Natural Gas Leads Slump as Zinc Advances: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.4 percent to 641.69 at 2:42 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.2 percent at 1,570.514.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures declined in New York for the second time in three days as the outlook for milder weather signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for February delivery dropped 8.2 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $3.387 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have gained 13 percent this year, heading for the first annual gain since 2007. Futures trading volume was 34 percent below the 100-day average.

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

BASE METALS

Copper rose in New York, closing in on an annual climb, after the strongest gain in 19 months in Chinese manufacturing added to signs of improving growth in the world’s largest consumer of the metal.

Copper for delivery in March added 0.5 percent to $3.609 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices are up 5 percent this year and down 4 percent for the fourth quarter. Copper for delivery in three months rose 0.6 percent to $7,934 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Zinc jumped 1.1 percent.

Aluminum and tin climbed in London as nickel and lead fell. Tin is up 22 percent this year, the most among the six main LME metals, and nickel is down 8.2 percent, the only drop.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar, heading for a second annual decline, rose in New York as index funds prepare to buy futures due to changes in commodity-index weightings and speculators reduced bets on falling prices. Arabica coffee slid.

Raw sugar for delivery in March rose 0.4 percent to 19.49 cents a pound by 7:39 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Refined, or white, sugar for delivery in March advanced 0.3 percent to $523.70 a metric ton by the close on NYSE Liffe in London after touching $525, the highest level since Dec. 4.

Arabica coffee for delivery in March, down 36 percent in 2012 in New York trading, fell 1.1 percent to $1.4525 a pound. Robusta coffee for delivery in March advanced 0.7 percent to $1,924 a ton in London, leaving prices up 6.3 percent this year.

Cocoa for delivery in March fell 0.7 percent to $2,233 a ton on ICE, paring 2012’s advance to 5.9 percent. Cocoa for delivery in March slipped 0.2 percent to 1,435 pounds ($2,320) a ton on NYSE Liffe, for an annual gain of 4 percent.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat fell, paring an annual gain, on speculation that global supplies are ample. Soybeans fell.

Wheat for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $7.7025 a bushel at 6:01 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, trimming this year’s gain for the most-active contract to 18 percent. On Dec. 27, futures dropped to $7.645, the lowest price since July. Down 13 percent since September, wheat is heading for its worst quarter since June 2011.

In Paris, milling wheat for March delivery declined 0.7 percent to 248 euros ($327) a ton on NYSE Liffe. It’s up 27 percent this year, heading for a 5.2 percent loss this quarter.

Corn for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $6.90 a bushel in Chicago, trimming this year’s gain to 6.7 percent. Soybeans for March delivery dropped 1 percent to $14.035 a bushel, heading for a 16 percent increase in 2012.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil headed for its first annual decline since 2008 in New York as U.S. lawmakers sought an agreement on averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the economy of the world’s largest crude consumer.

Crude for February delivery was at $90.09 a barrel, down 71 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:51 p.m. London time. Prices gained 2.4 percent last week, trimming this year’s decline to 8.8 percent.

Brent for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange declined $1.07 to $109.55 a barrel. The contract climbed 1.5 percent last week, extending its advance this year to 2.1 percent, a fourth annual gain. The European benchmark’s premium to WTI narrowed for a fifth day to $19.46.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose, poised for a 12th consecutive annual gain, as central banks from Europe to China pledge more steps to spur economic growth and U.S. lawmakers near a deadline for budget talks.

Gold for immediate delivery added 0.3 percent to $1,661.38 an ounce by 12:44 p.m. in London, extending this year’s climb to 6.2 percent.

Gold for February delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1,661.30 on the Comex in New York, where floor trading will be closed tomorrow for New Year’s Day. Platinum rallied 8.4 percent this year in New York and palladium gained 6.3 percent as labor unrest in South Africa helped curb supply. Silver increased 7.5 percent and rhodium declined 23 percent in London.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell after a report that U.S. inventories of the fuel increased last week and amid concern lawmakers will fail to avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect tomorrow.

Gasoline for January delivery fell 0.85 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $2.7914 a gallon as of 5:09 a.m. local time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more actively traded February futures slipped 0.95 cents to $2.749. January gasoline and heating oil will expire at the close of floor trading today.

Heating oil for January delivery was little changed at $3.0455 a gallon. The more actively traded February contract slipped 65 cents to $3.0148.

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

European Carbon Permits

European Union carbon permits for December 2013 fell 0.6 percent to 6.67 euros a metric ton.

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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