Gold, Silver Climb on GDP Data, Stimulus: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.8 percent to close at 675.94 at 3:56 p.m. New York time, led by metals. The settlement was the highest since Sept. 17.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 1.2 percent to 1,620.01.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold had the biggest gain in almost three weeks after a report showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter, boosting demand for the metal as a haven. Silver jumped the most since September.

Gross domestic product, the volume of all goods and services produced, dropped at a 0.1 percent annual rate, weaker than any forecast in a Bloomberg survey and the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009, government figures showed today. Policy makers will keep buying securities at the rate of $85 billion a month, the Federal Open Market Committee said at the conclusion of a two-day meeting.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $1,681.60 an ounce, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 10.

Silver futures for March delivery increased 3.2 percent to $32.177 an ounce, the largest increase since Sept. 13.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $751.40 an ounce. Earlier, the metal reached $760.50, the highest since Sept. 9, 2011.

Platinum futures for April delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1,689.30 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper rose to the highest in almost four weeks on speculation that the Fed will continue making asset purchases to support economic growth.

On the Comex, copper futures for March delivery rose 1.6 percent to $3.75 a pound. Earlier the metal touched $3.7525, the highest since Jan. 3.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.5 percent to $8,226 a metric ton ($3.73 a pound).

Nickel climbed as much as 3.1 percent to $18,385 a ton, the highest since Oct. 5. Zinc jumped 2.9 percent to $2,155 a ton, the biggest gain since Jan. 2. Lead, aluminum and tin also advanced.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar climbed on speculation that millers in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will use more cane to make ethanol after a gasoline price increase.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for March delivery rose 1.8 percent to 18.71 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery surged 4.4 percent to $1.193 a pound, the biggest gain since Aug. 22.

Cotton futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to 82.96 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $1.477 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $2,179 a ton.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose to the highest in more than four months as the Fed maintained an asset-buying program to boost the economy.

On the Nymex, oil futures for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $97.94 a barrel, the highest settlement since Sept. 14.

Brent oil for March settlement climbed 0.5 percent to $114.90 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Total SA and Chevron Corp. failed to buy North Sea Forties crude at a lower price than yesterday. There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals grade in northwest Europe or the Mediterranean.

PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, issued a tender to buy low-sulfur crude for delivery in the second quarter.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose, extending the longest rally since July 2009, on speculation that refinery repairs and a pending plant closing will reduce East Coast stockpiles that are the lowest seasonally since 2004.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for February delivery rose 2.2 percent to $3.0387 a gallon, the biggest gain since Dec. 26. The price climbed for the 10th straight session.

Heating-oil futures for February delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $3.1173 a gallon.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed for the first time in seven sessions before a government report tomorrow that may show this winter’s biggest stockpile drop.

On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery rose 2.4 percent to $3.335 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas fell for the third straight day as warmer weather cut demand for the heating fuel.

The price slid 0.7 pence to 64.8 pence a therm at 3:42 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas fell 0.2 percent to 66.2 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.45 per million Btu.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans and corn rallied to the highest prices in more than six weeks as warm, dry weather threatened crops in Argentina and Brazil, boosting demand prospects for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for March delivery surged 1.9 percent to $14.7875 a bushel, the biggest gain since Jan. 14. Earlier, the oilseed reached $14.8175, the highest since Dec. 18.

Corn futures for March delivery rose 1.5 percent to $7.4025 a bushel after reaching $7.41, the highest since Dec. 7.

Wheat futures for March delivery increased 1.3 percent to $7.87 a bushel.

LIVESTOCK

Hog prices fell on speculation that demand for pork and beef will drop after Russia halted imports of U.S. meat.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.4 percent to 89.25 cents a pound.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1.32925 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement climbed 0.2 percent to $1.491 a pound.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.