Category Archives: Commodities
“FORTUNE — Gold is down more than 25% from its recent highs, leading some observers to declare it on track for its biggest one-quarter decline since the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971.
This is a bit misleading: the average price of gold in 1971 was around $40 an ounce. The following year it was $58. By 1974, the year of the Arab oil embargo, gold averaged $154 an ounce. By taking the dollar off the gold standard in 1971, President Nixon kicked off one of the great risk markets in history, allowing speculators to flee from the occasionally useless (currency) to the utterly useless (gold) whenever the prices of really useful things (oil, food) went up.
The dollar collapsed after Nixon took it off the gold standard. Treasury Secretary John Connally cheered, saying the U.S. “took charge,” precipitating the dismembering of the Bretton Woods exchange rate system. Nixon went on national TV and said closing the gold window would stabilize and strengthen the dollar. The following day — a Monday — the Dow had its biggest one-day gain ever (33 points — those were the days!).
Fast-forward to today as the price of gold fades, even as global turmoil continues. Here are four news items to consider in evaluating gold’s decline…”
“Crude oil advanced, with West Texas Intermediate surpassing $100 a barrel for the first time in nine months, on shrinking U.S. stockpiles and concern that political turmoil in Egypt may disrupt Middle Eastern supply.
Futures rose as much 2.6 percent in New York after climbing to the highest settlement price in 14 months. Crude inventories fell by 9.4 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. A government report today may show a drop of 2.25 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi rejected an ultimatum by the armed forces to solve the country’s political impasse, fanning concern that unrest may interrupt oil shipments through the Suez Canal or Suez-Med pipeline.
“People are expecting to see a large draw-down in inventories in Cushing, and that is supporting the WTI market much more than the Brent market,” Torbjoern Kjus, a senior oil analyst atDNB ASA (DNB) in Oslo, said by phone, referring to the Oklahoma town serving as a U.S. storage hub. “The Brent market is supported by geopolitical risks due to tensions in Egypt.”
WTI for August delivery increased as much as $2.58 to $102.18 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $100.96 at 11:43 a.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was more than four times the 100-day average. The contract gained $1.61 to $99.60 yesterday, the highest close since May 2012.
Brent for August settlement rose as much as $1.61, or 1.6 percent, to $105.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $3.86 to WTI. The spread was $4.40 yesterday, the narrowest based on closing prices since Jan. 4, 2011. It was more than $23 in February.
UBS AG sees the spread widening again to $12 a barrel in the third quarter this year and narrowing later. Brent is set to rebound to $110 a barrel in the third quarter “on stronger short-term fundamentals and rising geopolitical risk,” Julius Walker, the bank’s global energy markets strategist, said in an e-mailed report today…..”
“Copper rose on the London Metal Exchange, the only gain among the six main metals traded on the bourse, as traders closed out bets on lower prices amid concern about supply.
Interruptions to output in recent months are affecting physical supply of copper, according toSociete Generale SA. Speculators are likely positioned “very short on the LME,” Standard Bank Group Ltd. said yesterday, referring to bets on a decline. Prices reached the lowest level since 2010 last week.
“There is an impression that the market is a bit short copper, so you have a little bit of a squeeze,” Jesper Dannesboe, a senior commodity strategist at Societe Generale in London, said by phone. He cited “the supply disruptions that hit the headlines several months ago,” as well as “some short-covering.”
Copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.5 percent to $6,946 a metric ton by 10:55 a.m. on the LME. Metal for immediate delivery was at a $1.50-a-ton premium to the three-month contract, narrowing from as much as $18 yesterday, the widest backwardation in a year. Copper for delivery in September rose 0.2 percent to $3.149 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is awaiting approval to restart underground mining at Grasberg in Indonesia, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, after a deadly accident in May. A landslide in April reduced production at Rio Tinto Group (RIO)’s Bingham Canyon mine inUtah. Factory orders in the U.S. rose more than estimated in May, a report showed yesterday….”
“West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest level in almost two weeks on speculation that U.S. crude stockpiles shrank for the first time in a month, signaling increased demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Futures were up as much as 0.4 percent after rising yesterday amid signs of U.S. economic growth and concern that unrest in Egypt may spread and disrupt Middle Eastern oil supplies.Crude inventories probably fell by 2.63 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before a government report tomorrow. The American Petroleum Institute is to release separate supply data today. U.S. factory orders may have risen 2 percent in May, a separate Bloomberg survey showed.
