Natural Gas Declines Most in Four Months: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials fell 0.2 percent to settle at 592.05 at 3:49 p.m. New York time, led by natural gas.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices advanced 0.3 percent to 1,443.15.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell the most in four months after a government report showed that U.S. inventories rose more than forecast.

The Energy Department said that supplies in the week ended June 1 rose 62 billion cubic feet to 2.877 trillion. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg showed an increase of 58 billion. Gas prices have dropped 24 percent this year as the warmest January-to-May weather on record crimped demand for the heating and power-plant fuel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for July delivery slid 6.1 percent to $2.274 per million British thermal units, the biggest decline since Jan. 31.

U.K. gas for delivery today and tomorrow declined as flows increased from Norway and a liquefied natural-gas terminal in the southeast of England.

Gas fell as low as 54.2 pence a therm and was at 54.3 pence at 4:28 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $8.45 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures tumbled the most in two months as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke refrained from outlining steps that the central bank may take to bolster the economy amid risk from Europe’s debt crisis.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for August delivery fell 2.8 percent to $1,588 an ounce, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since April 4.

Silver futures for July delivery dropped 3.3 percent to $28.529 an ounce, the largest slump since April 23.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery slid 1.9 percent to $1,440.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery declined 1.1 percent to $625.75 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper fell for the sixth time in seven sessions after Bernanke said the U.S. economy is at risk from Europe’s debt crisis and fiscal tightening, without discussing steps to protect growth.

On the Comex, copper futures for July delivery slid 0.3 percent to $3.3705 a pound. The metal has dropped 2.6 percent since May 29.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.1 percent to $7,495 a metric ton ($3.40 a pound).

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell on Bernanke’s comments, tempering optimism over a cut in Chinese interest rates.

On the Nymex, oil futures for July delivery slid 0.2 percent to $84.82 a barrel.

Brent oil for July settlement decreased 0.7 percent to $99.93 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

BP Plc bought three cargoes of Forties blend with two at higher prices than yesterday. The company also booked a very large crude carrier to transport North Sea crude to South Korea later this month, raising the number of supertankers involved to 14 since mid-December, according to tanker reports.

Vitol Group failed to sell Russian Urals at a smaller discount than the last trade in the Mediterranean.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline retreated as remarks by Bernanke to Congress raised doubts that the central bank would institute a third round of quantitative easing to boost the economy.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to $2.685 a gallon, the first decline this week.

Heating-oil futures for July delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $2.6671 a gallon.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures jumped the most in more than three years on speculation that demand will pick up after China, the world’s top user, cut interest rates to spur its slowing economy.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for December delivery rose 5.7 percent to 72.28 cents a pound, the biggest gain since Dec. 8, 2008.

Raw-sugar futures for July delivery slid 0.7 percent to 19.76 cents a pound.

Cocoa futures for July delivery advanced 1 percent to $2,226 a metric ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1.5665 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1.156 a pound.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose the most in two months on speculation that demand will grow in China, the world’s biggest hog producer, after it cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 to reverse an economic slowdown.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for November delivery, the contract with the greatest open interest, advanced 3.2 percent to $13.4125 a bushel, the biggest gain since March 30.

Corn futures for July delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $5.94 a bushel, after touching $6.015, the highest since May 24.

Wheat futures for July delivery gained 2.8 percent to $6.4175 a bushel, the biggest advance since May 18.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs gained to an eight-week high on signs of rising U.S. demand for pork.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for July settlement climbed 0.7 percent to 93.325 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 93.6 cents, the highest since April 12.

Cattle futures for August delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $1.20425 a pound, the biggest gain since May 18.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement rose 0.7 percent to settle at $1.591 a pound.

-- With assistance from Matthew Brown and Sherry Su in London; Tony C. Dreibus and Jeff Wilson in Chicago; Debarati Roy, Mark Shenk, Naureen S. Malik, Aaron Clark, Marvin G. Perez and Joe Richter in New York; and Barbara J. Powell in Dallas. Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan

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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