Cocoa Tumbles on European Demand Concern: Commodities at Close
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.9 percent to settle at 642.65 at 4 p.m. in New York, led by cocoa.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.7 percent to 1,537.07.
Cocoa futures dropped to a nine-month low on mounting concern that a recession is weakening demand in Europe, the world’s biggest consumer.
European stocks declined today and the pound weakened through $1.50 for the first time since July 2010, after an industry report showed U.K. manufacturing unexpectedly shrank in February. The economies of the 17 countries that use the euro will shrink 0.1 percent this year, after contracting 0.5 percent in 2012, according to the median of 54 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for May delivery fell 2.5 percent to $2,082 a metric ton, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 22 and the lowest closing price since June 1.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery tumbled 5.4 percent to $1.2095 a pound, the biggest loss since Dec. 31.
Raw-sugar futures for May delivery retreated 2.6 percent to 17.91 cents a pound.
Coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1.4335 a pound, while cotton futures for delivery in May advanced 0.1 percent to 85.4 cents a pound.
Copper and aluminum fell to three-month lows on signals that manufacturing may sag in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $3.501 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $3.4725, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 19.
On the London Metal Exchange, aluminum for delivery in three months fell 1.5 percent to $1,975 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $1,956, the lowest since Nov. 23.
Copper on the LME fell 1.4 percent to $7,703 a ton ($3.49 a pound). Lead, zinc and tin also dropped, while nickel rose.
On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,572.30 an ounce, the lowest settlement since July 18. The metal slid less than 0.1 percent this week.
Silver futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $28.49 an ounce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1,573.50 an ounce.
Palladium futures for June delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $720.40 an ounce.
Crude oil slipped to the lowest this year as Chinese manufacturing expanded less than forecast and U.S. federal spending cuts were set to be triggered, bolstering concern that fuel demand will decline.
On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $90.68 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Dec. 24.
Brent oil for April settlement fell 0.9 percent to $110.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Morgan Stanley bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude. Russian Urals blend gained for a second day in the Mediterranean after Total SA purchased a shipment.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) booked the first tanker in more than one month to haul Forties grade to South Korea as refinery maintenance in the Asian nation nears end, according to a shipbroker report.
Gasoline rose, reversing an earlier loss, as reports showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in February and consumer confidence climbed, indicating demand may strengthen.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for April delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $3.1286 a gallon, after dropping as much as 1.7 percent.
Heating-oil futures for April delivery slipped 1 percent to $2.9301 a gallon.
Natural gas retreated from a one-month high as signs of warmer weather signaled reduced heating-fuel demand.
Gas futures for April delivery declined 0.9 percent to $3.456 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas rose for the first time in four days as forecasters predicted a return to freezing temperatures in the south of England, potentially boosting demand for the fuel.
Gas climbed 1.8 percent to 70.4 pence a therm at 4:27 p.m. London time. Gas for April was up 0.1 percent at 67.40 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.12 per million Btu.
Soybeans fell for the first time in three days on speculation that an accelerating harvest in South America will leave ample global supplies.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $14.435 a bushel.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $7.205 a bushel.
Corn futures for May delivery advanced 0.7 percent to $7.085 a bushel.
Cattle futures climbed to a three-week high on signs of increasing demand for U.S. beef and the outlook for tighter supplies.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.2995 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.30725, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 8.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement fell 0.4 percent to $1.474 a pound.
Hog futures for April settlement increased 0.2 percent to 81.125 cents a pound.
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