Natural Gas, Soybeans Rise; Silver Drops: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.1 percent to settle at 675.63 in New York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.4 percent to 1,592.063.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures rose in New York by the most in more than five weeks on speculation that colder weather across the U.S. in early March will spur fuel use.

Gas climbed 3.8 percent, the biggest percentage gain since Jan. 11, as Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted below-normal temperatures for most of the lower 48 states from March 1 through March 5 after milder weather in the East next week. A gas surplus to the five-year average has widened since the end of November as mild weather crimped demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for March delivery gained 11.9 cents to $3.272 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, settling higher for the first time in three days.

U.S. gas market: NI NUSMKT

CRUDE OIL

WTI crude oil for March delivery, which expires tomorrow, gained 80 cents to settle at $96.66 a barrel on the Nymex. The more-active April contract rose 69 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $97.10.

Brent crude for April settlement increased 14 cents to $117.52 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to WTI tightened to $20.42.

Oil futures: NI CRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline retreated for the first time in three days, slipping from the highest level in more than four months.

Gasoline for March delivery declined 1.33 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $3.1212 a gallon on the Nymex.

Heating oil for March delivery fell 2.98 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.1806 a gallon, the lowest level in two weeks.

Oil products markets: NI OPFMKT

BASE METALS

Copper futures for May delivery dropped 2.3 percent to settle at $3.6665 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Oct. 19.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.8 percent to $8,050 a ton ($3.65 a pound). The price dropped 1.1 percent yesterday.

Aluminum, tin, lead and nickel also declined.

Base-metal markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton for May delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at 84.13 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 84.87 cents, the highest level for a most-active contract since May 10.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery climbed 1.2 percent to 17.96 cents a pound in New York.

Also on ICE, cocoa futures for May delivery declined 1.2 percent to $2,119 a metric ton, after touching $2,117, the lowest level since June 25.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery dropped 3.8 percent to $1.249 a pound in New York, capping the biggest loss since Jan. 3. Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slid 1.3 percent to $1.384 a pound, after touching $1.376, the least since June 2010.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $1,604.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices touched $1,596.70 on Feb. 15, the lowest level since Aug. 15.

Silver futures for March delivery tumbled 1.4 percent to $29.422 an ounce in New York, after touching $29.175, the least since Aug. 21.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery rose 1.2 percent to $1,697.50 an ounce, the biggest gain since Feb. 12.

Precious-metal markets: NI PCMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 3 percent to settle at $14.5725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest advance for a most-active contract since Jan. 14.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent to $6.92 a bushel in Chicago, the 11th decline in 12 sessions.

Wheat futures for May delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $7.3875 a bushel in Chicago.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures for April settlement declined 1.4 percent to close at 83.05 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.1 percent to settle at $1.43175 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $1.2955 a pound in Chicago, the biggest retreat for the most-active contract since Feb. 8.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J. Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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