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Gasoline, Oil Decline on Supply Outlook: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.8 percent to settle at 653.56 at 3:51 p.m. New York time, led by energy.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.2 percent to 1,556.93.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline and heating oil tumbled the most since November as petroleum prices slumped and Europe’s debt woes eroded prospects for fuel demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gasoline futures for March delivery dropped 2.6 percent to $2.9816 a gallon, the biggest decline since Nov. 7.

Heating-oil futures for March delivery tumbled 2.2 percent to $3.0317 a gallon.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell to an eight-week low amid estimates that U.S. inventories rose, while an Italian political stalemate spurred concern that Europe’s debt crisis may worsen.

On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $92.63 a barrel.

Brent oil for April settlement dropped 1.5 percent to $112.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell North Sea Forties crude for the second straight day as it offered the grade at the lowest in almost three months. Total SA bought a cargo of Russian Urals blend at the biggest discount in more than 10 months.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer, will boost crude exports in April to 72 cargoes, seven more than the revised total for March, according to preliminary loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa fell the most in a week on concern that debt woes will erode demand in Europe, the world’s biggest chocolate consumer.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for May delivery declined 0.8 percent to $2,125 a metric ton, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Feb. 19.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery slid 0.2 percent to 18.05 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery slumped 1.9 percent to $1.2725 a pound.

Coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1.435 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery advanced 0.1 percent to 81.83 cents a pound.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs fell for the ninth time in 10 sessions on speculation that U.S. demand for the animals will wane.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement slid 0.4 percent to 81.575 cents a pound. This month, the price has slumped 8.7 percent, heading for the biggest decline since July.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1.293 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement increased 0.3 percent to $1.41175 a pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold jumped the most since November as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the U.S. asset purchases, boosting demand for the metal as a hedge against stimulus-fueled inflation.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery jumped 1.8 percent to $1,615.50 an ounce, the biggest gain since Nov. 6.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 0.9 percent to $29.32 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1,616.50 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $741.90 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper climbed the most in two weeks as surging new-home sales in the U.S. signaled stronger metal demand, and Bernanke defended stimulus measures intended to spur growth.

On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $3.583 a pound, the biggest gain since Feb. 8.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $7,858 a ton ($3.56 a pound).

Aluminum declined 0.7 percent to $2,023 a ton after touching $2,010, the lowest since Nov. 29. Zinc, lead and tin climbed, while nickel fell.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas advanced to the highest in a month amid forecasts of below-normal temperatures that would increase heating-fuel consumption.

On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $3.427 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas fell the most in nine months as milder weather damped demand.

The within-day price tumbled 11 percent to 71.3 pence a therm at 5:15 p.m. in London. Next-month gas dropped 0.9 percent to 67.4 pence. That’s the equivalent of $10.20 a million Btu.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rebounded from an eight-month low on speculation that the grain’s discount to corn will spur increased use in animal-feed rations.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $7.11 a bushel. The grain earlier touched $6.9775, the lowest since June 25, as snow in the U.S. Great Plains eased drought conditions.

Corn futures for May delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $6.9475 a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery slid 0.2 percent to $14.3175 a bushel.

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

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