Gold advanced to the highest level in more than four months amid speculation that the U.S. will take additional steps to spur economic growth, boosting the appeal of bullion as an inflation hedge. Platinum extended a rally.
Gold futures for December delivery climbed 2 percent to settle at $1,672.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York after earlier jumping to $1,677.50, the highest level for a most- active contract since April 13.
Silver futures for December delivery rose 3 percent to $30.542 an ounce in New York, after reaching $30.87, the highest level since May 2.
Palladium futures for September delivery advanced 4.4 percent to $656.60 an ounce on the Nymex, the biggest gain this year.
Oil fell from a three-month high in New York as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expects Greece to fulfill the terms of its bailout and on skepticism central banks will ease monetary policy further.
Crude oil for October delivery declined 99 cents to settle at $96.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures fell as low as $95.75. The contract touched $98.29 earlier, the highest intraday level since May 4. Prices are up 13 percent from a year ago.
Brent oil for October settlement rose 10 cents to end the session at $115.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark’s premium to West Texas Intermediate crude, the grade traded in New York, was at $18.74, up from $17.65 yesterday.
Corn futures fell the most in two months on speculation that crop damage from the worst U.S. drought in a half-century wasn’t as severe as expected by the government. Soybeans dropped from a record, and wheat declined.
Corn futures for December delivery declined 2.4 percent to settle at $8.1475 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since June 21. On Aug. 10, the grain reached a record $8.49.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.7 percent to $17.15 a bushel. Earlier, the oilseed rose to a record $17.4475. This year, the price has surged 42 percent, the most among 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.
Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $8.9475 a bushel, the biggest decline since Aug. 13. This year, the grain has jumped 37 percent, the second-biggest gain among GSCI components.
Natural gas futures fell for the second time in three days after a government report showed a bigger-than-expected stockpile increase last week.
Gas for September delivery declined 2.4 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $2.762 per million British thermal units on the Nymex after dropping to $2.682, the lowest intraday price since June 28. The futures have dropped 6.3 percent this year.
September-delivery gasoline climbed 1.16 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.1158 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement for the front-month contract since April 30. The more actively traded October contract gained 1.02 cents to $2.9484.
Heating oil for September delivery rose 0.43 cent to $3.133 a gallon, the highest settlement since May 2. October heating oil increased 0.4 cent to $3.1412.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, gained 0.2 cent to $3.718 a gallon yesterday, AAA data showed. Prices have advanced 39.2 cents since July 1, according to data from the nation’s largest motoring organization.
Orange-juice futures fell for the first time in five sessions on signs that Tropical Storm Isaac may cause little or no damage to citrus groves in Florida. Sugar, cotton and coffee also slid. Cocoa advanced.
Orange juice for November delivery fell 2.6 percent to settle at $1.1905 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, halting a 13 percent gain during the previous four sessions.
Raw-sugar futures for October delivery slid 1.8 percent to 19.59 cents a pound on ICE, after reaching 19.56 cents, the lowest level for a most-active contract since June 15. Cotton futures for December delivery decreased 0.2 percent to 76.8 cents a pound on ICE, the second straight loss.
Also in New York, arabica-coffee futures for December delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1.6185 a pound, the third consecutive decline. Cocoa futures for December delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $2,385 a metric ton.
Copper futures climbed to a one-month high in New York on mounting speculation that the U.S. and China will take further steps to spur economic growth.
Copper futures for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $3.4985 a pound on the Comex in New York, after reaching $3.517, the highest level for a most-active contract since July 20.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months increased 1 percent to $7,684.50 a metric ton ($3.49 a pound).
Lead, aluminum, nickel, zinc and tin also advanced in London.
Hog futures extended a decline to the lowest level since 2010 on signs that U.S. supplies of pork are exceeding demand. Cattle rose.
Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.8 percent to settle at 72.575 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices reached 72.375 cents, the lowest level for the most-active contract since Nov. 10, 2010.
Cattle futures for October delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $1.24925 a pound in Chicago, after reaching $1.2375, the lowest level since Aug. 2. The price is up 2.9 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement climbed 1.3 percent to settle at $1.44825 a pound on the CME after reaching $1.454, the most since Aug. 16.
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