“The U.S. durable goods and factory orders data is the main focus for the day and will be interesting to see after decent PMI manufacturing data yesterday that showed there is good growth in the country, especially in the manufacturing sector,” Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, said by phone today.
WTI for August delivery was at $98.22 a barrel, up 23 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:13 a.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 160 percent above the 100-day average. The contract climbed $1.43 to $97.99 yesterday, the highest close since June 19.
Brent for August settlement rose 12 cents to $103.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $4.96 to WTI. The spread was $5.01 yesterday, the narrowest closing gap since Jan. 4, 2011, after dropping below $5 in intraday trading….”
“Hedge funds cut wagers on a gold rally to a five-year low as a record quarterly drop drove prices below $1,200 an ounce for the first time since 2010 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast more declines.
Money managers reduced their net-long position by 20 percent to 31,197 futures and options by June 25, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. That’s the lowest since June 2007. Holdings of short contracts climbed 5 percent to 77,027, the second-highest on record. Net-bullish wagers across 18 commodities tumbled 9 percent, the most in 12 weeks….”
“Bernanke said yesterday the central bank, which buys $85 billion of Treasury and mortgage debt each month, may begin reducing purchases this year and end the program in 2014 should the economy continue to improve. The dollar rose to the highest in more than a week against six major currencies and the 10-year yield on Treasuries reached a 22-month high. Commodities dropped.
Bullion slid 22 percent this year, heading for the biggest annual drop since 1981, as some investors lose faith in it as a store of value and as speculation grew that the Fed will taper debt-buying that helped the metal cap a 12-year bull run last year. Investors sold 520.7 metric tons valued at $21.6 billion from gold-backed exchange-traded products this year. The price slump hurt billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson and producer Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM)
“The markets are definitely not prepared to wait until the tapering actually begins,” said Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “The combination of Fed tapering, a spike in nominal yields and a stronger dollar has put gold under some considerable pressure.”
Gold for immediate delivery dropped as much as 4.8 percent to $1,286.20 an ounce, the lowest since Sept. 28, 2010, and traded at $1,300 by 11:57 a.m. in London. Bullion for August delivery sank as much as 6.5 percent to $1,285 on the Comex in New York and was last at $1,298.80. Futures trading volume was triple the average in the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The metal may fall another $50 in the next few days and will probably drop to about $1,100 in a year, according to Ric Deverell, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse Group AG. Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics and international business at New York University, has forecast a decline toward $1,000 by 2015.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI (SPGSCI) gauge of 24 commodities dropped 3.6 percent since the start of January, the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities rose 5.4 percent and the U.S. Dollar Index added 2.8 percent. A Bank of America Corp. index shows Treasuries lost 1.9 percent.
“West Texas Intermediate crude rose to a nine-month high after an industry report showed U.S. inventories dropped last week.
Futures rose as much as 0.6 percent. Crude stockpiles fell by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended June 14, the American Petroleum Institute said. An Energy Information Administration report today may show supplies shrank by 500,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to sign a statement at the Group of Eight summit calling for a “transitional government” in Syria. The U.S. Federal Reserve will release a statement and economic forecasts when its meeting ends today.
“The API offered a little more support,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in an e-mail today. “Geopolitical concerns are also supportive. The long-running conflict in Syria has little fundamental market impact, but it is fears for a spillover to neighboring oil producers that will see jittery Brent trading this summer.”
WTI for July delivery, which expires tomorrow, rose as much as 57 cents to $99.01 a barrel, the highest intraday price since Sept. 17. Futures were at $98.63 in electronic trading on theNew York Mercantile Exchange as of 12:56 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 40 percent above the 100-day average. Prices climbed 67 cents to $98.44 yesterday. The more-active August contract gained 7 cents to $98.74.
Brent for August settlement increased 36 cents to $106.38 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $7.54 to WTI. It was $7.35 yesterday, the narrowest based on closing prices since January 2011.
“West Texas Intermediate crude traded at the highest price in more than nine months because of renewed speculation that unrest in Syria will spread to other parts of the Middle East and disrupt supplies.
Futures gained as much as 0.8 percent after rising the most in five days on June 14, capping a second weekly gain. U.S. President Barack Obama was said to authorize arming Syrian rebel groups. Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani’s vow to improve ties with the world carried him to a surprise first-round election win. Stronger summer demand and supply risks continue to support the market, Morgan Stanley said in a research note.
