Palm up most in four weeks on weaker ringgit, strong soyoil

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JAKARTA (Oct 23): Malaysian palm oil made its biggest gains in four weeks on Thursday, buoyed by a weakening ringgit, strong soy oil markets, and more trades to clear positions ahead of the end-of-month rollover.

"The market is up today on the back of soybean oil," said a trader with a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit against the US dollar also provided support.

The ringgit retreated 0.32 percent to 3.2715 against the dollar on Thursday after three days of gains. A weaker ringgit makes palm oil more attractive for international buyers as it makes the edible oil cheaper for traders holding dollars.

Traders were also clearing near-month positions and entering the active month, said another trader at a foreign commodities brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, adding that positions needed to be cleared by end of the month or traders would risk a drop in liquidity.

"Rollover activity is going on for December and January and positions are building up for February and March," the trader said.

By Thursday's close, the benchmark January contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange had advanced 1.69 percent to 2,171 ringgit ($663.61) per tonne, its highest level since last Tuesday and the biggest single-day climb since Sept. 25.

Technicals showed palm oil is expected to test resistance at the 2,178 ringgit level, as it has overcome a barrier at 2,150 ringgit, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

In other markets, Brent crude oil stabilised below $85 a barrel on Thursday as strong European and Chinese data offset a slide triggered by a higher-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks.

In competing vegetable oil markets, the most active January soybean oil contract on the Dalian Commodities Exchange rose 1.47 percent during Asian trade, while the U.S. soyoil contract for December rose 0.5 percent. Palm, soy and crude oil prices at 1003 GMT Contract Month Last Change Low High Volume MY PALM OIL NOV4 2188 +29.00 2166 2198 872 MY PALM OIL DEC4 2176 +34.00 2154 2187 12427 MY PALM OIL JAN5 2171 +36.00 2147 2182 26583 CHINA PALM OLEIN JAN5 5170 +42.00 5150 5196 600892 CHINA SOYOIL JAN5 5814 +84.00 5738 5824 468566 CBOT SOY OIL DEC4 32.31 +0.00 31.94 32.40 6042 INDIA PALM OIL OCT4 0.00 +0.00 0.00 0.00 0 NYMEX CRUDE DEC4 80.65 +0.14 80.05 80.75 30457 Palm oil prices in Malaysian ringgit per tonne CBOT soy oil in U.S. cents per pound Dalian soy oil and RBD palm olein in Chinese yuan per tonne India soy oil in Indian rupee per 10 kg Crude in U.S. dollars per barrel (1 US dollar = 3.2715 Malaysian ringgit) (1 US dollar = 61.1600 Indian rupee) (1 US dollar = 6.1190 Chinese yuan)