Zinc slumped 1.7 percent in London and copper futures were little changed in New York as U.S. lawmakers prepared for talks to avoid more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax gains that will start in January.
Copper futures for March delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $3.599 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices rose as much as 0.6 percent today and fell as much as 0.4 percent.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid less than 0.1 percent to $7,912.50 a metric ton ($3.59 a pound).
Aluminum, tin, nickel and lead also fell in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Natural gas futures maintained gains in New York after a government report showed a supply drop last week that matched forecasts.
Natural gas for February delivery advanced 4.7 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $3.459 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas was trading at $3.467 per million Btu before the storage report was released. Prices have risen 16 percent this year.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Arabica coffee, heading for the biggest annual decline in 12 years, fell for a second day in New York on speculation slowing economies will dent demand just as supplies are ample. Cocoa and sugar gained.
Arabica coffee for March delivery was down 0.4 percent to $1.473 a pound by 7:21 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. It’s fallen 35 percent this year, making it the worst performing commodity in the Standard & Poor’s gauge of 24 raw materials. Robusta coffee for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1,913 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London, 5.8 percent higher this year.
Cocoa for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $2,271 a ton ICE. It rose 7.6 percent this year. Cocoa for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to 1,445 pounds ($2,332) a ton on NYSE Liffe. The commodity was up 4.7 percent this year.
Raw sugar for March delivery was 0.3 percent higher at 19.51 cents a pound in New York. It lost 16 percent this year. White, or refined, sugar for March delivery was up 0.2 percent to $523.20 a ton in London. It fell 13 percent this year.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Wheat rebounded from a five-month low on speculation that a government report today may show a gain in U.S. export sales after prices dropped. Soybeans and corn also increased.
Wheat for March delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $7.775 a bushel by 6:16 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures dropped to $7.645 yesterday, the lowest level since July 2. Prices are still headed for a 19 percent advance this year.
Trading in wheat in Chicago was about 60 percent lower than the 30-day average for the time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In Paris, milling wheat for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to 250.25 euros ($329.89) a ton on NYSE Liffe. The most-active contract is up 28 percent this year.
Soybeans for March delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $14.2125 a bushel on the CBOT, heading for an 18 percent increase this year. Corn for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $6.9425 a bushel, up 7.4 percent in 2012.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Oil headed for a third consecutive weekly gain before a government report that may show U.S. supplies declined to a 10- week low.
Crude for February delivery increased 45 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $91.32 a barrel at 10:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have advanced 3 percent this week and 2.7 percent this month. Trading volume for West Texas Intermediate futures contracts was down 59 percent from the 100- day average.
Brent oil for February settlement rose 9 cents to $110.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe. The number of contracts trading was 49 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $19.57 to WTI.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Gold futures declined for the first time in three days as a stronger dollar curbed demand for the metal as an alternative investment.
Gold futures for February delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,661 an ounce at 9:22 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices rose 6.2 percent this year through yesterday.
Bullion is set for a 12th straight annual gain as central banks from the U.S. to China pledge more funds to boost growth.
Silver futures for March delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $30.055 an ounce in New York, heading for the fifth straight weekly decline.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Gasoline fluctuated after a report that U.S. inventories of the motor fuel increased last week and as President Obama prepared to meet with Congressional leaders about the looming fiscal deadline.
Gasoline for January delivery gained 0.08 cent to $2.8221 a gallon at 9:33 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after swinging between $2.8058 and $2.8383. Prices are up 3.2 percent this week, extending this year’s advance to 5.1 percent. Volume was 30 percent below the average of the past 100 days.
Heating oil for January delivery climbed 0.22 cent to $3.0745 a gallon. Prices are up 1.7 percent this week and have gained 4.8 percent this year. Volume was 62 percent below average.
The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline rose 1.8 cents to $3.279 a gallon, AAA said today on its website.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Hog futures for February settlement gained 0.1 percent to 87.075 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.3325 a pound in Chicago.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement advanced 0.3 percent to $1.542 a pound on the CME.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
European Carbon Permits
European Union carbon permits for December 2013 fell 5.4 percent to 6.67 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
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