Natural Gas Drops on Supply Glut Outlook: Commodities at Close
Natural-gas futures dropped in New York for the first time in three days on concern that a supply glut will worsen once the summer cooling season ends.
Gas fell 1.1 percent before a government report tomorrow that may show U.S. stockpiles rose by 30 billion cubic feet last week, below the five-year average gain of 45 billion for the week, based on analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Gas is up 54 percent since sliding to a decade low in April as hotter- than-normal weather helped drive down a supply surplus.
Natural gas for September delivery slid 3.1 cents to settle at $2.933 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are down 1.9 percent this year.
Oil in New York fell for the first time in four days after a government report showed fuel demand weakened last week and on concern that the Federal Reserve won’t implement additional stimulus measures.
Prices declined 0.3 percent as the Energy Department said U.S. petroleum demand decreased for the first time in four weeks. The report also showed oil supplies dropped less than in an American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said central banks may not have the capacity to undertake more stimulus.
Crude oil for September delivery fell 32 cents to settle at $93.35 a barrel on the Nymex after increasing to $94.72, the highest intraday level since May 15. Prices have fallen 5.5 percent this year.
Heating oil advanced to a three-month high as U.S. inventories of distillate fuels declined and demand climbed to the highest level in five weeks.
Heating oil for September delivery rose 1.79 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.0159 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement since May 3. The September contract has gained 6.1 percent in four days of advances.
Gasoline for September delivery fell 1.09 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $2.9804 a gallon on the Nymex.
Raw-sugar futures fell, capping the longest slide in more than three years as favorable weather for crops in Brazil and India, the world’s top producers, improved supply prospects.
Raw-sugar for October delivery fell 1.5 percent to settle at 21.09 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. That marked the seventh straight drop, the longest decline since March 30, 2009.
Cocoa for December delivery advanced 0.8 percent to settle at $2,469 a metric ton. Earlier, the commodity reached $2,481, the highest level for a most-active contract since Nov. 18.
Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $1.705 a pound.
Copper fell for the first time in four sessions after weaker-than-forecast German industrial production fueled concern that Europe’s debt crisis is crimping economies and cutting metals demand.
Copper futures for September delivery slid 0.6 percent to settle at $3.4215 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices gained 4.6 percent in the previous three sessions.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months retreated 0.4 percent to $7,550 a metric ton ($3.43 a pound.)
Nickel, zinc and tin also dropped, while aluminum and lead gained in London.
Gold advanced for the third time in four sessions on speculation that central banks will take steps to bolster their economies, increasing the appeal of the precious metal as a store of value.
Gold futures for December delivery gained 0.2 percent to settle at $1,616 an ounce on the Comex. The price has climbed 1.6 percent since Aug. 2.
Silver futures for September delivery declined less than 0.1 percent to $28.075 an ounce in New York.
Cattle gained for the first time in four sessions as the number of animals available for meatpacking plants is declining amid strong demand for U.S. beef. Hogs also rose.
Cattle futures for October delivery increased 1.2 percent to settle at $1.25675 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement rose 0.9 percent to $1.4145 a pound on the CME.
Hog futures for October settlement climbed 0.9 percent to 75.625 cents a pound in Chicago, the first gain for the most- active contract in seven sessions.
Corn rose for the first time this week on signs of increased demand for the grain to produce ethanol to blend with gasoline. Soybeans gained before the government releases production forecasts.
Corn futures for December delivery rose 2 percent to close at $8.165 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the first gain this week. The most-active contract touched a record $8.205 on July 31 as hot, dry weather stressed U.S. crops.
Soybean futures for November delivery climbed 1 percent $15.8125 a bushel in Chicago. On July 23, the price reached $16.915, the highest ever.
To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at firstname.lastname@example.org