Natural Gas Jumps on Cold as Cocoa Drops: Commodities at Close
Natural gas futures rose in New York, headed for a second straight weekly gain, as forecasts for frigid weather signaled increased heating-fuel demand.
Natural gas for February delivery increased 2 percent to $3.563 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 25 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
Cotton futures gained for the fourth straight session on signs of robust demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Cocoa fell 0.8 percent.
Cotton for March delivery climbed 1.2 percent to 78.62 cents a pound on ICE Futures in New York, marking the longest rally since Dec. 3. Prices have declined 16 percent from a year earlier.
Raw sugar for March delivery was unchanged at 18.42 cents a pound on ICE, the first gain in a week.
Arabica coffee for March delivery gained 1 percent to $1.5705 a pound in New York. It touched $1.579 a pound, the highest since Nov. 13, in earlier trade.
Orange juice for March delivery jumped 1.8 percent to $1.1435 a pound. Earlier it reached $1.166, the highest since Jan. 3.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Heating oil gained on forecasts for colder-than-normal weather in the U.S. Northeast next week at a time when supplies of the fuel are declining.
Heating oil for February delivery rose 1.6 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.0372 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 9.2 percent below the average of the past 100 days. Prices are up 1 percent since Jan. 11, headed for biggest weekly gain since Dec. 21.
Gasoline for February delivery rose 0.72 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $2.7756 a gallon on the exchange. Volume was 34 percent below the average.
The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 0.1 cent to $3.293 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the first increase in seven days.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits plunged to a record after low bids from utilities, factories and banks forced Germany to cancel a sale for the first time.
European Union carbon permits for December dropped 8.9 percent to 5.11 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Silver futures rose to the highest in a month after the U.S. Mint said it sold out of 2013 American Eagle coins and the biggest exchange-traded fund for the metal bought the most in five years.
Silver futures for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $31.945 an ounce at 10:11 a.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $32.14, the highest since Dec. 18. Prices have climbed 5.1 percent this week, on pace for the biggest weekly advance since Nov. 23.
Gold futures for February delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $1,689.10 an ounce on the Comex.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Cattle dropped for the fourth straight day, heading for the longest losing streak since July, on speculation that animal demand is going to fall after Cargill Inc. said it will idle a beef plant. Hogs were steady.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1.303 a pound at 9:52 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, futures tumbled by as much as the 3-cent exchange limit to $1.297, the lowest for the most-active contract since Nov. 16.
The plant closing will “ultimately be friendly to the market,” because it means less beef production, Kruse said.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.3 percent to $1.45425 a pound on the CME. A close at that price would be the 10th straight drop, the longest consecutive decline since November 2004.
Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.2 percent to 88.275 cents a pound in Chicago.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
Soybeans fell a second day on speculation that rain will improve the yield potential of crops in Brazil, reducing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter. Corn advanced.
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $14.2225 a bushel at 10:27 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices still are up 3.6 percent for the week, heading for the biggest gain since August, after the government said Jan. 11 that U.S. inventories fell to a nine-year low. Yesterday, the most-active contract touched $14.48, the highest since Dec. 19.
Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $7.255 a bushel on the CBOT, heading for the ninth gain in 10 sessions. A close at that price would be a weekly gain of 2.4 percent, after touching a five-week high of $7.35 on Jan. 16.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Oil fell, trimming the longest weekly winning streak in 14 months, after a measure of U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly declined and the euro extended losses on comments by a European Central Bank official.
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery slid 33 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $95.16 a barrel at 12:06 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have increased 1.7 percent since Jan. 11, heading for a sixth straight weekly advance, the longest run of gains since November 2011.
Brent for March settlement rose 2 cents to $111.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $15.52 to WTI futures for the same month. The gap was $15.16 yesterday, the narrowest closing level since July 24.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Copper rose in New York to the highest in a week after economic growth sped up for the first time in two years in China, the world’s largest user of the metal.
Copper futures for delivery in March added 0.3 percent to $3.6725 a pound at 11:19 a.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $3.6975, the highest since Jan. 11.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $8,075.50 a ton ($3.66 a pound).
Aluminum for delivery in three months climbed 0.4 percent to $2,056.50 a ton on the LME. Chinese usage of the lightweight metal is set to increase 8.6 percent this year to 23.35 million tons, said researcher Beijing Antaike Information Development Co. Zinc and lead also advanced in London, while nickel and tin were lower.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
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