As the dollar weakened, crude oil for February delivery rose to US$78.6 in electronic trading on the Nymex, rising for the first time in six days after falling by 5.7% last week. This week’s dip is the first weekly decline in five weeks. The dollar fell to a near four-week low against the yen, increasing the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment. The dollar fell versus 12 of its 16 major counterparts before this week’s report in USA showing a rise in building permits at a slower pace and a fall in manufacturing in the Philadelphia region. The euro traded near the lowest level since December against the yen amid concern Greece’s deteriorating public finances will hamper a recovery in the region’s economy. Temperatures in the U.S. northeast, which consumes almost 80% of the country’s heating oil, is predicted to be above average through Jan. 28.
H1-March open-spec naphtha has risen to US$750/ton CFR Japan, rising by almost ten dollars from the earlier session, defying crude losses amid robust petrochemicals demand. Naphtha crack spread closed at US$174.63/ton, barely short of the 20-month high of US$176.25 on 22 December, as per ICIS.