U.S. Commodities: Gold Drops From Record on Investor Sales

Gold futures fell as investors stepped up sales following a six-session rally to a record.

Earlier, gold reached an all-time high of $1,432.50 an ounce as the dollar fell to a three-week low against the yen and weakened against most other major counterparts after President Barack Obama agreed to extend tax cuts. The metal priced in euros also reached a record.

“You have some very willing sellers,” said Matthew Zeman, a metals trader at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago. “We are coming to the end of the year, and with gold making another high, it’s a good time to take profit.”

In other markets, copper rose to a 31-month high in New York and reached a record in London on speculation that an extension of U.S. tax cuts will help bolster the economy, increasing demand for the industrial metal. Orange juice dropped. The UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index declined 0.2 percent to 1,560.14.

Gold futures for delivery in February fell $7.10, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,409 on the Comex in New York, the first decline since Nov. 26.

The price has jumped 29 percent this year, heading for the 10th straight annual gain, after governments spent trillions of dollars and kept borrowing costs low to bolster economies hurt by the most-severe global recession since World War II.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 4.2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $29.777 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $30.75, the highest for a most-active contract since March 1980. The metal has gained 77 percent this year.

Copper

Copper futures for March delivery rose 4.15 cents, or 1 percent, to $4.0495 a pound on the Comex. Earlier, the metal climbed to $4.1315, the highest since May 5, 2008, when the price reached a record $4.2605.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose $110.50, or 1.3 percent, to $8,880 a metric ton. The price reached an all-time high of $9,044 a ton, surpassing the previous peak of $8,966 on Nov. 11.

Ireland’s austerity measures helped ease concern Europe’s debt crisis will spread. China’s benchmark money-market rate fell the most in three years, and copper inventories tracked by the LME extended a decline.

“Prices are up again as favorable messages surrounding stimulus in the U.S. and continued demand in China emerge,” John Meyer, an analyst at Fairfax IS in London, said in a report.

Orange Juice

Orange-juice futures fell the most in three weeks as cold- weather concerns eased in Florida, the world’s second-largest grower.

Less than 10 percent of the state’s citrus belt had frost damage after a cold snap yesterday, said Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Information Systems Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. “There wasn’t widespread damage,” he said.

Orange juice for January delivery dropped 3.75 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $1.607 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Nov. 16. In the previous four sessions, the price rallied 10 percent.

The commodity has gained 25 percent this year on supply concerns, reaching $1.667 yesterday, the highest since May 2007.

Commodities settled as follows:

Precious metals: February gold down $7.10 to $1,409 an ounce March silver up 4.2 cents to $29.777 an ounce January platinum down $8.40 to $1,705.20 an ounce March palladium down $12.70 to $738.70 an ounce

Livestock: February live cattle down 1.875 cents to $1.0455 a pound January feeder cattle down 1.275 cents to $1.17225 a pound February lean hogs up 0.075 cent to 75.325 cents a pound February pork bellies unchanged at $1.045 a pound

Grains: January soybeans down 3 cents to $12.855 a bushel March corn down 6.25 cents to $5.6175 a bushel March wheat down 8.25 cents to $7.8475 a bushel March oats up 1 cent to $3.73 a bushel

Food and Fiber: March coffee down 1.05 cents to $2.079 a pound March cocoa up $19 to $3,084 a metric ton March cotton down 0.06 cent to $1.3037 a pound March sugar down 0.6 cent to 28.41 cents a pound January orange juice down 3.75 cents to $1.607 a pound

Energy: January crude oil down 69 cents to $88.69 a barrel January natural gas down 9.5 cents to $4.393 per million British thermal units January heating oil down 0.55 cent to $2.4702 a gallon January gasoline down 1.87 cents to $2.323 a gallon

Others: March copper up 4.15 cents to $4.0495 a pound March lumber up $2 to $266 per 1,000 board feet

To contact the reporter on this story: Pham-Duy Nguyen in Seattle at pnguyen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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