Oil Jumps to Six-Week High, Gold Rebounds: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge (SPGSCI) of 24 commodities climbed 2.8 percent to 662.85 as of 4:47 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index (CMCIPI) of 26 raw materials was up 2.3 percent at 1,556.318.

CRUDE OIL

Oil climbed to a six-week high after manufacturing in the U.S. and Asia expanded in December and as concern persisted that further sanctions against Iran may disrupt shipments.

Crude oil for February delivery rose $3.90, or 3.9 percent, to $102.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $102.88, the highest level since Nov. 17. Futures climbed 8.2 percent in 2011, the third consecutive annual increase.

Brent oil for February settlement advanced $4.09, or 3.8 percent, to $111.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate futures was at $8.74, down from a record $27.88 on Oct. 14.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures rose, heading for the biggest gain in more than two months, on increased demand from investors after reports that Iran produced its first nuclear fuel rod and as the dollar weakened. Silver also jumped.

Gold futures for February delivery rose 2.1 percent to $1,599.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain since Oct. 25. The metal slumped 10 percent last month and slipped to $1,523.90 on Dec. 29, the lowest since July 7.

Silver futures for March delivery jumped 3.5 percent to $28.905 an ounce on the Comex, heading for the biggest gain since Nov. 28.

BASE METALS

Copper rose to a three-week high in New York, rebounding from the first annual drop in three years, on speculation that manufacturing gains in China and the U.S. may signal increased demand for industrial metals.

Copper futures for March delivery advanced 2.4 percent to $3.518 a pound on the Comex in New York, after reaching $3.5245, the highest since Dec. 12. Prices plunged 23 percent last year. On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three month advanced 1.8 percent to $7,740 a metric ton ($3.51 a pound).

NATURAL GAS

Natural-gas futures dropped to a two-year low in New York on speculation that a brief cold spell in the U.S. Northeast will do little to erode abundant supplies of the heating fuel.

Natural gas for February delivery declined 4.2 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.947 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange after reaching $2.936, the lowest intraday price since Sept. 14, 2009. Gas dropped 32 percent in 2011.

U.K. natural gas for delivery next month fell after Britain experienced the second-warmest year on record and Societe Generale SA cut its price forecasts.

The February contract dropped as much as 2 pence to 52.5 pence a therm. That’s equal to $8.18 a million British thermal units and the lowest for a front-month contract since Aug. 22.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton rose, heading for the longest rally since October, on speculation that demand for raw materials will climb as the economy improves. Orange juice advanced the most in six weeks.

Cotton for March delivery rose 4.1 percent to 95.58 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after reaching 95.63 cents, the highest since Nov. 18. Prices are up for a fifth session, the longest rally since Oct. 28.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery gained 2.5 percent to $1.733 a pound on ICE, heading for the biggest gain since Nov. 18.

Sugar climbed to a six-week high on the first trading day of the year in New York on speculation that economic growth will boost demand. Cocoa also rose, while coffee fell.

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 4.3 percent to 24.3 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the sweetener touched 24.36, the highest since Nov. 17. The most-active contract fell 7.9 percent in the last quarter.

Cocoa futures for March delivery rose 2 percent to $2,151 a metric ton in New York. The chocolate ingredient fell 19 percent last quarter, the biggest drop on the Standard &Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slipped 1.3 percent to $2.239 a pound on ICE.

In London futures trading, refined sugar and cocoa rose, while robusta coffee fell, on NYSE Liffe.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rose to a three-month high on speculation that persistent dry weather in South America will reduce global grain supplies.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 1.8 percent to $6.645 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $6.7075, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 21. The grain climbed 6.3 percent in December, the biggest monthly gain since August, as corn and soybeans rallied on mounting concern that weather will hurt crops in South America.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose to a seven-week high as benchmark Brent crude surged and Petroplus Holdings AG shut three refineries in northwest Europe. The fuel’s crack, or premium to Brent, narrowed. Gasoil on London’s ICE Futures Europe gained for a third day while its crack shrank.

European Union carbon permits fell further from a Dec. 20 high as energy efficiency rules to set aside permits may not be approved amid looming new supplies.

Carbon for December dropped as much as 7.9 percent to 6.74 euros ($8.79) a metric ton, its lowest level in two weeks.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures rose for the first time in more than a week on signs of increasing demand from U.S. beef processors. Hog prices also climbed.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.8 percent to $1.2245 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, heading for the first gain since Dec. 23.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.9 percent to $1.501 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement increased 1.2 percent to 85.35 cents a pound in Chicago, poised for the biggest climb since Dec. 23.

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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