Sugar Leads Gains as Natural Gas Declines: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 0.6 percent to 634.99 at 4:55 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.5 percent at 1,577.367.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures rose, heading for the second weekly advance in three, on signs of improved demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Orange juice, sugar, coffee and cocoa also gained.

Cotton for March delivery increased 0.5 percent to 74.95 cents on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, extending the weekly gain to 1.6 percent.

A running bale weighs 500 pounds, or 227 kilograms.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery jumped 0.7 percent to $1.385 a pound on ICE, on pace for the biggest weekly rally since Jan. 20.

Also in New York, raw-sugar futures for March delivery climbed 2 percent to 18.91 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $1.4405 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery added 0.5 percent to $2,435 a metric ton.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures dropped in New York, heading for a third weekly decline, as forecasts showed warmer-than-normal weather in late December that would reduce heating demand.

Natural gas for January delivery fell 5.3 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $3.294 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 7.2 percent this week. Prices dropped to $3.273 in earlier trading, the lowest since Sept. 28. The futures are up 10 percent this year.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold swung between gains and losses in New York as investors weighed additional U.S. stimulus and mounting concerns that lawmakers haven’t moved closer to resolving the country’s budget impasse.

Gold futures for February delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $1,696.90 an ounce at 11:22 a.m. on the Comex in New York. It rose as much as 0.3 percent and lost as much as 0.2 percent. Through yesterday, the metal was down 0.5 percent this week.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $32.40 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures may fall on signs of slowing demand for animals from U.S. meatpackers. Hogs slid.

Cattle futures for February delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1.3145 a pound at 9:55 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Wholesale beef dropped 0.6 percent to $1.9451 a pound, the biggest slide since Nov. 9, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement retreated 0.4 percent to $1.52475 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement slumped 0.6 percent to 85.35 cents a pound in Chicago. Through yesterday, prices were up 1.9 percent this year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose the most in a week on signs of increasing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Corn gained on speculation that the lowest prices in almost four weeks will spur demand.

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1.2 percent to $14.9025 a bushel at 10:36 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest advance since Dec. 5. The most-active contract is on pace for a fourth straight weekly increase, the longest since the end of August.

Corn futures for March delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $7.2425 a bushel in Chicago, heading for the first gain in seven sessions. Yesterday, the price touched $7.15, the lowest since Nov. 16.

Wheat futures jumped the most in two weeks on speculation that the lowest prices since July will spark demand for inventories held by the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to $8.15 a bushel at 10:37 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. That’s below the price on NYSE Liffe in Paris, where soft wheat closed yesterday at 255.75 euros a metric ton, or $9.15 a bushel.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose as data showed manufacturing growth in the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest oil consuming countries.

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery advanced 57 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $86.46 a barrel at 10:34 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 0.6 percent this week.

Brent for January settlement, which expires today, rose $1.19, or 1.1 percent, to $109.10 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more actively traded February contract gained $1.30 to $109.21. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $22.64 to WTI.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline and heating oil advanced on indications that manufacturing is strengthening in the U.S., increasing optimism about the economy and fuel demand.

Gasoline for January delivery advanced 5.13 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.6534 a gallon at 11:13 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have risen 2.2 percent this week, narrowing the decline for the year to 1.2 percent.

Heating oil for January delivery advanced 3.3 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.9767 a gallon on the exchange. Prices are up 2.1 percent this week, and 1.4 percent this year.

The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline fell 1.5 cents to a $3.286 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the lowest level since Jan. 2.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

BASE METALS

Copper futures advanced, heading for the longest run of weekly gains in two years, on signs of an industrial recovery in China and the U.S., the biggest users of the metal.

Copper futures for March delivery increased 0.5 percent to $3.678 a pound at 11:34 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal is up 0.4 percent this week, which would be the fifth weekly gain and the longest rally since December 2010.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.1 percent to $8,067 a metric ton ($3.66 a pound).

Nickel, zinc, tin and aluminum gained on the LME, while lead fell.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

European Carbon Permits

European Union carbon permits for December fell 1.8 percent to 6.55 euros a metric ton, the fourth consecutive drop.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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