Gasoline Falls as Supplies Seen Sufficient: Commodities at Close

-- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell less than 0.1 percent to settle at 648.72 at 3:55 p.m. New York time, led by gasoline.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices rose 0.1 percent to 1,547.96.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell on speculation that U.S. production is sufficient to weather a series of short-term refinery glitches.

Futures earlier rose as much as 2 percent after refineries from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest reported flaring, malfunctions and power outages during the past three days.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gasoline futures for April delivery tumbled 1.6 percent to $3.1524 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for April delivery slid 0.2 percent to $2.9691 a gallon.

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures fell for the first time in four sessions on speculation that U.S. demand and exports will ebb.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement fell 1.1 percent to 81.15 cents a pound.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1.28125 a pound, snapping a four-session slump,

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement fell 0.1 percent to $1.4375 a pound.

BASE METALS

Zinc prices fell to a 15-week low after industrial output posted the weakest start to a year since 2009 in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.

On the London Metal Exchange, zinc for delivery in three months dropped 0.7 percent to $1,960.5 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $1,928, the lowest since Nov. 23.

Copper rallied 0.2 percent to $7,758 a ton ($3.52 a pound) in London. Aluminum, lead, and tin declined, while nickel rose.

On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $3.517 a pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold gained for the third straight session, the longest rally this year, on concern that the European debt crisis may worsen, increasing the appeal of the metal as a haven.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $1,578 an ounce.

Silver futures for May delivery slid 0.3 percent to $28.853 an ounce, the first decline this month.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,601.20 an ounce.

Palladium futures for June delivery retreated 0.5 percent to $779.20 an ounce.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose as equities advanced for the seventh straight session, bolstering optimism that U.S. fuel demand growth will accelerate.

On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery gained 0.l percent to $92.06 a barrel.

Brent oil for April settlement dropped 0.6 percent to $110.22 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

North Sea Forties crude differentials fell to the lowest in more than six months as Statoil ASA offered four cargoes without finding a buyer.

The European Union is not considering a revision of the oil part of a free-trade agreement with South Korea, according to a Brussels-based official, who asked not to be identified, citing policy.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas advanced to a three-month high after a midday update called for colder weather later this month, signaling higher heating demand.

On the Nymex, gas futures for April delivery gained 0.6 percent to $3.649 per million British thermal units, the highest settlement since Dec. 6.

U.K. gas rose to a one-week high as freezing weather spurred demand and outages trimmed supply.

The price surged 21 percent to 91 pence a therm at 5:14 p.m. in London after increasing as much as 27 percent, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equivalent to $13.57 per million Btu.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Orange juice rose to an 11-week high on mounting concern that dry weather will curb output in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, orange juice for May delivery rallied 2.3 percent to $1.3625 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.375, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 21.

Cocoa futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $2,130 a ton.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.4 percent to 18.82 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $1.4375 a pound.

Cotton futures dropped 0.2 percent to 86.72 cents a pound.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn futures rose to a four-week high and soybeans gained after a government report showed demand for livestock feed eroded U.S. inventories.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for delivery in May gained 1.1 percent to $7.1125 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $7.1625, the highest since Feb. 8.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $14.795 a bushel, the highest settlement since Feb. 7.

Wheat futures for May delivery added 0.4 percent to $7 a bushel, the third straight increase.

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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