Oil rose from the lowest level in almost four months as refineries restored production after Hurricane Sandy tightened fuel supplies. Prices snapped a three-week loss as four of the six Northeast refineries that were forced to close because of Sandy resumed output. Gains accelerated in the final 15 minutes of floor trading as gasoline jumped and Brent oil in London climbed on unprecedented delays in North Sea Forties shipments. West Texas Intermediate oil for December delivery rose 79 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $85.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract ended at $84.86 a barrel on Nov. 2, the lowest settlement since July 10. Prices have dropped 13 percent this year. Three refineries in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania with a total capacity of 527,200 barrels a day returned to normal operations last week and Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ 335,000-barrels-a-day plant in Philadelphia was producing at reduced rates as of yesterday, according to the Energy Department.
Gold futures in New York gained the most in a week as demand climbed in China, the world’s largest buyer after India. China’s imports of gold from Hong Kong in September climbed 30 percent from August and were 23 percent more than a year earlier, data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government showed today. The price fell 3.1 percent last month, the first decline since May.
Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at $1,683.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since October 25. Earlier, prices fell to $1,672.50, the lowest since August 31. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by bullion totaled a record 2,589.516 metric tons on November 2.