“We’ve seen prices rising over the past week primarily over geopolitical worries,” Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. “We are settling in for a range-bound day of trading and any major moves will have to be geopolitical related.”
WTI for July delivery was at $98.52 a barrel, up 67 cents in electronic trading on the New YorkMercantile Exchange as of 11:31 a.m. London time. It had climbed as high as $98.67, the most since Sept. 14. The volume of all futures traded was 30 percent above the 100-day average. The contract rose 1.2 percent to $97.85 on June 14, advancing the most since June 7 to the highest settlement since Jan. 30.
“SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Gold fell for a second straight day on Wednesday as a holiday in China deprived the metal of a strong support base and as investors worried about global central banks scaling back their easy-money policies.
The Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) move on Tuesday to refrain from taking fresh steps to calm turbulence in the domestic bond market, and Standard & Poor’s upgrade of the U.S. credit outlook on Monday indicated that the global economy was on track for a recovery, hurting bullion’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.
“The sentiment is still bearish,” said a trader in Sydney. “Since there is no China today, we can expect gold to fall again towards $1,365.”
China, which is on a three-day holiday for the Dragon Boat festival, has been a key support for gold prices during Asian hours as its demand continues to be strong. The No. 2 bullion consumer has, to an extent, overshadowed concerns about slowing demand in India, the biggest gold buyer, traders have said.
China’s gold imports from Hong Kong touched an all-time high in March as buyers scrambled to buy bullion, and the surging appetite caused a supply shortage in April. Premiums for gold bars in China also touched record highs last month.
“With the Chinese out until Thursday, the market is lacking a key stabilising factor, and we continue to see little support for gold at least until their return,” ANZ analysts wrote in a note.
Spot gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,375.1 an ounce at 0642 GMT, after a 0.5 percent drop the day before as equity and commodity markets were rattled by the BOJ standing pat….”
“West Texas Intermediate traded near its lowest closing level in three days amid signs of expanding U.S. supplies and as the International Energy Agency trimmed demand estimates for OPEC’s crude.
WTI fluctuated after losing 0.4 percent yesterday to settle at its lowest price since June 6. U.S. Energy Department data today may show crude inventories in the world’s largest oil-consuming nation dropped 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The IEA trimmed forecasts for the amount of oil OPEC needs to supply in the second half of the year on signs of slower Chinese growth.
“Gloomier overall sentiment is weighing on prices,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “There was not much positive for the market in today’s IEA report. The supply risks, however, should further support the prices.”
WTI for July delivery traded 2 cents lower at $95.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 12:12 p.m. London time, after declining as much as 92 cents to $94.46. The volume of all futures traded was 12 percent below the 100-day average. The contract lost 39 cents to close at $95.38 yesterday.
Brent for July settlement gained 25 cents to $103.21 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $7.86 to WTI. The spread narrowed for a fifth day yesterday to close at $7.58.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will need to provide an average of 29.8 million barrels a day in the second half of the year, the IEA said today in its monthly market report, trimming the forecast in its previous report by 200,000 barrels a day. That would require OPEC to cut output by 1.1 million barrels from the 30.9 million it pumped in May, according to the IEA. The agency kept its estimates for global oil demand for this year unchanged…..”
“* Reuters poll shows increase in U.S. crude stockpiles
* Central Banks could start tightening monetary policy
* OPEC trims 2013 world oil demand growth forecast
* Weaker Chinese economy continues to weigh on oil
By Peg Mackey
LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) – Brent crude tumbled below $102 per barrel on Tuesday after the United States nearly doubled the estimate of its shale oil and investors worried that central banks, following Japan, could rein in their loose monetary policy.
World share fell and yields on riskier European debt rose after the Bank of Japan’s decision not to follow up its $1.4 trillion stimulus programme announced in April.
U.S. oil production has soared as new drilling techniques have unlocked shale deposits countrywide. The Energy Information Administration now estimates such shale oil reserves at 58 billion barrels, up from 32 billion in 2011.
“With the global economy continuing to grow at a snail’s pace, the likelihood of a significant growth spurt in oil consumption in the short to even medium term is highly unlikely,” said Dominick Chirichella of Energy Management Institute.
Brent crude was off $1.79 to $102.16 a barrel by 1345 GMT, having sunk to $101.82 in earlier trade. U.S. oil shed $1.33 to $94.44.
