WTI Crude Swings as Inventories Rise: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate crude fluctuated after the government reported U.S. oil stockpiles increased to the highest level in more than 22 years while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reached an intraday record.
WTI crude for May delivery fell 21 cents to $93.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $93.86 before the release of the EIA report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. The volume of all futures traded was 11 percent less than the 100-day average for the time of day.
Brent oil for May settlement declined 47 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $105.76 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all Brent futures was 4.8 percent lower than the 100-day average.
The European benchmark was at a premium of $11.77 to WTI, down from $12.03 at yesterday’s close. The premium settled at $11.30 on April 8, the narrowest level since June 22.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Cotton futures rose for the first time a week on speculation that supplies will shrink in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Sugar, coffee and orange juice gained, while cocoa fell.
Cotton for July delivery jumped 1.7 percent to 88.11 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery rose 0.4 percent to 17.79 cents a pound on ICE. The price rose for the third straight day, heading for the longest rally in a month.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 1.1 percent to $1.3685 a pound.
Cocoa futures for July delivery fell 0.7 percent to $2,218 a metric ton.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Gold futures fell most in a week after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting spurred speculation that stimulus will be curbed, easing the threat of inflation. Palladium retreated to the lowest since January.
Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.8 percent to $1,574.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest loss since April 3.
Silver futures for May delivery fell 1 percent to $27.60 an ounce in New York, after jumping 2.7 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 30.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery tumbled 2.5 percent to $714.55 an ounce, after reaching $704, the lowest since Jan. 15.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Copper futures fell the most in a week on concern that global supply will exceed demand after China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, reported weaker-than-expected exports.
Copper futures for delivery in May slid 0.9 percent to $3.411 a pound on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest drop since April 3. Prices declined 5.8 percent this year through yesterday.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 1 percent to $7,556.50 a metric ton ($3.43 a pound).
Zinc, nickel, tin and aluminum also fell in London, while lead gained.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
U.S. wheat stockpiles at the end of the marketing year will be 2.1 percent higher than forecast last month as livestock producers feed less to animals, the Department of Agriculture said today in a report.
Wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped after the USDA raised the stockpile outlook. The July contract was down 1.7 percent at $7.02 a bushel in Chicago.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $6.425 a bushel. Corn stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s top grower and exporter, will be 20 percent larger before the next harvest than projected last month, the government said. Analysts were expecting a bigger increase.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.3 percent to $13.91 a bushel.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Gasoline tumbled after the Energy Information Administration reported a jump in inventories, imports and refinery inputs.
Gasoline for May delivery fell 5.67 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $2.8857 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was more than double the 100-day average.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 1.1 cents to $3.572 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices have fallen 21.4 cents from the year-to-date high of $3.786 on Feb. 26 and are 35 cents below a year earlier.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery fell 0.6 cent to $2.9553 a gallon on volume that was 15 percent below the 100-day average. Gasoline’s discount to ULSD widened 5.07 cents to 6.96 cents a gallon, after narrowing the prior four days.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas rose in New York for the first time in three days following forecasts for below-normal temperatures through mid-April in the western U.S. that may boost heating demand.
Natural gas for May delivery rose 13.3 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $4.15 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was 63 percent above the 100- day average for the time of day.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Cattle fell for a second straight day on speculation that cold weather across the central U.S. will curb meat demand for outdoor grilling. Hogs rose.
Cattle futures for June delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1.2125 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Through yesterday, prices fell 8 percent in 2013.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement declined 0.8 percent to $1.435 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.4 percent to 90.2 cents a pound on the CME. Prices were down 4 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.
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