Bloomberg News

Crude Oil Rises; Gas Stuck at 10-Year Low: Commodities at Close

March 09, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.2 percent to 704.33 at 6:04 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials gained 0.3 percent to 1,625.678.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose for a third day in New York after Greece completed its debt swap, easing Europe’s financial crisis. The U.S. is forecast to show improvement in its labor market, spurring more demand for fuel.

Crude for April delivery advanced as much as 74 cents to $107.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $106.79 at 4:10 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday rose 0.4 percent to $106.58, the highest settlement since March 5. Prices are up 0.4 percent this week and 8.4 percent so far this year.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures settled at a 10-year low for a second day after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles dropped by less than expected last week.

OIL PRODUCTS

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude rose 91 cents to $16.19 a barrel at 11:15 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a measure of refining profit, is the widest in three weeks. Gasoil swaps for April climbed $1.55, or 1.1 percent, to $138.25 a barrel, PVM said. That’s the highest since April 29.

April naphtha swaps increased $6.75, or 0.6 percent, to $1,066.25 a metric ton, according to PVM. The petrochemical feedstock is poised to advance for a fifth week. Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures, also known as the crack spread, was up $6.22 at $120.66 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest so far this week.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold climbed for a third day, paring a second weekly drop, as Greece completed its government debt swap. Silver headed for its worst week this year.

Spot gold gained as much as 0.4 percent to $1,706.85 an ounce and traded at $1,705.18 an ounce at 3:18 p.m. in Singapore. It is 0.4 percent lower this week after it fell 2.6 percent in the three trading days to March 6. The price declined to $1,663.30 that day, the lowest since Jan. 25.

Spot silver, the year’s best-performing metal, gained 0.4 percent to $34 an ounce, trimming the five-day decline to 2.3 percent for its worst week in 2012. The metal gained 22 percent this year as holdings in ETPs expanded 2.8 percent.

BASE METALS

Copper climbed for a third day, the longest advance in seven weeks, as Greece completed its debt swap and China’s inflation slowed, giving the country room to support growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Three-month copper rose as much as 1.2 percent to $8,430 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $8,398 by 4:54 p.m. in Tokyo. The metal declined 2 percent in the past five days, the first loss in three weeks. The Comex May-delivery contract was up 0.7 percent at $3.8175 a pound.

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES

Soybeans advanced to the most expensive in more than five months before a U.S. government report that may cut estimates for harvests in Brazil and Argentina, reducing global supplies.

May-delivery gained as much as 1.3 percent to $13.555 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest level for the most-active contract since Sept. 19, before trading at $13.5425 at 3:41 p.m. Singapore time.

Corn for May delivery gained 0.9 percent to $6.415 a bushel in Chicago, paring the weekly loss to 2.1 percent. Wheat for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $6.3975, trimming the weekly loss to 5.2 percent, the biggest such decline since the five days

Palm oil rallied to the highest level in nine months on speculation that Malaysian inventories have dropped to the lowest level since August, and as soybeans advanced to the costliest since September. May-delivery palm oil advanced as much as 2 percent to 3,368 ringgit ($1,120) a metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, the highest for the most-active contract since June 7, and traded at 3,353 ringgit at 3:52 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. Futures are poised for a 2.9 percent gain this week.

Cocoa for May delivery climbed $118, or 5.2 percent, to settle at $2,395 a ton yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the largest gain for a most-active contract since Feb. 15. The rally was the biggest among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

Arabica-coffee for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.894 a pound in New York, halting a four-session drop. Earlier, the price touched $1.851, the lowest for a most-active contract since October 2010. Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.2 percent to 23.96 cents a pound, snapping a three-day slide.

Cotton for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to close at 89.56 cents a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

The fiber has tumbled 59 percent since reaching a record $2.197 on March 7, 2011, as slowing global economic growth cut demand, especially in China, the biggest consumer.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $1.8975 a pound on ICE. The commodity has climbed 12 percent this year, touching a record $2.2695 on Jan. 23.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.5 percent to settle at 87.75 cents a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has advanced 4.1 percent this year. Cattle futures for April delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1.2665 a pound. The price, down 4.1 percent in the previous four sessions, has climbed 4.3 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net


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