Increasing oil supplies and waning demand in China, the world’s number two oil consumer, are likely to hold down prices.
Data from China showed a slowdown in the economy of the world’s biggest energy consumer, with May exports weak and domestic activity struggling to pick up.
Implied oil demand rose in May at its lowest annual rate since September 2012, Reuters calculations show….”
Standard & Poor’s lifted its outlook for the U.S.’s AA+ credit rating yesterday to stable from negative, citing receding fiscal risks. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last month the central bank could curtail its $85 billion monthly bond purchases if the economy improves. Chinese markets remain closed today and tomorrow for holidays.
“Upbeat sentiment over the U.S. economic outlook continues to feed concerns of increasing U.S. yields and an easing pace to QE3,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, wrote in a report, referring to quantitative easing. “Volumes in Asia will be subdued due to holidays in China.”
Gold for immediate delivery slid 1.2 percent to $1,370.37 an ounce by 11:19 a.m. in London. Prices fell to $1,367.75, the lowest level since May 23. Bullion for August delivery was 1.2 percent lower at $1,369.40 on the Comex in New York. Futures trading volume was 7 percent below the average in the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Bullion at the morning “fixing,” used by some mining companies to sell output, was at $1,369.50 in London, down from $1,383.25 yesterday afternoon….”
“West Texas Intermediate declined for a second day before a report forecast to show crude stockpiles increased last week in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity.
Futures declined as much as 0.7 percent in New York. U.S. crude inventories probably rose by550,000 barrels to 391.8 million last week, and U.S. gasoline supplies by 500,000 barrels to 219.3 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before the report tomorrow from the Energy Information Administration. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will release monthly estimates of supply and demand today.
“Fundamentals are still skewed towards over-supply, though there are some minor clouds on the horizon,” Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark.
WTI for July delivery fell by as much as 65 cents to $95.12 a barrel and was at $95.15 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:37 a.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 27 percent below the 100-day average. The contract settled at $95.77 yesterday, the lowest close since June 6.
Brent for July settlement decreased 91 cents to $103.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to WTI shrank to as little as $7.87 a barrel today, the narrowest gap since May 22….”
“Commodities fell and currencies from Australia to South Africa weakened after Chinese data trailed estimates. U.S. stock-index futures rose, Japan’s Topix surged the most in more than two years and the yen retreated.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI (SPGSCI) gauge of 24 raw materials dropped 0.6 percent to 627.42 at 7:20 a.m. in New York as copper declined 1.2 percent and lead slid 1.7 percent. The Aussie lost as much as 1.1 percent versus the dollar, the rand tumbled 2 percent and India’s rupee fell to a record as Asian currencies declined. S&P 500 futures added 0.5 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent. Japan’s Topix surged 5.2 percent while the yen depreciated 1.4 percent to 98.94 per dollar….”
“Hedge funds increased wagers on a gold rally to the highest in seven weeks before a report showing the U.S. added more jobs than forecast spurred the biggest retreat in prices since April.
Speculators raised their net-long position by 19 percent to 57,113 futures and options by June 4, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The holdings surged 60 percent in two weeks, the most since March, as short bets contracted. Net-bullish wagers across 18 U.S.-traded commodities slid 3.3 percent as investors became more bearish on sugar and coffee.
U.S. payrolls rose 175,000 in May, signaling companies are optimistic about the outlook for demand, the government said June 7. The report increased speculation the Federal Reservewill taper its bond buying. Gold holdings in exchange-traded products dropped 19 percent to a two-year low since the start of January as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value and as equities rose and inflation failed to accelerate.
“We saw some short-term bullish sentiment build up, then the jobs data dashed all hopes of gold rising,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion of assets at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. “Any good news for the economy is not so good for gold. The debate about when the Fed will taper or end stimulus continues to pressure.”
Gold futures dropped 2.3 percent on June 7, the most since April 15, when the metal capped a two-day, 13 percent loss that was the biggest in three decades and sent prices into a bear market. Bullion rose 1.6 percent in the four days prior to the jobs report, before ending the week down 0.7 percent at $1,383 an ounce. Gold futures traded at $1,379.90 an ounce by 6:47 a.m. in New York today, 28 percent below the record reached in September 2011….”
“West Texas Intermediate headed for its first weekly gain in a month before data forecast to show more jobs were added in the U.S., the biggest crude consumer.
