Oil Rises to Nine-Month High on Greek Aid: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 1.7 percent to 699.92 at 3:46 p.m. in Ne York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 1.8 percent at 1,636.34.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose to the highest level in more than nine months after euro-area finance ministers agreed on a second bailout for Greece, reducing concern that the debt crisis may slow the economy and oil consumption.

Oil for March delivery gained $2.60, or 2.5 percent, to $105.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 4. The March contract expired at the close of floor trading. The more actively traded April contract increased $2.65 to $106.25 on the Nymex.

Brent oil for April settlement rose $1.61, or 1.3 percent, to $121.66 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Crude oil markets: NI CRMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper rose the most in more than 11 weeks after the bailout for Greece reduced concern the euro-region debt crisis will crimp metals demand and China eased bank-reserve requirements.

Copper futures for May delivery climbed 3.5 percent to $3.8445 a pound on the Comex in New York, the first gain in seven sessions. The close was the largest increase for a most- active contract since Nov. 30.

Copper for three-month delivery rose 2.6 percent to $8,449 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

Stockpiles monitored by the LME, down 18 percent this year, slid for a fifth session to 305,425 tons, remaining at the lowest level since September 2009.

Aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead and tin also advanced in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa climbed to the highest price this month on speculation that supplies will remain limited until the smaller of two annual harvests starts in April in Ivory Coast, the world’s top grower. Raw sugar and coffee rose.

Cocoa for May delivery rose 3.4 percent to $2,424 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery added 1.6 percent to $2.0605 a pound in New York.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery gained 2.9 percent to 24.47 cents a pound on ICE.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures fell for the first time in three days in New York as forecasts for milder-than-normal weather in the Eastern U.S. into early March signaled reduced demand for the furnace fuel.

Natural gas for March delivery slid 5.8 cents, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $2.626 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have dropped 12 percent this year, paring losses in recent weeks after falling to $2.231 on Jan. 23, the lowest intraday price since 2002.

U.K. natural gas and electricity for winter delivery rose after Greece won a second bailout, boosting confidence that Europe may avert economic meltdown and fuel demand may rise.

The winter contract gained as much as 1 pence to 70.75 pence a therm. That’s equal to $11.22 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

Gas market: NI GASMARKET

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn fell the most in five weeks on speculation that rising inventories of grain-based ethanol will reduce demand while record world wheat inventories slow U.S. exports.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.8 percent to $6.335 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline since Jan. 13.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to $12.77 a bushel in Chicago after touching $12.8225 on signs that crops may face less damage than forecast from a drought in South America.

Wheat futures fell the most in more than a week on speculation that supplies for food and livestock feed will be ample as U.S. farmers boost grain planting while world stockpiles climb to a record.

Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 1.7 percent to $6.3675 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

EUROPEAN CARBON PERMITS

The December carbon emissions rose 4.3 percent to 9.15 euros a ton.

EU carbon emissions: NI ECBMKT

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose as oil traded near the highest price in nine months after euro-area finance ministers agreed on a second bailout for Greece.

March-delivery gasoline rose 5.46 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $3.0702 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices gained 1.4 percent last week and are up 14 percent so far this year.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.5 cent to $3.57 yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices are the highest ever for this time of year.

Heating oil for March delivery climbed 5.04 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $3.2393 a gallon on the exchange.

Oil products markets: NI OPFMKT

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose as agreement on a bailout package for Greece boosted prospects for raw-material use and political tension in the Middle East increased demand for a haven.

Gold futures for April delivery rose 1.9 percent to $1,758.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. U.S. markets were closed yesterday for the Presidents Day holiday. Gold has climbed 12 percent this year.

Silver futures for May delivery surged 3.7 percent to $34.50 an ounce, advancing the most since Jan. 20. It’s the best-performing precious metal this year, up 23 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery climbed 3.3 percent to $710.75 an ounce. Platinum futures for April delivery gained 3.1 percent to $1,684.90 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures declined for the first time in three sessions on concern that demand for U.S. pork will ebb. Cattle were little changed.

Hog futures for April settlement fell 0.6 percent to 89.825 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.2 percent to close at $1.31125 a pound in Chicago. The commodity rose to a record $1.31275 in intraday trading on Feb. 17.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.586 a pound. The commodity rose to a record $1.5905 in intraday trading on Feb. 17.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at glaverty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net

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