Natural Gas Advances to Highest in a Year: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.5 percent to settle at 646.01 at 3:46 p.m. in New York, led by energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 0.1 percent to 1,572.16.


Natural gas rose to a one-year high after a government report showed U.S. inventories fell more than expected.

The Energy Department said stockpiles fell 38 billion cubic feet last week to 3.873 trillion. Analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg forecast a drop of 28 billion and a survey of Bloomberg users predicted a decline of 30 billion.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for December delivery climbed 1.9 percent to $3.903 per million British thermal units, the highest settlement since Oct. 31, 2011.

U.K. gas for same-day delivery advanced as the network manager anticipated tighter supplies in the distribution system.

The price gained 0.9 percent to 66.15 pence a therm at 4:24 p.m. London time. Next-month gas rose 0.4 percent to 67.85 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.82 per million Btu.


Cattle futures rose to a record on signs of increasing demand for beef as supplies tighten after the worst drought since 1956 prompted U.S. ranchers to cull herds, boosting meat costs for consumers and restaurants.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $1.31625 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.318, a record for the most-active contract.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement climbed 0.9 percent to $1.47375 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.7 percent to 87.125 cents a pound.


Crude oil advanced for the third time in four sessions as U.S. inventories fell unexpectedly and fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits.

On the Nymex, oil futures for January delivery gained 0.7 percent to $87.38 a barrel.

Brent oil for January delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $110.86 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Morgan Stanley failed to sell a cargo of North Sea Forties after lowering its offer. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals blend in Europe for the third straight day.

Exxon Mobil Corp. declared force majeure on Nigerian Qua Iboe loadings because of repair works on a pipeline following an oil leak on Nov. 9. CPC Corp. bought four cargoes of Angolan Cabinda and two of Nemba for loading in January, according to three traders with knowledge of the matter.


Heating oil and gasoline rose as the Energy Department reported that U.S. inventories decreased last week.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for December delivery increased 1.1 percent to $3.0722 a gallon.

Gasoline futures for December delivery gained 1.4 percent to $2.7495 a gallon.


Gold gained for the second time in three days as central banks increased holdings and tension in the Middle East boosted demand for the metal as an investment haven.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,728.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for December delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $33.35 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $1,583.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery gained 2 percent to $651.30 an ounce.


Copper fell the most in a week after European finance ministers failed to agree on measures to reduce Greece’s debt, stoking concern that the fiscal crisis will choke metal demand.

On the Comex, copper futures for March delivery declined 0.6 percent to $3.5065 a pound, the biggest decline contract since Nov. 9.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slumped 1.2 percent to $7,692 a ton ($3.49 a pound). Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin also slid. Nickel rose.


Sugar futures fell the most in two weeks on signs of abundant global supplies.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for March delivery fell 1.3 percent to 19.64 cents a pound, the biggest drop since Nov. 7.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery jumped 2.8 percent to $1.254 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery increased 0.8 percent to $2,476 a metric ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1.5345 a pound.

Cotton futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to 72.66 cents a pound.


Soybeans and corn fell for the first time this week on speculation that rain will boost yields in South America.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for January delivery declined 0.3 percent to $14.0825 a bushel.

Corn futures for March delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $7.4525 a bushel.

Wheat futures for March delivery slid 0.1 percent to $8.5975 a bushel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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