Breaking News

Tweet TWEET

Silver Falls as U.S. Economy Concerns Grow: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.9 percent to 631.38 at 6:15 p.m. New York time, led by precious metals and energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices fell 0.8 percent to 1,569.821.

PRECIOUS METALS

Silver had the biggest drop in five weeks and gold futures fell the most in a week as mounting concerns on the U.S. economy and budget impasse eroded demand for the precious metals.

Gold futures for delivery in February dropped 1.2 percent to settle at $1,696.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Dec. 4.

Silver futures for March delivery slumped 4.2 percent to $32.355 an ounce, the biggest slide since Nov. 2.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery dropped 2 percent to $1,612.80 an ounce, the first loss in seven sessions.

Palladium futures for March delivery decreased 1.4 percent to $691.65 an ounce.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell for the first time in three days as House Speaker John Boehner said the White House isn’t serious about cutting spending and U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in November.

Crude for January delivery fell 88 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $85.89 a barrel on the Nymex. Prices are down 13 percent this year.

Brent for January settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange slid $1.59, or 1.5 percent, to end the session at $107.91 a barrel.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures fell to the lowest price in almost 11 weeks after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles increased unexpectedly as mild weather cut demand for heating fuels.

Natural gas for January delivery decreased 3.5 cents to $3.347 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, the lowest settlement price since Sept. 28. The futures have risen 12 percent this year, heading for the first annual gain since 2007.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell as U.S. supplies climbed to an eight-month high last week and on concern that budget talks between the White House and Congressional Republicans are stalled, threatening the economic recovery.

Gasoline for January delivery fell 4.44 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $2.6021 a gallon on the Nymex.

Heating oil for January delivery declined 2.31 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $2.9437 a gallon a gallon on the exchange.

The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline fell 1.4 cents to a $3.301 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the lowest level since Jan. 3.

BASE METALS

Copper futures tumbled the most in five weeks on mounting concern that U.S. lawmakers will fail to avoid $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts, dimming the outlook for economic growth and metals demand.

Copper futures for delivery in March retreated 1.5 percent to settle at $3.66 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss since Nov. 7. The decline pared the metal’s rally this year to 6.5 percent.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.7 percent to $8,074 a ton ($3.66 a pound).

Zinc, tin, aluminum and lead also fell in London. Nickel was unchanged.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybean futures rose for the first time in three days after the U.S., the world’s largest exporter, said shipments to overseas buyers jumped to a two-year high. Corn and wheat declined.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to close at $14.725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after falling 0.3 percent in the prior two sessions.

Corn futures for March delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $7.2025 a bushel in Chicago, the sixth straight decline.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to settle at $8.085 a bushel, after touching $8.015, the lowest price for a most-active contract since July 3.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures fell to a 30-month low on speculation that supplies from Central America will add to ample offers from Brazil, the world’s top exporter.

Arabica coffee for March delivery declined 2 percent to settle at $1.436 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched $1.4325, the lowest level for a most- active contract since June 11, 2010.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery closed unchanged at 18.54 cents a pound after touching 18.31 cents, the lowest level for a most-active contract since Aug. 12, 2010

Orange juice for January delivery rose 2.3 percent to settle at $1.3725 a pound on ICE Futures U.S.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $2,422 a metric ton.

Cotton futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to 74.56 cents a pound.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures fell for the second straight day on concern that demand for beef may slow as consumers switch to cheaper meat. Hogs rose.

Cattle futures for February delivery slid 0.2 percent to close at $1.31475 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.3 percent to 85.9 cents a pound in Chicago. Prices are up 1.9 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.