Natural-gas futures fell to a two-month low in New York amid speculation that Tropical Storm Isaac won’t result in widespread production cuts in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gas slid 3.6 percent, the biggest one-day drop since Aug. 10. The National Hurricane Center forecast Isaac may become a hurricane off the west coast of Florida in about four days, according to a 2 p.m. advisory. The Gulf accounted for about 7 percent of U.S. gas production in 2011 compared with 11 percent in 2008.
Gas for September delivery dropped 10 cents to $2.702 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since June 25. The futures slid 0.6 percent this week, capping losses for a fifth straight week. Gas is down 9.6 percent this year.
Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Oil rose for a fourth week as Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened in the Caribbean Sea on a path that may threaten crude production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude for October delivery slid 12 cents to settle at $96.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 14 cents this week. Oil has rallied 24 percent since this year’s closing low of $77.69 reached on June 28.
Brent oil for October settlement fell $1.42, or 1.2 percent, to end the session at $113.59 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Gasoline fell as Brent crude weakened versus West Texas Intermediate oil and on skepticism that Tropical Storm Isaac poses an immediate threat to Gulf Coast refining.
September-delivery gasoline fell 3.78 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $3.078 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 1.7 percent this week, the fourth straight weekly increase, and are up 21 percent from the year-to-date low of $2.5501 on June 21.
Brent’s premium to WTI narrowed $1.30 to $17.44 a barrel, the smallest difference since Aug. 20.
Heating oil for September delivery fell 2.29 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.1101 a gallon on the exchange. Prices rose a fourth straight week, gaining 0.6 percent.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.2 cents to $3.73 gallon yesterday, the biggest one-day increase since Aug. 11, AAA data showed. Prices have climbed 40.4 cents, or 12 percent, since July 1, according to data from the nation’s largest motoring organization.
Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT
Cotton futures fell the most in two weeks on speculation that producers are making sales to lock in prices before the U.S. harvest boosts supplies. Orange juice and sugar slid, while coffee and cocoa rose.
Cotton for December delivery dropped 2.1 percent to settle at 75.21 cents a pound at 2:32 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest decline since Aug. 10. This week, the most- active contract rose 2.6 percent.
Orange-juice futures for November delivery slid 0.9 percent to $1.1795 a pound. This week, the price rose 9 percent, the most in seven months, on concern that Tropical Storm Isaac may harm crops in Florida, the world’s second-largest orange grower.
Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for October delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to 19.58 cents a pound. Arabica- coffee futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1.629 a pound. Cocoa futures for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to $2,397 a metric ton.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Copper prices fell in New York amid concern that sluggish progress in fixing Europe’s debt crisis may hurt economic growth and slow demand for the industrial metal.
Copper futures for December delivery slid 0.3 percent to settle at $3.4895 a pound at 1:15 p.m. on the Comex in New York, paring this week’s rise to 1.8 percent.
Prices reached a one-month high yesterday amid expectation the Federal Reserve will announce new policies to spur growth.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months retreated 0.6 percent to $7,640 a metric ton ($3.47 a pound.
Aluminum, nickel, lead and zinc rose in London. Tin advanced for a seventh straight session.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Gold capped the biggest weekly gain since January amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will take additional steps to spur the economy, boosting demand for the metal as an inflation hedge. Silver rose for a fifth day.
Gold futures for December delivery rose 10 cents to settle at $1,672.90 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York, bringing the weekly gain to 3.3 percent, the most since Jan. 27.
Silver futures for December delivery rose 0.5 percent to $30.709 an ounce on the Comex, capping a 9.3 percent rally for the week that was the biggest since October.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery dropped 50 cents to close at $1,554.40 an ounce. For the week, the price jumped 5.5 percent, the most since January, after yesterday reaching $1,563.60, the highest since May 3.
Palladium futures for September delivery fell 0.7 percent to $653.80 an ounce on the Nymex, the first decline since Aug. 15.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Hog futures fell for the fifth straight session on signs of increasing pork supplies in the U.S. Cattle also dropped.
Hog futures for October settlement fell 0.3 percent to settle at 72.375 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell 5 percent for the week, after touching 72.075 cents yesterday, the lowest for the most-active contract since Nov. 10, 2010.
Cattle futures for October delivery slid 0.4 percent to settle at $1.2445 a pound in Chicago. The price has climbed 2.5 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement dropped 0.3 percent to settle at $1.44425 a pound on the CME
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
Wheat fell for a third day on speculation that rain will improve dry soil conditions in the U.S. Great Plains, boosting planting prospects for the winter crop. Corn also declined.
Wheat futures for December delivery slid 0.7 percent to close at $8.885 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price dropped 0.7 percent this week, the third straight decline.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to $8.085 a bushel in Chicago, paring this week’s gain to 0.2 percent. The most-active contract, which has gained 60 percent since June 15, touched a record $8.49 on Aug. 10.
Soybeans rose, capping the biggest weekly gain in a month, as export sales climbed from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, amid signs of shrinking supplies.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 1 percent to close at $17.315 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. This week, the price advanced 5.2 percent, the ninth gain in 10 weeks. Yesterday, the oilseed reached a record $17.4475.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at email@example.com.