Commodities were broadly lower as the European debt situation
stoked fears of a larger crisis. Oil futures finished lower as gold
Crude-oil for June delivery lost $1.76, or 2.1%, to $82.44 a
barrel. Heating oil futures were down 0.30%, or $0.06, to $2.23 a
gallon while natural gas futures were down 1.13%, or $0.05, to
$4.21 per million British thermal units.
Meanwhile, gold futures were higher as debt downgrades for
Portugal and Greece sent investors looking for safety. Gold for
June delivery rose $8.20, or 0.7%, to $1,162.20 an ounce on
In other metals, silver for May delivery settled 22 cents, or
1.2%, lower at $18.12 an ounce. Platinum for July delivery
retreated $24.10, or 1.4%, to $1,720.90 an ounce. Palladium for
June delivery lost $17.45, or 3.1%, to $548.95 an ounce.
Precious metal ETFs, save for gold ETFs, were broadly lower. The
SPDR Gold Trust (
) was up $1.13, or 1.00%, to $113.88 while the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF (
) was down 0.54%, or $0.26, to $47.87. The iShares Silver Trust ETF
) was down $0.15, or 0.84%, to $17.78.
In energy shares, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS-A) was slightly
higher, up $0.10, or 0.16%, in afternoon trading ahead of the
company's first-quarter earnings report, due before the bell on
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Shell to report a net
profit of $3.99 billion. Shell reported net profit of $3.49 billion
in the same quarter a year ago.
Shares of Transocean (
) and BP plc (
) shares were lower Tuesday as reports that an oil slick
originating from a broken drilling structure on the floor of the
Gulf of Mexico was growing and coastal communities were bracing for
impact. Transocean was drilling the well for BP.
Transocean shares were down 3.88%, or $3.41, to $84.59 while BP
down 2.24%, or $1.30, to $56.61.
Meanwhile, BP said first-quarter profits rose to $6.08 billion
from $2.56 billion during the same period of 2009
PetroChina Ltd. (
) said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit increased 71.2% from a
year earlier on demand within China.
Profit for the three months ending March 31 was 32.5 billion
yuan ($4.7 billion) or 0.18 yuan (3 cents) per share. That compares
to 18.9 billion yuan, or 0.10 yuan per share, a year earlier.
PetroChina shares were down $3.63, or 4.27%, to $113.50.
In other commodities, soybean futures declined the most this
month on bets that China's efforts to curb inflation will slow
economic growth, Bloomber reported.
Soybean futures for July delivery fell $0.10, or 1%, to $9.99 a
bushel at 10:24 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, according to
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