Commodities climbed for the first time in five days for Broker forex trading, as crude oil rebounded on renewed concern about supply disruptions on increasing Middle East tension.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodity futures climbed 1.2 percent to 681.2 today as of 5:15 p.m. in Singapore, after plunging 3.8 percent yesterday, the most since 2009. Crude oil in New York advanced 1.2 percent as Bahrain suspended stock market trading after the government declared a state of emergency. Gulf-nation troops poured into the nation, which is next door to Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter.
The S&P GSCI Index has advanced 7.9 percent this year, with gains in the past month coming mostly from political unrest that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, sparking speculation oil supply will be disrupted.
Libya’s oil exports may be halted for “many months” because of damage to facilities and sanctions following a rebellion against leader Muammar Qaddafi, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly Oil Market Report.
The Middle East unrest outweighed concerns about radiation from a Japanese nuclear plant damaged by the country’s strongest earthquake on record and subsequent tsunami. The country is the world’s third-biggest user of crude oil, the top importer of corn and the second-largest buyer of copper ore.
Military helicopters were deployed to drop water on the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant as officials battling to prevent a meltdown said fuel rods at two reactors may have been damaged and temperatures at spent fuel pools were rising.
Clouds of white smoke or steam rose from the reactor buildings following a fire at Dai-Ichi’s No. 4 reactor this morning. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said radiation levels at the plant then rose, forcing a brief evacuation, but have since fallen. About 70 percent of the fuel rods at the plant’s No. 1 reactor and a third of the No. 2 reactor’s fuel may have been impaired, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The Dai- Ichi nuclear complex has six reactors.
Oil for April delivery gained 1.2 percent to $98.37 a barrel after falling as much as 1 percent to the lowest level in more than two weeks. About 1.3 million barrels a day, or 29 percent, of Japan’s refining capacity was closed after the temblor and tsunami.
Copper rose for the first time in six days on speculation reconstruction in Japan will boost demand. The contract for three-month delivery added as much as 2.2 percent to $9,316 a metric ton and traded at $9,277.25.
Corn for May delivery dropped as much as 2 percent to $6.235 a bushel, the lowest level for the most active contract in two months, before reversing to increase 1 percent to $6.425.