Gold headed for 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 November.
Gold futures for April delivery climbed 1 percent to $1,679.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 10.
Silver futures for March delivery surged 2.9 percent to $32.085 an ounce in New York, heading for the biggest gain since Nov. 6.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Sugar climbed on speculation that millers in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will direct more cane to ethanol production after a gasoline price rise in the South American nation. Coffee fell 1.2 percent and cocoa dropped 0.6 percent.
Raw sugar for March delivery rose 1.3 percent to 18.62 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Through yesterday, the commodity slumped 24 percent in the past year on forecasts for a surplus in supply as output in Brazil increases.
Orange-juice futures jumped the most in seven weeks on concern that a crop disease will curb output in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower. Cotton also rose.
Orange juice for March delivery surged 3 percent to $1.1775 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Dec. 12.
Cotton futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to 82.79 cents a pound in New York.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Gasoline extended gains, touching a four-month high, after the Energy Information Administration reported that stockpiles of the motor fuel fell last week.
Futures continued the longest rally since July 2009, as gasoline inventories fell 956,000 barrels to 232.3 million barrels in the seven days ended Jan. 25, according to EIA data. The median of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for an increase of 1 million barrels.
Gasoline for February delivery climbed 5.31 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $3.0265 a gallon at 10:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange and touched $3.0408 after the report’s 10:30 a.m. release in Washington.
Distillate fuel stockpiles, including diesel and heating oil, sank 2.32 million barrels to 130.6 million.
Heating oil for February delivery rose 0.72 cent to $3.1164 a gallon.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures rose in New York for the first time in seven days before a government report tomorrow may show this winter’s biggest stockpile drop.
Natural gas for March delivery rose 3.3 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.291 per million British thermal units at 9:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was down 30 percent from the 100-day average for the time of day.
The February contract, which expired yesterday, fell to $3.226, the lowest settlement price since Jan. 10. The futures have slipped 1.8 percent in January, heading for a third straight monthly decline.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits dropped 4.8 percent to 3.80 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Hog prices rose for the third straight day on speculation that U.S. meatpacker demand will increase. as winter weather disrupts the movement of animals. Cattle futures were little changed.
Hog futures for April settlement increased 0.3 percent to 89.9 cents a pound at 10:22 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Through yesterday, the price rose 4.5 percent this month.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter-storm warning until 12 p.m. central time for parts of the state.
Cattle futures for April delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.33025 a pound in Chicago.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement climbed 0.2 percent to $1.491 a pound on the CME.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
Soybean 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.
Soybean futures for March delivery surged 1.7 percent to $14.7625 a bushel at 10:12 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest gain since Jan. 14. Earlier, the most- active contract touched $14.79, the highest since Dec. 18.
Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.9 percent to $7.36 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $7.39, the highest for a most- active contract since Dec. 7.
Wheat rose 1 percent to $7.8475 a bushel.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Oil fluctuated as inventories gained more than twice as much as expected and the dollar weakened against the euro after the U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery rose 12 cents to $97.69 a barrel at 11:27 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 6.4 percent this month. Trading was 15 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. The price was $97.62 before the report.
Brent for March settlement added 35 cents to $114.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Trading was 8 percent above the 100-day average.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Copper rose to the highest price in almost four weeks on bets that the Federal Reserve will continue making asset purchases to support economic growth. Nickel reached a three- month high, and zinc jumped.
Copper futures for delivery in March rose 1.6 percent to $3.75 a pound at 11:26 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier the metal touched $3.751, the highest since Jan. 3.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 1.7 percent to $8,243 a metric ton ($3.74 a pound).
Also on the LME, nickel for delivery in three months climbed as much as 2.9 percent to $18,360 a ton, the highest since Oct. 5.
Zinc for delivery in three months jumped 2.7 percent to $2,152.50 a ton, heading for the biggest gain since Jan. 2. Inventories of the metal used in stainless steel are down 0.8 percent in January, heading for the first monthly drop since August. Supplies of zinc “may be getting a bit tight,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
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