Oil Drops; Gold, Copper, Corn, Wheat Slide: Commodities at Close
Oil trimmed its fourth weekly gain after U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers signaled they may end a stimulus program this year, raising concern the economic recovery may falter in the world’s biggest crude user.
West Texas Intermediate oil for February delivery fell as much as 85 cents to $92.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $92.17 at 4:11 p.m. in Singapore. Futures closed 20 cents lower yesterday after climbing to $93.12 a barrel Jan. 2, the highest settlement for a contract nearest to expiration since Sept. 18.
Asia fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrowed to the lowest in almost four weeks, indicating reduced losses from producing the residue fuel. The gasoil crack fell for a second day.
• Fuel Oil • High-sulfur fuel oil’s discount to Dubai narrows 79 cents to $6.63/bbl at 10:19 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd. Crack narrows for third day to smallest discount since Dec. 11 • HSFO swaps for Feb. rise $1.25 to $631.25/ton, highest since Oct. 30. Trades at discount of $1.50/ton to March contracts • Viscosity spread unchanged after rising to $9.25/ton
• Middle Distillates • Gasoil crack to Dubai falls 24 cents to $18.91/bbl, according to PVM • Feb. gasoil swaps down 83 cents to $124.95/bbl • Jet fuel trades at a discount of 18 cents/bbl to gasoil, widening 8 cents from yesterday
• Light Distillates • Japan naphtha’s crack to Brent falls $1.80 to $92.59/ton at 10:55 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg • Feb. naphtha swap falls for fifth day, by $7.75 to $931.50/ton, PVM data shows. • Gasoline reforming margin declined 7 cents to $16.39/bbl yesterday, Bloomberg data show.
Copper fell by the most in two weeks, paring a weekly gain, as industrial metals dropped after U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers said they will probably end their $85 billion monthly bond-purchase program sometime this year.
Gold tumbled, poised for the longest run of weekly losses since 2004, as Federal Reserve policy makers said that they’ll probably end asset purchases this year and investors cut holdings by the most since May. Silver slumped to the lowest since August while palladium and platinum dropped.
Spot gold fell as much as 1.1 percent to $1,646.15 an ounce, the lowest since Dec. 21, and was at $1,649.14 at 3:36 p.m. in Singapore. Bullion is 0.4 percent lower this week, set for a sixth weekly drop. Holdings in exchange-traded products, which reached a record 2,632.516 metric tons on Dec. 20, decreased 0.4 percent yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Cash silver fell as much as 2.5 percent to $29.42 an ounce, the lowest price since Aug. 22, and was at $29.5337. Assets in exchange-traded products backed by the metal reached an all-time high of 18,956.03 tons on Jan. 2.
GRAINS, OILSEEDS, SOFT COMMODITIES
Corn traded near a six-month low, heading for the longest streak of weekly losses in 15 months, on signs shipments will increase from Brazil, set to be the third-biggest exporter. Soybeans rallied from a six-week low.
Corn for March delivery dropped as much as 0.3 percent to $6.87 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was little changed at $6.895 at 2:41 p.m. in Singapore. Prices are down 0.6 percent this week, set for a fifth decline in the worst run since September 2011. The most-active contract dropped to $6.85 yesterday, the lowest level since July 3.
Soybeans for March delivery climbed as much as 0.8 percent to $13.9725 a bushel and traded at $13.96, set for a 1.6 percent decline this week. Prices touched $13.725 yesterday, the lowest since Nov. 16, after China scrapped its third U.S. purchase in two weeks. China is the world’s largest importer.
Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $7.55 a bushel, poised for a 3.1 percent drop this week. That’ll be the fifth weekly loss and the worst run since October 2011.
Palm oil advanced on speculation that a new export-tax structure in Malaysia, which took effect from the start of this month, will help to boost shipments from the world’s second- largest producer and pare record stockpiles.
The contract for March delivery climbed as much as 0.9 percent to 2,495 ringgit ($818) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, and traded at 2,482 ringgit at 4:06 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, paring a weekly loss.
Rubber surged to an eight-month high on the first trading day of 2013, extending last year’s 15 percent rally, as a weaker yen and increased U.S. auto sales boosted the appeal of the commodity.
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