Oil, Natural Gas, Corn Fall; Cotton Gains: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.7 percent to 576.87 at 4:08 p.m. New York time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.6 percent to 1,420.464.

CRUDE OIL

Oil tumbled to an eight-month low after a report showed that U.S. retail sales weakened and as borrowing costs in Germany and Italy increased.

Futures fell 0.8 percent as Commerce Department figures showed that purchases decreased for a second month. The yield on German and Italian debt climbed in auctions before a Greek election on June 17. OPEC will probably leave its output target unchanged at a meeting tomorrow, two Middle East delegates said.

Crude oil for July delivery dropped 70 cents to $82.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Oct. 6. Prices are down 16 percent this year.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures dropped to a seven-week low in New York on forecasts for cooler weather that would reduce demand for the fuel at power plants.

Gas slid 2.1 percent as an outlook from Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, showed normal or below-normal temperatures on the East Coast and in the Great Lakes region from June 23 through June 27. Earlier forecasts had signaled higher-than-usual readings in the Southeast.

Natural gas for July delivery fell 4.7 cents to $2.185 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since April 26. The futures have declined 27 percent this year and tumbled to a 10- year intraday low of $1.902 per million Btu on April 19.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose as the Energy Department reported that demand for the motor fuel surged last week to the highest level since August.

Futures gained as deliveries to wholesalers increased 482,000 barrels, or 5.6 percent, to 9.13 million barrels a day. Inventories fell unexpectedly even as refiners pushed rates to the highest level since August 2007.

Gasoline for July delivery rose 0.52 cent to settle at $2.6554 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil for July delivery declined 1.06 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.6109 a gallon on the exchange. It was the lowest settlement since January 2011.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose, capping the longest rally in five months, as signs of slowdown in the U.S. economy triggered speculation that the Federal Reserve will take steps to spur growth, boosting the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment.

Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,619.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The price climbed for the fourth straight session, the longest rally since early January.

Silver futures for July delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $28.941 an ounce in New York.

Platinum futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1,466.80 an ounce, the third straight gain. Palladium futures for September delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $623.30 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper futures rose in New York as the dollar’s decline enhanced the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment and machinery orders topped estimates in Japan, the world’s fourth-biggest consumer of the metal.

Copper futures for July delivery advanced 0.1 percent to settle at $3.3395 a pound on the Comex in New York.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn fell for the third straight day and soybeans declined the most this month as rain may relieve stress on developing crops in the U.S., the biggest producer and exporter.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery, the contract with the highest open interest, dropped 2.3 percent to close at $5.105 a bushel. The three-day drop marked the longest slump since mid-May.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 1.5 percent to $5.925. The U.S. government said ethanol production climbed.

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 1.3 percent to $13.1975 a bushel, the contract’s biggest drop since May 31. Soybean futures for July delivery fell 1.9 percent to $14.0825.

Wheat futures for July delivery settled at $6.16. Earlier, the price climbed as much as 1.3 percent on speculation that declining world crops will boost demand for supplies from the U.S., the top exporter.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures gained for the first time in four sessions on speculation that lower precipitation levels in India, the world’s second-biggest exporter, may hurt crops. Orange juice also rose.

Cotton for December delivery, the contract with the highest open interest, climbed 2.3 percent to settle at 70.41 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.106 a pound in New York, halting a four-session loss.

Raw sugar for October delivery slid 1.5 percent to settle at 19.68 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop since June 1.

Cocoa futures for September delivery increased 1.3 percent to $2,259 a metric ton in New York, the second straight gain.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery slid 0.7 percent to $1.542 a pound on ICE.

In London futures trading, refined sugar also fell on NYSE Liffe, while cocoa and robusta coffee advanced.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures slumped the most in seven weeks on speculation that beef demand is slowing in the U.S. Hog prices increased.

Cattle futures for August delivery declined 1.9 percent to settle at $1.17975 a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest drop for the most-active contract since April 24.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement dropped 1.7 percent to $1.5835 a pound.

Hog futures for August settlement rose 0.3 percent to settle at 92 cents a pound in Chicago after reaching 90.875 cents, the lowest for the most-active contract since June 5.

To contact the reporter on this story: Moming Zhou in New York at mzhou29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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