Crude, Silver, Gold Fall as Sugar Rises: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 1.1 percent to close at 668.28 in New York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.8 percent to 1,579.483.

CRUDE OIL

West Texas Intermediate tumbled the most in three months following declines in metals on speculation that a commodity fund is selling positions.

WTI dropped 2.3 percent after sliding $1.95 in 12 minutes to $93.92 a barrel at 11:07 a.m. as trading volume surged. Silver and platinum fell with volume more than double the 100- day moving average. Oil also decreased as gasoline futures retreated for a second day from the highest level since September. U.S. oil supplies probably rose 2 million barrels last week as domestic output reached a 20-year high, according to a Bloomberg survey before a government report tomorrow.

WTI crude oil for March delivery, which expired today, fell $2.20 to close at $94.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day loss since Nov. 20 and the lowest settlement since Jan. 16. The more-active April contract slid $1.88, or 1.9 percent, to $95.22 a barrel.

Brent crude for April settlement slipped $1.92, or 1.6 percent, to end the session at $115.60 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil futures: NI CRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline futures fell the most in three months, deepening losses as crude tumbled on speculation that a large commodity hedge fund was forced to liquidate.

Gasoline for March delivery declined 6.17 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $3.0595 a gallon on the Nymex, the biggest loss since Nov. 7 and the first time futures have fallen two consecutive days since Dec. 6.

Heating oil for March delivery fell 2.43 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.1563 a gallon.

Oil products markets: NI OPFMKT

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures for April delivery fell 1.6 percent to settle at $1,578 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Silver futures for March delivery tumbled 2.7 percent to $28.622 an ounce on the Comex. Earlier, the price touched $28.415, the lowest level since Aug. 20.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery declined 3 percent to $1,647.10 an ounce.

Precious-metal markets: NI PCMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Coffee futures rose the most in five weeks on signs of deteriorating crops in Central America and Mexico. Sugar, cotton and orange juice gained, while cocoa fell.

Arabica coffee for May delivery jumped 2.3 percent to settle at $1.4165 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 11.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery climbed 0.9 percent to 18.13 cents a pound on ICE.

Cotton futures increased 0.4 percent to 84.46 cents a pound. Earlier, the fiber reached 85.24 cents, the highest level since May 10.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 1.2 percent to $1.2645 a pound.

Cocoa futures for May delivery fell 0.3 percent to $2,113 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $2,105, the lowest level since June 25.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures climbed for a second day in New York on forecasts of below-normal temperatures that would boost demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas for March delivery rose 0.7 cent to settle at $3.279 per million Btu on the Nymex. Prices have advanced 22 percent from a year ago and have rebounded after dropping 3.6 percent last week.

U.S. gas market: NI NUSMKT

BASE METALS

Copper futures for May delivery declined 1.1 percent to settle at $3.625 a pound on the Comex. Prices are down 2.9 percent in February, heading for the first monthly decline since October.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 1.1 percent to $7,960 a metric ton ($3.61 a pound), the fourth straight decline and the longest slump in a month.

Aluminum, nickel, tin, lead and zinc also declined.

Base-metal markets: NI BMMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at $14.685 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Corn futures for May delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $6.9625 a bushel.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.9 percent to $7.4525 a bushel, the fourth gain in five sessions.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures for April delivery dropped 1 percent to settle at $1.28225 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement tumbled 1.7 percent to close at $1.40725 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for April settlement slid 0.1 percent to close at 82.95 cents a pound, capping the sixth straight decline and the longest slump since Aug. 7.

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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