Copper Futures Surge Most in Two Months: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 1.3 percent to close at 666.43 at 3:44 p.m. in New York, led by industrial metals.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices advanced 1.4 percent to 1,608.95.
Copper surged the most in two months after U.S. payrolls rose more than forecast and the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped to a three-year low, bolstering prospects for the economy and metal demand.
Payrolls climbed by 243,000 in January, the most since April and exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The U.S. is the world-second biggest copper user.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery jumped 3.2 percent to $3.9015 a pound, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Nov. 30. This week, the metal climbed 0.3 percent, the fourth straight gain.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 3 percent to $8,595 a metric ton ($3.90 a pound).
Aluminum, zinc, lead, tin and nickel also rose in London.
Crude oil gained for the first time in six sessions after the U.S. jobless rate fell to the lowest in three years.
Oil futures for March delivery gained 1.5 percent to $97.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price fell 1.7 percent this week.
Brent oil for March settlement climbed 2.1 percent to $114.39 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Vitol Group sold North Sea Forties crude at a lower price. OAO Lukoil sold a shipment of Russian Urals in northwest Europe at parity to dated Brent, less than an offer yesterday.
Vitol sold a shipment of Forties for loading on Feb. 21 to Feb. 23 to Total SA at 15 cents a barrel more than dated Brent, compared with a premium of 25 cents for a transaction yesterday, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window.
Sugar rose, snapping the longest slump since early August, as the drop in the U.S jobless rate and service-industry expansion bolstered prospects for commodity demand.
Raw sugar for March delivery rose 2 percent to 23.94 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since Jan. 19. The price still fell 1.1 this week.
Cocoa futures for March delivery climbed 3.4 percent to $2,300 a metric ton. This week, the price dropped 4.4 percent, the most since late December.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery declined 1.3 percent to $2.0145 a pound. The price tumbled 4.5 percent this week, snapping a six-week rally.
Cotton futures for March delivery advanced 2.3 percent to 96.34 cents a pound, the biggest gain since Jan. 17. This week, the fiber rose 0.8 percent.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $2.1595 a pound.
Wheat fell for the second straight day on speculation that precipitation in the U.S. southern Great Plains will boost prospects for winter varieties. Russia said it won’t impose export duties on grain.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $6.6075 a bushel.
Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1.3 percent to $12.325 a bushel. The oilseed gained 1.1 percent this week, the third straight increase.
Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.445 a bushel, the fourth straight increase. The price gained 0.4 percent this week.
Cattle fell the most in two months on speculation that this year’s 13 percent gain in prices will curb demand and as a winter storm in the Great Plains may miss most of the southern area where most animals are fed.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1.2740 a pound. The price dropped 0.8 percent this week.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement declined 0.6 percent to $1.5445 a pound.
Hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.9 percent to 88.92 cents a pound. The price rose 1.8 percent this week.
Gold slumped the most in five weeks as the U.S. added more jobs in January than forecast, signaling economic growth that may reduce the need for the Federal Reserve to expand stimulus measures.
On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery fell 1.1 percent to settle at $1,740.30 an ounce, the biggest loss since Dec. 29.
Silver futures for March delivery declined 1.2 percent to $33.749 an ounce.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery advanced 0.1 percent to $1,631.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $708.85 an ounce.
Natural gas fell on speculation that a surplus of the furnace fuel will increase as mild weather predicted for mid- February cuts demand.
On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery fell 2.2 percent to $2.499 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas surged to the highest in more than three years as freezing weather gripped Britain and the nation sought to attract more supply.
The day-ahead contract climbed as much as 11 percent to 76.1 pence a therm, or $12.05 per million Btu. It was 74.5 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
Gasoline rose to a one-week high on the U.S. jobs data, boosting speculation that fuel demand will improve.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery rose 1.6 percent to $2.9144 a gallon, the highest settlement in a week. The price slipped 0.4 percent this week.
Heating-oil futures for March delivery rose 2 percent to $3.1144 a gallon.
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