Oil Rises on Middle East, China Data: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.5 percent to 630.18 at 6 p.m. New York time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.7 percent to 1,532.39.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose for the first time in three days as clashes in Syria raised tension in the Middle East and a report indicated China’s manufacturing may contract at a slower pace in July.

Crude for September delivery rose 36 cents to settle at $88.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 10 percent this year.

Brent oil for September increased 16 cents to $103.42 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude markets: NI CRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell a second day on concern that Europe’s fiscal crisis is worsening as euro-area manufacturing contracted and Moody’s Investors Service cut the credit outlook for Germany.

August-delivery gasoline fell 5.81 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $2.8248 a gallon on the Nymex. The more actively traded September contract lost 3.8 cents to $2.7258 a gallon.

August-delivery heating oil rose 0.55 cent to $2.8244 a gallon, after earlier falling as low as $2.7968. The more actively traded September contract gained 0.57 cent to $2.8263.

U.S. oil products: NI OPFMKT

NATURAL GAS

Natural-gas futures advanced to a seven-month high as forecasts for unusually hot weather into August signaled stronger demand from power plants that would reduce a stockpile surplus.

Gas gained 2.2 percent as MDA EarthSat Weather predicted above-normal temperatures for most of the U.S. through Aug. 7. The futures have rebounded 68 percent since dropping to a 10- year low in April as electricity generators boosted purchases of gas instead of more expensive coal.

Gas for August delivery rose 7 cents to $3.187 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, the highest settlement price since Dec. 13. Gas, which dropped to $1.902 on April 19, is up 6.6 percent this year.

U.S. natural gas market: NI NUSMKT

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures dropped for a second day in New York on speculation that Europe’s debt crisis will bolster the dollar and cut demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

Gold futures for August delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1,576.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York, extending this month’s loss to 1.7 percent.

Silver futures for September delivery slid 0.9 percent to $26.811 an ounce on the Comex.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for October delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,386.60 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery declined 1.6 percent to $561.60 an ounce.

Precious metals markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper fell for a third straight session in New York after Germany’s debt-ratings outlook was lowered.

Copper futures for September delivery slid 0.8 percent to settle at $3.353 a pound on the Comex, capping a three-session slide of 5.1 percent.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to $7,417 a metric ton ($3.36 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc and tin fell in London. Nickel advanced, and lead was unchanged.

Base metal markets: NI BMMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures fell on speculation that U.S. ranchers will slaughter more of their herds, boosting beef supplies, as drought damages pastures and increases feed costs. Hog prices also declined.

Temperatures in the Midwest are forecast to stay above normal for the next two weeks, according to the Commodity Weather Group LLC. The price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, surged 55 percent from June 15 through yesterday as U.S. crop conditions deteriorated to the lowest since 1988.

Cattle futures for October delivery dropped 0.1 percent to settle at $1.23325 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 1.5 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement increased 1.5 percent to close at $1.37675 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement fell 1 percent to settle at 78.025 cents a pound. Prices slumped 7.4 percent this year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar fell the most in more than a week on rising supplies and concern that the crisis in Europe will crimp demand. Coffee, cotton and cocoa also dropped. Orange juice rose, ending a 10- session slide.

Thailand, the world’s second-largest sugar exporter, cut the allocation for domestic consumption by 100,000 metric tons, allowing the country to boost shipments to a record 7.93 million tons this year, the Office of the Cane & Sugar Board said.

Raw sugar for October delivery fell 1.7 percent to settle at 23.49 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since July 12.

Also on the ICE, arabica-coffee futures for September delivery slumped 5.2 percent to $1.7545 a pound in New York, the steepest slide since Oct. 25.

Cocoa futures for September delivery declined 1.3 percent to $2,209 a metric ton, while cotton futures for December delivery fell 1.6 percent to 71.03 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for September delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1.098 a pound in New York. Prices retreated 15 percent in the previous 10 sessions.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

GRAINS

Wheat and soybeans tumbled more than 3 percent and corn fell on mounting concern that Europe’s debt crisis will cut commodity demand, while rain was forecast to ease a drought in the U.S., the world’s top grower of the crops.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 3.7 percent to settle at $8.7875 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since July 6.

Soybeans for November delivery slumped 3.3 percent to $15.695 a bushel, bringing the two-day slump to 6.9 percent.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $7.7825 a bushel. The grain has climbed 20 percent this year.

U.S. grain markets: NI GRMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

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

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