined after the longest weekly winning streak since November 2007 as the Japanese yen rebounded from its weakest level in 2 1/2 years, reducing investor’s appetite for yen-denominated contracts.
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