Cotton Biggest Decliner Among Group: Commidities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.1 percent to 645.78 in New York. Cotton posted the largest decline among the group, while sugar had the biggest advance. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.8 percent at 1,578.408.
Sugar gained the most in more than a week on bets that investment funds that track commodity indexes will increase their holdings of the sweetener. Coffee, cocoa and cotton fell, while orange juice was steady.
Raw sugar for March delivery rose 2.1 percent to settle at 19.45 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest advance since Dec. 17.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $1.479 a pound on ICE, extending this year’s decline to 35 percent.
Also in New York, cocoa futures for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to $2,255 a metric ton, while cotton futures for March delivery dropped 1.4 percent to 76.01 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery were unchanged at $1.318 a pound on ICE.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Wheat futures fell on signs that demand is waning for exports from the U.S., the world’s top shipper. Corn and soybeans also declined.
Wheat for March delivery declined 0.3 percent to $7.7225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since June 22.
Soybeans for March delivery slipped 0.4 percent to settle at $14.14, while corn for delivery the same month dropped to $6.915 a bushel, the lowest settlement since July.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Crude oil for February delivery slipped 11 cents to settle at $90.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume for West Texas Intermediate futures contracts was down 42 percent from the 100-day average.
Brent oil for February settlement slid 27 cents to $110.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe on trading volume 53 percent below the 100-day average.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Heating oil rose to a four-week high on forecasts for colder weather in the U.S. Northeast and a decline in distillate stockpiles from the lowest seasonal level in 12 years.
Heating oil for January delivery climbed 2.1 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.0723 a gallon on the Nymex, extending this year’s increase to 4.7 percent. Volume was 37 percent below the 100-day average.
January heating oil’s premium to the February contract increased 0.78 cent to 2.34 cents a gallon, the largest premium for the front-month contract since Oct. 29.
Gasoline for January delivery gained 0.55 cent to settle at $2.8213 a gallon, a 10-week high. Prices are up 5 percent this year. Volume was 37 percent below the 100-day average.
The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline rose 1.4 cents to $3.261 a gallon, AAA said today on its website.
Gasoline: NI GASOLINE
Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas retreated as forecasts for above-average temperatures spurred concern that the U.S. winter will be too mild to erode a stockpile surplus.
The futures dropped as warmer-than-normal weather will blanket the central and eastern half of the country Jan. 6 through Jan. 10, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Natural gas for January delivery fell 3.8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $3.354 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The January contract expired today. The more actively traded February futures dropped 1.3 cents to $3.412. Futures trading volume was 51 percent below the 100-day average.
Gas market: NI GASMARKET
Gold futures advanced for the second straight day on concern that the U.S. budget crisis won’t be resolved.
Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1,663.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal has gained 6.2 percent this year, heading for a 12th straight annual increase, as central banks from the U.S. to China announced stimulus measures to bolster their economies.
Silver futures for March delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $30.24 an ounce.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $1,536 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery jumped 2.3 percent to $708.50 an ounce, the biggest gain since Nov. 23.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Copper futures advanced after new home sales rose to the highest in more than two years in the U.S., the world’s second- biggest consumer of the metal.
Copper futures for March delivery increased 0.1 percent to settle at $3.601 a pound on the Comex. Yesterday, the price climbed 1.5 percent.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.3 percent to $7,915 a metric ton ($3.59 a pound). The exchange was shut for the past two days for public holidays.
Aluminum, zinc, lad and tin increased in London, while nickel slipped.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Hogs declined the most in more than a week on signs of increasing supplies of U.S. pork. Cattle futures also fell.
Hog futures for February settlement declined 0.5 percent to close at 87.025 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Dec. 17.
Cattle futures for February delivery fell 0.5 percent to settle at $1.3305 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.7 percent to close at $1.5375 a pound on the CME.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
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