Crude Oil Falls on Growth, Demand Concerns: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities retreated 0.5 percent to 707.9 by 5 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was little changed at 1,652.83.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell for a second day after U.S. orders for durable goods dropped in January by the most in three years, signaling slower economic growth and lower fuel demand.

Crude oil for April delivery fell 63 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $107.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent oil for April settlement dropped $1.40, or 1.1 percent, to $122.77 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures rose for the first time in three sessions in New York as a weaker dollar spurred demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Silver jumped to a five-month high.

Gold futures for April delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $1,780 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Silver futures for May delivery rose 1.9 percent to $36.28 an ounce on the Comex, after reaching $36.33, the highest price since Sept. 23.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper rose to a two-week high as German legislators approved a second bailout for Greece, and U.S. and European gauges of economic confidence rose more than expected, pointing to improving growth and metals demand.

Copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $3.9255 a pound on the Comex in New York, the third straight gain. Prices reached $3.9575, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 10.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.9 percent to $8,610 a metric ton ($3.91 a pound). Lead, zinc and tin rose in London. Nickel fell, and Aluminum was little changed.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar fell from a three-month high on signs that export incentives are increasing for Brazil, the world’s largest grower. Cocoa and coffee also declined.

Raw sugar for May delivery slipped 0.5 percent to 25.41 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, halting an eight- session rally that was the longest since November 2010.

Cocoa futures for May delivery dropped 2.2 percent to $2,347 a metric ton in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slipped 1.1 percent to $2.0235 a pound on ICE. A close at that price would mark the first decline since Feb. 22.

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

Cotton rose, heading for the biggest gain in three weeks, on speculation that improving U.S. economic growth prospects will buoy commodities demand. Orange juice gained.

Cotton for May delivery rose 1.4 percent to 91.94 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery climbed 1.4 percent to $1.8375 a pound on ICE.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

U.K. natural gas for today fell as mild weather curbed forecast demand for the heating fuel to the lowest in two months. Power rose amid lower wind generation.

Gas for within-day delivery fell as much as 2 pence to 60 pence a therm. It was at 60.85 pence in London, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $9.67 a million British thermal units. Gas for March dropped 85 pence to 60.6 pence.

Power for tomorrow added 1.2 percent to 46.70 pounds ($74.02) a megawatt-hour, broker data show.

Natural gas futures fell in New York as forecasts showed warmer-than-usual weather across most of the lower 48 states, limiting demand for the heating fuel.

Gas for April delivery declined 7.3 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $2.53 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

GRAINS

Wheat futures rose to a two-week high on speculation that dry weather in parts of the U.S., Canada and Europe will cut global output.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.4 percent to $6.62 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $6.6275, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 9.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline futures fell the most in four weeks as declines in durable goods orders and home prices raised concern about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery and fuel demand.

Gasoline for March delivery fell 5.38 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.0745 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching $3.073.

March-delivery heating oil declined 2.57 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.2607 a gallon on the exchange. Prices have gained 11 percent so far in 2012.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.8 cents to $3.716 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices, which have increased 43.8 cents this year, were 10 percent higher than a year earlier.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures slumped to a two-week low on signs that demand for pork in the U.S. is slowing. Cattle prices were little changed.

Hog futures for April settlement fell 0.6 percent to 88.075 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 88.05 cents, the lowest for the most-active contract since Feb. 14.

Cattle futures for April delivery were down less than 0.1 percent at $1.286 a pound in Chicago. Through yesterday, prices are up 5.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slipped 0.2 percent to $1.5615 a pound on the CME.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: John Deane in London at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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

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