Gasoline capped the first monthly drop since November as reports showing weakness in Europe’s economy added to concern that global demand will slow.
Gasoline for May delivery fell 2.18 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $3.1844 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price, which dropped 6.1 percent in April, has gained 19 percent this year. The May contract expired today. The more-active June gasoline contract decreased 1.99 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.1246.
May-delivery heating oil climbed 0.27 cent to $3.1834 a gallon. Heating oil for June rose 0.07 cent to $3.1842.
Oil fell as Spain’s economy contracted in the first quarter, putting the country into its second recession since 2009 and bolstering concern that fuel demand in the euro region will contract.
Crude oil for June delivery declined 6 cents to settle at $104.87 a barrel on the Nymex. Prices climbed 1.8 percent this month and are up 6.1 percent this year.
Brent oil for June settlement slipped 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to end the session at $119.47 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent posted its first monthly drop since December.
Natural gas rose for a second day, capping the biggest monthly gain in more than a year, as cooler weather forecast for next week may help ease a glut.
Natural gas for June delivery climbed 9.9 cents to $2.285 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. Futures rose 7.5 percent in April, the biggest monthly gain since an 8.7 percent increase in March 2011.
Hog futures fell to a 15-week low, capping the first monthly decline this year, on signs of slowing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle rose the most in two weeks.
Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.8 percent to close at 85.925 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after touching 85.7 cents, the lowest level since Jan. 11. Prices dropped 5 percent in April, reducing the gain for 2012 to 1.9 percent.
Cattle futures for June delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $1.1415 a pound on the CME.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 1.1 percent to $1.53725 a pound in Chicago.
Cocoa futures fell the most in six weeks as concerns eased that adverse weather would trim output in Ivory Coast, the world’s top grower, while Europe’s debt crisis clouded the demand outlook. Sugar also slid. Coffee rose.
Cocoa for July delivery plunged 3.9 percent to settle at $2,219 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since March 15.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to 21.12 cents a pound on ICE, extending this month’s drop to 11 percent, the largest since September.
Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery climbed 1.7 percent to $1.7955 a pound in New York, paring the drop for the month to 1.6 percent.
In London futures trading, cocoa and refined sugar slumped on NYSE Liffe. Robusta coffee advanced.
Cotton for July delivery slid 2 percent to settle at 89.4 cents a pound on ICE, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since April 4.
Orange-juice futures for July delivery declined 4.2 percent to $1.4185 a pound on ICE. The beverage plunged 14 percent in April.
Corn rose for a third straight session on speculation that rising global demand for U.S. grain will reduce reserves. Wheat also gained.
Corn futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to close at $6.3425 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping the first three-day rally since April 3.
Wheat futures for July delivery rose 0.7 percent to $6.545 a bushel, capping the first three-day gain in five weeks. Prices dropped 0.9 percent in April, capping the first two-month decline since September 2009.
Soybean futures for July delivery added 0.8 percent to close at $15.055 a bushel, the fifth straight increase.
Gold futures slid, capping a third straight monthly decline, on concern that demand in India, the world’s biggest buyer, is slowing and after a report showed Spain’s economy entered its second recession since 2009.
Gold futures for June delivery fell 60 cents to settle $1,664.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices dropped 0.5 percent in April.
Silver futures for July delivery tumbled 1.3 percent to $31.016 an ounce on the Comex. The metal retreated 4.5 percent in April.
On the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $682.35 an ounce, extending the month’s gain to 4.3 percent. Platinum futures for July delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1,571.90 an ounce on the Nymex. Platinum fell 4.4 percent this month, the second straight loss.
Copper advanced in New York for a fifth day, the longest climb since July, amid concern that output may not keep up with consumption this year.
Copper futures for July delivery rose 0.1 percent to $3.8295 a pound on the Comex, extending to 5.4 percent the gain since April 23. Prices climbed 0.1 percent in April.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 0.2 percent to $8,400 a ton ($3.81 a pound).
Zinc, tin, lead and aluminum advanced in London. Nickel fell.
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