Gold Tumbles $100 on Bernanke Testimony: Commodities at Close

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.3 percent to 1,645.71 at 4:19 p.m. New York time, led by precious metals.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 prices rose less than 0.1 percent to settle at 703.50.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold fell as much as $100 to below $1,700 an ounce on signs that that the Federal Reserve will refrain from offering more monetary stimulus to bolster the U.S. economy.

In testimony before Congress today, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke gave no signal that the central bank will take new steps to boost liquidity. The dollar rose as much as 0.8 percent against a basket of major currencies, eroding the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment. Yesterday, gold reached $1,792.70 an ounce, a three-month high.

In electronic trading on the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery fell $91.40, or 5.1 percent, to $1,697 at 4:39 p.m., compared with yesterday’s settlement. Earlier, the price tumbled as much as $100, or 5.6 percent, to $1,688.40, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 25.

The settlement at the close of floor trading was $1,711.30, down 4.3 percent, the most since Dec. 14. The price, down 1.7 percent this month, has gained 9.2 percent in 2012.

Silver futures for May delivery slumped 6.9 percent to $34.642 an ounce in New York, the largest decline since Dec. 14.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery dropped 1.8 percent to $1,692.60 an ounce.

Palladium futures for June delivery declined 1.9 percent to $708.40 an ounce

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell the most in a week on speculation that the Federal Reserve won’t provide more monetary stimulus to bolster the U.S. economy.

On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $3.8795 a pound, the biggest decline since Feb. 17.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 1.2 percent to $8,499 a metric ton ($3.86 a pound). Nickel, zinc, lead and tin also fell on the LME. Aluminum rose.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil fell as remarks by Bernanke gave no signal that that the U.S. central bank would provide more monetary stimulus and on concern that fuel demand won’t improve.

On the Nymex, heating oil for March delivery fell 4.1 percent to $3.188 a gallon.

Gasoline futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $3.0423 a gallon.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee fell for the first time in five sessions on speculation that supplies will be ample as production climbs in Brazil, the world’s biggest grower.

On ICE Futures in New York, coffee for May delivery fell 1.5 percent to $2.0325 a pound.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery slipped 1.3 percent to 25.01 cents a pound.

Cocoa futures for May delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $2,334 a metric ton.

Cotton futures for May delivery slumped 2 percent to 90.44 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 1 percent to $1.8575 a pound.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed, capping the first monthly gain since October, after U.S. nuclear-power generation dropped to a four- month low.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for April delivery advanced 3.9 percent to $2.616 per million British thermal units. The price rose 4.5 percent this month.

U.K. gas for March delivery declined for the second straight day as mild weather damped demand and deliveries from Norway increased.

The contract dropped as much as 1.6 pence to 59.1 pence a therm and was at 59.2 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London, broker data complied by Bloomberg show. That’s equal to $9.43 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose, capping the biggest monthly gain since October, as the Fed said the economy is expanding at a “modest to moderate pace” and U.S. gross domestic product expanded more than forecast.

Oil futures for April delivery gained 0.5 percent to $107.07 a barrel on the Nymex.

Brent oil for April settlement increased 1.1 percent to $122.93 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Vitol Group withdrew its offer for Russian Urals blend in the Mediterranean. No bids or offers were made for North Sea Forties crude after the grade’s premium to dated Brent widened to an eight-day high.

Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp. issued tenders to sell 1 million barrels each of the new Nigerian Usan grade for loading in April, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle prices had the biggest gain in almost 10 weeks on signs of rising demand for U.S. beef amid tightening supplies.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $1.2975 a pound, the largest increase since Dec. 22.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement climbed 0.9 percent to $1.57225 a pound.

Hog futures for April settlement increased 1.6 percent to 89.425 cents a pound.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures slid from a four-week high on speculation that winter storms in the northern U.S. will boost soil moisture before farmers begin planting spring crops in the next two months.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.25 cent to $6.68 a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $13.20 a bushel. The price rose for the eighth straight session, the longest rally of the year. Earlier, the oilseed reached $13.2425, the highest since Sept. 21.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $6.58 a bushel, after touching $6.6125, the highest since Jan. 9. The grain climbed 3 percent this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

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

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