Copper Rises; Gold Gains; Rubber Declines: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate oil traded near the highest level in two days before international talks with Iran on its nuclear program. China increased fuel prices for the first time since September.
WTI for April delivery was at $93.26 a barrel, up 13 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:01 p.m. Singapore time. The contract rose to $93.13 on Feb. 22, the highest settlement since Feb. 20. The volume of all futures traded was 2 percent above the 100-day average. Front- month prices fell 2.9 percent last week, the most since December.
Brent oil for April settlement rose 26 cents to $114.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume was 23 percent less than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $21.10 to WTI, from $20.97 on Feb. 22.
Asia’s gasoil crack spread widens for the first time in three days, signaling increased profit for refiners making diesel.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude narrows 5 cents to $7.06/bbl as of 11:30 a.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • March Japan naphtha swaps down $2.18 at $963.58/mt • March East-West naphtha spread down 95 cents at $7.29/mt
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up 49 cents at $21.62/bbl • March gasoil swaps up 31 cents at $130.96/bbl • March gasoil swap trades at 57 cents/bbl above April contract • March East-West gasoil spread narrows 2 cents to 75 cents/mt • Jet fuel regrade up 10 cents at 10 cents/bbl • March kerosene swap trades $1.02/bbl above April contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows 9 cents to $8.36/bbl • March 180-cst fuel oil swaps down 54 cents at $641.28/mt • March fuel oil swap trades $1.60/mt below April contract • Viscosity spread narrows 4 cents to $6/mt • March East-West fuel oil spread narrows 1 cent to $28.59/mt
Copper rose for the first time in seven days, climbing from the biggest weekly decline in more than a year, as manufacturing in the U.S. probably expanded for a third month in February.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 0.8 percent to $7,861.25 a metric ton, before trading at $7,858 at 2:08 p.m. in Shanghai. It declined 4.9 percent last week, the biggest drop since December 2011. On the LME, lead and tin also climbed, while nickel and aluminum fell.
Gold gained for a third day after data showed that central banks in Russia and Kazakhstan added the metal to reserves in January, countering a decline in bullion-backed exchange-traded products as haven demand wanes.
Spot gold rallied as much as 0.5 percent to $1,589.27 an ounce, and was at $1,589.22 at 4:22 p.m. in Singapore, rebounding from a seven-month low of $1,555.55 on Feb. 21. Gold’s so-called relative strength index was below 30 from Feb. 15 to Feb. 22, the level that indicates to some analysts who study technical charts that a rebound in prices may be imminent.
Cash silver gained 0.6 percent to $28.9144 an ounce, paring a monthly loss. Spot platinum added 0.8 percent to $1,621.50 an ounce, 3.4 percent lower this month. Palladium was rose 0.2 percent to $739.85 an ounce, set to snap a three-month increase.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Soybeans swung between gains and losses as investors weighed the impact of a potential record U.S. crop in 2013 against signs that Chinese demand is switching away from Brazil because of shipping delays.
The oilseed for May delivery lost as much as 0.6 percent to $14.3525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, swinging from a 0.6 percent advance. It traded little changed at $14.4325 at 3:19 p.m. in Singapore on a trading volume that was more than double the 100-day average. Futures fell 2.6 percent last week.
Corn for May delivery fell 0.3 percent to $6.8225 a bushel in Chicago. That put the price of soybeans at about 2.1 times the cost of corn compared with a 10-year average of 2.43 times. Wheat for May delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $7.15 a bushel.
Rubber declined for a fifth day and traded near a two-month low as stockpiles increased in China, the largest consumer, and a survey showed the country’s manufacturing is expanding at the slowest pace in four months.
The contract for July delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange fell as much as 0.8 percent to 294.6 yen a kilogram ($3,132 a metric ton), approaching the two-month low of 292.7 yen reached Feb. 21. Futures settled at 295.3 yen, extending this year’s drop to 2.4 percent.
Palm oil fell the most since November as forecast for a record U.S. soybean crop next year deepened concern that global cooking oil supplies may increase and a tax on exports will curb demand for Malaysian supplies.
The contract for delivery in May dropped as much as 2.8 percent to 2,463 ringgit ($794) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the biggest drop for the most-active contract since Nov. 12, and ended the morning session at 2,479 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur. Futures gained 2.1 percent last week.
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