Futures rose as much as 0.4 percent, and have advanced 3.4 percent this week. Employers in the U.S. probably created as many jobs in May as in the month before, a Bloomberg survey showed before the Labor Department’s report today. WTI’s discount to the European benchmark, Brent, widened for the first time in three days. WTI may slide next week, according to a separate Bloomberg survey.
“We are expecting a seasonal pick-up in demand in the coming months,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil-market analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., a consulting company in London. “The U.S. recovery has been broadly on track so far. The labor market is healing and the economy is slowly getting better.”
WTI for July delivery was at $95.06 a barrel, up 30 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:36 a.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 15 percent below the 100-day average. The contract rose $1.02 to $94.76 yesterday, the highest close since May 28.
Brent for July settlement was up 39 cents at $104 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $8.97 to WTI, compared with $8.85 yesterday.
“West Texas Intermediate crude rose for a second day in New York, trading near its highest level in a week after U.S. stockpiles dropped the most this year.
Futures climbed as much as 0.8 percent after gaining 0.5 percent yesterday. U.S. crude supplies slid by 6.3 million barrels last week, the most since December, data from the Energy Information Administration showed yesterday. They were projected to decline by 800,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Monthly U.S. jobs data will be released tomorrow. The European Central Bank and Bank of England kept their benchmark interest ratesunchanged.
“The weekly inventory data yesterday surprised quite a bit,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone today. “We have the U.S. monthly job report tomorrow and central bank meetings today, so there’s potential for a bit of position squaring.”
WTI for July delivery advanced as much as 72 cents to $94.46 a barrel, and was at $94.27 a barrel, up 53 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:01 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 14 percent above the 100-day average. The contract rose 43 cents yesterday to $93.74, the highest close since May 28.
Brent for July settlement increased 16 cents to $103.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $8.90 to WTI futures, down from $9.30 yesterday.
“Gold rebounded to trade above $1,400 an ounce as equities retreated and the dollar’s rally halted, boosting demand for the metal as a store of value. Silver, platinum and palladium increased.
Spot gold rose as much as 0.7 percent to $1,408.50 an ounce, and traded at $1,405.06 at 2:12 p.m. in Singapore. Prices decreased 0.9 percent yesterday. Cash silver advanced 0.4 percent to $22.6295 an ounce.
Gold dropped 16 percent this year as investors sold the metal from exchange-traded products at a record pace and the MSCI All-Country World Index rallied 7.8 percent. Asian stocks fell for the fourth time in five days, while the Dollar Index lost 0.2 percent. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust declined to 1,010.45 metric tons, shrinking for the first time in a week….”
“West Texas Intermediate traded near its highest intraday level in four days amid signs of a reduction in U.S. crude inventories.
Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in New York. A government report today will show supplies declined by 800,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that crude stockpiles shrank 7.8 million barrels last week, the most since Dec. 28. The U.S. will today extend waivers from sanctions for nine nations that import Iranian oil, a U.S. official said.
“The big drop in crude inventories in the API report is supporting things,” said Andy Sommer, a senior oil analyst at Axpo Trading AG in Dietikon, Switzerland, who predicts that Brent, the European benchmark, will trade from $100 to $105 a barrel this month. “The market is going to tighten going into the third quarter.”
WTI for July delivery climbed as much as 68 cents to $93.99 a barrel in electronic trading on theNew York Mercantile Exchange and was at $93.80 as of 12:51 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 28 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for July settlement was 18 cents higher at $103.42 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $9.64 to WTI. The spread was $9.93 yesterday, the widest based on closing prices since April.
“West Texas Intermediate crude fell after the biggest gain in a month, amid forecasts that inventories of gasoline expanded last week in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer.
Futures retreated as much as 0.8 percent in New York. Gasoline stockpiles probably climbed by1.2 million barrels last week, while distillate supplies, including heating oil and diesel, may have gained 1.5 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. Crude inventories declined by an estimated 650,000 barrels last week, sliding from an 82-year high, the survey showed.
WTI for July delivery slid as much as 72 cents to $92.73 a barrel in electronic trading on theNew York Mercantile Exchange and was at $92.83 as of 12:21 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 8 percent below the 100-day average. The contract rose $1.48 to $93.45 yesterday, the biggest gain since May 3.
Brent for July settlement dropped as much as 46 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $101.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $8.89 to WTI, up from $8.61 yesterday.