Oil tumbled to a seven-month low on speculation that U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to the highest level since 1990 and as the euro weakened on concern that the debt crisis will overwhelm Spain.
Oil for July delivery fell $2.94 to $87.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Oct. 21. Prices have decreased 16 percent this month, heading for the biggest drop since December 2008.
Brent oil for July settlement declined $3.21, or 3 percent, to end the session at $103.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the lowest close since Dec. 16.
Gasoline fell to a four-month low as the dollar surged and Brent crude sank 3 percent, reducing the cost to make the fuel.
Gasoline for June delivery declined 4.83 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $2.8582 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Jan. 26. Futures have dropped 10 percent in May, trimming this year’s gain to 6.4 percent. The more actively traded July contract fell 2.1 percent to $2.7739.
June-delivery heating oil fell 6.9 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.7398 a gallon, the lowest intraday level since Oct. 4, and have tumbled 14 percent in May. The more actively traded July contract sank 2.5 percent to $2.7438.
Natural gas futures fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in almost seven weeks, on concern that cooler weather forecast for states east of the Rocky Mountains will reduce demand from power plants.
Natural gas for July delivery fell 6.7 cents to settle at $2.418 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, capping the longest set of declines since the four days ended April 13.
Gas has advanced 5.8 percent this month, climbing 27 percent after sliding to a 10-year intraday low of $1.902 per million Btu on April 19.
Gold futures rose the most in more than a week on demand for a haven amid signs that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening.
Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.9 percent to settle at $1,565.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since May 18.
Silver futures for July delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $27.983 an ounce on the Comex, the third gain in four sessions.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for July delivery fell 1.9 percent to $1,401.20 an ounce, the first decline in four sessions. Palladium futures for September delivery rose 0.1 percent to $606.50 an ounce, a third straight increase.
Copper fell to the lowest level this year in New York as a reduction of Spain’s credit rating fueled concern that Europe’s debt crisis will slow the global economy and reduce demand for raw materials.
Copper futures for July delivery declined 2.1 percent to settle at $3.39 a pound on the Comex after touching $3.3725, the lowest level since Dec. 29. Prices have fallen 11 percent in May.
Nickel on the London Metal Exchange declined as much as 2.3 percent to $16,170 a ton, the lowest level since December 2009. Prices are down 13 percent this year, the most among the exchange’s six main metals. Stockpiles are at the highest level since July 1.
Zinc, lead, tin and aluminum also fell in London.
Soybean futures for July delivery slid 1 percent to close at $13.7325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop in a week. The oilseed has declined 8.8 percent in May, heading for the largest monthly drop since September. Futures for delivery in November, after the U.S. harvest, fell 0.5 cent to $12.93.
Corn futures for July delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $5.595 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $5.535, the lowest since Dec. 8, 2010. The most-active contract has declined 12 percent in May, heading for the largest monthly drop since September. Futures for December delivery, after the harvest, gained 0.6 percent to $5.205.
Wheat futures for July delivery fell 0.5 percent to settle at $6.5375 a bushel on the CBOT. Prices are little changed this month and up 0.2 percent in 2012.
Cotton futures fell to a 27-month low as concern that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening eroded prospects for demand. Orange juice also slid.
Cotton for July delivery dropped 2.6 percent to settle at 70.91 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 70.38 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Feb. 9, 2010.
Orange-juice futures for July delivery fell 0.7 percent to $1.1085 a pound in New York. Prices have plunged 22 percent in May, heading for the biggest slump since February 1999.
Cocoa for July delivery dropped 1.9 percent to settle at $2,070 a metric ton on ICE Futures. This month, the commodity has fallen 6.7 percent, heading for the biggest decline since December.
Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $1.644 a pound in New York, after touching $1.623, the lowest level since July 23, 2010. This month, the price has plunged 8.4 percent, heading for the sixth straight decline, the longest slide since November 1980.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery fell 0.3 percent to 19.48 cents a pound on ICE. In May, the price has dropped 7.8 percent.
In London futures trading, cocoa and robusta coffee declined on NYSE Liffe. Refined sugar was little changed.
Cattle futures fell to the lowest level in two weeks on speculation that a sluggish global economy will curb demand for commodities. Hog prices rose.
Cattle futures for August delivery fell 1.4 percent to settle at $1.17925 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has risen 3.3 percent in May, heading for the biggest monthly gain since January.
Hog futures for July settlement rose 0.4 percent to close at 88 cents a pound in Chicago. The commodity has climbed 2.4 percent this month, heading for the biggest gain since January.
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