Crude Oil Drops as ECB Cuts Growth Outlook: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 1.2 percent to settle at 635.69 at 3:55 p.m. New York time, led by energy.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.8 percent to 1,579.6.
Crude oil fell to the lowest in three weeks after the European Central Bank cut its euro-area growth forecasts and U.S. lawmakers struggled to reach an agreement on a budget plan.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank projects the economy will contract 0.5 percent this year, worse than the September forecast of a 0.4 drop. More than $600 billion of new taxes and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, will come into force at the beginning of 2013 unless U.S. politicians agree on a federal budget.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for January delivery dropped 1.8 percent to $86.26 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Nov. 15.
Brent oil for January settlement declined 1.6 percent to $107.03 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Mercuria Energy Trading SA sold a cargo of North Sea Forties for the third straight day. There were no bids or offers on Russian Urals for a second day.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest exporter, cut its January official selling price for Arab Light blend from the Egyptian port of Sidi Kerir, according to two persons with knowledge of the matter.
Heating oil slid to a four-month low as Draghi said the area’s economic weakness will persist into the second half of 2013, and U.S. budget talks stalled.
On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for January delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $2.9432 a gallon, the lowest settlement since Aug. 6.
Gasoline futures for January delivery declined 1.6 percent to $2.5969 a gallon.
Natural gas dropped for the second time in three days on speculation that mild weather will reduce demand for heating fuels.
On the Nymex, gas futures for January delivery fell 0.9 percent to $3.666 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas for same-day delivery declined as imports from Belgium climbed to the highest in almost three years.
The price dropped 2.1 percent to 69.4 pence a therm at 4:10 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas slid 1.6 percent to 69.15 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $11.10 per million Btu.
Copper declined the most in four weeks amid concern that persistent economic weakness in Europe will undercut demand for the metal.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $3.6445 a pound, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 7.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.9 percent to $8,000 a ton ($3.63 a pound). Zinc, aluminum, lead and nickel also declined. Tin rose.
Gold rebounded from a four-week low after Draghi left the door open for further interest-rate cuts to bolster the European economy, enhancing the metal’s appeal as an alternative investment.
On the Comex, gold futures for February delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,701.80 an ounce. Yesterday, the metal touched $1,686, the lowest since Nov. 6.
Silver futures for March delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $33.114 an ounce.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for January delivery gained 1 percent to $1,600.70 an ounce.
Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.4 percent to $697.05 an ounce.
Hog prices fell to a three-week low on speculation that demand is easing after U.S. grocers filled Christmas meat orders.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for February settlement slid 1.4 percent to 84.45 cents a pound after touching 84.35 cents, the lowest since Nov. 12.
Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.31025 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement climbed 1.3 percent to $1.4825 a pound, after reaching $1.48575, the highest since Nov. 1.
Sugar fell for the second time in three days on mounting speculation that global output is overwhelming demand.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for March delivery slid 1.1 percent to 19.36 cents a pound.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery jumped 1.2 percent to $1.5095 a pound.
Cotton for March delivery increased 0.7 percent to 73.55 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for January delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $1.252 a pound.
Cocoa futures for March delivery were unchanged at $2,420 a ton.
Corn dropped the most in more than three weeks on signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $7.515 a bushel, the biggest decline since Nov. 12.
Soybean futures for January delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $14.9125 a bushel. The price rose for the fourth straight day, the longest rally since early July.
Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.2 percent to $8.62 a bushel.
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