Crude Falls; Wheat, Gold Prices Rebound: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a third day after a report showed money managers cut their bets prices will rise. Libya halted some oil production and natural gas shipments amid fighting.
WTI for April delivery fell as much as 47 cents to $90.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $90.28 at 3:40 p.m. Singapore time. The volume of all futures traded was 29 percent above the 100-day average. The contract slid 1.5 percent to $90.68 on March 1, the lowest close since Dec. 24. Prices declined 2.6 percent last week for a second weekly drop and are down 1.7 percent this year.
Brent for April settlement slid 18 cents to $110.22 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 62 percent higher than the 100- day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $19.94 to WTI futures, from $19.72 on March 1.
OIL PRODUCTS Asia fuel oil’s discount to crude shrinks, signaling reduced losses for refiners making residual products. Naphtha swaps rebound.
• Light Distillates • Singapore naphtha’s discount to London Brent crude widens 8 cents to $5.27/bbl as of 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg • April Japan naphtha swaps up $3.39 at $913.57/mt • April East-West naphtha spread up $3.61 at $15.02/mt
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude up 34 cents at $19.75/bbl • April gasoil swaps up 28 cents at $124.71/bbl • April gasoil swap trades at 87 cents/bbl above May contract • April East-West gasoil spread down 3 cents at $5.75/mt • Jet fuel regrade up 13 cents at 20 cents/bbl discount to gasoil • April kerosene swap trades 77 cents/bbl above May contract
• Fuel Oil • Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrows $1.03 to $5.34/bbl • April 180-cst fuel oil swaps up $6.15 at $632.60/mt • April fuel oil swap trades 9 cents/mt above May contract • Viscosity spread widens 1 cent to $7.50/mt • April East-West fuel oil spread narrows 84 cents to $32.20/mt
Copper declined for a third day as China called for measures to cool property prices, curbing demand prospects for industrial metals. Aluminum fell for an 11th day, the longest losing streak since June.
Copper for delivery in three months slid as much as 0.4 percent to $7,670 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,701.75 at 3:56 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal touched $7,652 on March 1, the lowest since Nov. 19, and dropped 1.3 percent last week.
Gold rebounded from a one-week low on speculation that stimulus by central banks around the world will be maintained as economic data signaled the global recovery may be losing momentum. Silver advanced for a second day.
Spot gold rose as much as 0.6 percent to $1,585.02 an ounce, and traded at $1,578.73 at 3 p.m. in Singapore, snapping a three-day loss. The metal dropped to $1,564.88 on March 1, the lowest price since Feb. 21, as a strengthening dollar helped to curb demand. Bullion fell for a fifth month in February, the longest run of declines since 1997, after investors cut exchange-traded products holdings by the most since April 2008.
Cash silver gained 0.2 percent to $28.645 an ounce, spot platinum was little changed at $1,572.75 an ounce, and palladium slipped 0.5 percent to $719.65 an ounce.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Wheat snapped a four-day rally after a survey showed reserves in the U.S., the biggest exporter, may be larger than a government forecast.
The contract for May delivery lost as much as 0.7 percent to $7.155 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $7.1625 by 4:04 p.m. Singapore time. Futures gained 2.2 percent in the past four sessions as importers boosted purchases of U.S. supplies and on speculation that demand will climb after spot prices became cheaper than corn.
Soybeans for May delivery was little changed at $14.44 a bushel. Futures earlier climbed 0.6 percent. Corn for May delivery was little changed at $7.095 a bushel.
Rubber declined to the lowest level in more than two months amid concern that demand may weaken from China, the largest consumer, after the government called for more measures to cool property prices.
The contract for delivery in August fell 0.1 percent to 283.9 yen a kilogram ($3,039 a metric ton), the lowest close for the most-active contract since Dec. 20, extending this year’s losses to 6.2 percent.
The contract for May delivery climbed as much as 1.3 percent to 2,399 ringgit ($773) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and was at 2,392 ringgit at 11:48 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures tumbled 6.6 percent last week.
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