Crude Oil Falls as U.S. Fiscal Cliff Looms: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 2.4 percent to settle at 629 at 3:55 p.m. New York time, led by energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 1.5 percent to 1,547.89.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil dropped the most this year after President Barack Obama won re-election and Greece prepared to vote on austerity measures.

Obama faces negotiations with Congress to avoid more than $600 billion in mandated tax gains and spending cuts. Greece’s parliament plans to vote on a package to unlock bailout funds.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for December delivery slumped 4.8 percent to $84.44 a barrel, the biggest decline since Dec. 14.

Brent oil for December settlement fell 3.8 percent to $106.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Statoil ASA (STL) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) failed to buy North Sea Forties after raising their bids. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals blend for the second straight day.

Statoil ASA partly evacuated a housing platform at its Njord field in the Norwegian Sea after an anchor damaged one of the ballast tanks amid waves as high as 15 meters (50 feet).

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline tumbled as U.S. inventory rose and demand slid to an eight-month low in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Concern mounted that Obama and Congress won’t reach a budget deal.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for December delivery fell 4.1 percent to $2.5889 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for December delivery dropped 3 percent to $2.9621 a gallon.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas fell as meteorologists predicted a shift to above-normal temperatures after wintry weather in the eastern U.S. this week.

On the Nymex, gas futures for December delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $3.578 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas for within-day delivery declined as Dutch imports climbed.

The price fell 0.6 percent to 65 pence a therm at 3:40 p.m. Next-month gas dropped 0.4 percent to 65.6 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.48 per million Btu.

BASE METALS

Copper dropped to a two-month low on escalating concern that the so-called fiscal cliff in the U.S. and a stalling European economy will erode metal demand.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for December delivery slumped 1.8 percent to $3.4415 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $3.43, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 31.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.2 percent to $7,605 a metric ton ($3.45 a pound). Nickel, zinc and tin dropped, while lead and aluminum gained.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold declined for the first time in three days as the dollar’s advance crimped demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

On the Comex, gold futures for December delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1,714 an ounce.

Silver futures for December delivery declined 1.2 percent to $31.661 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1,539.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery slipped 1.6 percent to $610.35 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa fell the most in two weeks on concern that slowing economies in Europe will erode demand as harvests advance in West Africa, the world’s top growing region.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for December delivery dropped 2.7 percent to $2,399 a ton, the biggest slide since Oct. 24.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery declined 3.3 percent to 18.95 cents a pound.

Cotton futures for December delivery slid 0.4 percent to 69.83 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.099 a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $1.512 a pound.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures slumped to a five-week low on signs of slowing demand for U.S. beef.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for December delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1.2495 a pound after reaching $1.2455, the lowest since Oct. 1.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement slumped 0.8 percent to $1.455 a pound.

Hog futures for December settlement surged 3.3 percent to 80.1 cents a pound, the biggest gain since May 31.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn futures rose for the second straight day on speculation that demand from livestock producers will increase as they seek a cheaper alternative to wheat.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for December delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $7.4425 a bushel.

Soybean futures for January delivery fell 0.6 percent to $15.07 a bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 1.9 percent to $8.94 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $8.97, the highest since Oct. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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