Wheat Heads for Longest Rally Since July: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.3 percent to 648.86 by 5 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose 0.2 percent to 1,549.75.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures rose, heading for the longest rally in seven months, after a government report showed higher overseas demand for U.S. supplies. Corn also climbed, while soybeans declined.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.6 percent to $7.2125 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices are heading for a sixth straight day of gains, which would be the longest rally since July 20.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $7.1375 a bushel on the CBOT.

Soybeans futures dropped 0.9 percent to $14.3425 a bushel in Chicago. Prices earlier reached $14.325, the lowest for a most-active contract since Feb. 27.

Grains markets: NI GRMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold traded near a two-week high as U.S. data showing a strengthening economy damped demand for haven assets.

Gold for April delivery rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,591.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York and traded at $1,590.40 after reaching a two-week high of $1,598.80 yesterday.

Silver futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $28.825 an ounce in New York.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

CRUDE OIL

West Texas Intermediate rose as the number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week. Brent’s premium to the U.S. benchmark grade widened for the first time in seven days.

WTI gained as much as 0.5 percent after the Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims fell by 10,000 to 332,000 last week.

Crude oil for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $92.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 11 percent below the 100-day average. Futures are up 1.1 percent this year.

Brent oil for April settlement, which expires today, climbed $1.28, or 1.2 percent, to $109.80 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active May contract rose 79 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $109.03. The volume of all futures was 53 percent above the 100-day average.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures rose to a 10-month high as exports climbed in the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper.

Cotton for May delivery jumped 1.5 percent to 89.94 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 90.39 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since April 30.

Cocoa futures for May delivery fell 1 percent to $2,125 a metric ton. Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $1.402 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery declined 0.1 percent to $1.372 a pound. Raw-sugar futures for May delivery were little changed at 18.79 cents a pound.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

BASE METALS

Aluminum and nickel rose in London as strengthening European equities and an unexpected drop in U.S. jobless claims fueled bets that demand will improve.

Aluminum for delivery in three months gained 0.4 percent to $1,973.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel advanced as much as 1.2 percent.

Copper also rose in New York. Zinc fell, tin, copper and lead were little changed in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Ethanol’s discount to gasoline narrowed to the smallest in two weeks amid record low production of the biofuel for this time of year.

Denatured ethanol for April delivery climbed 2.7 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.61 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have gained 19 percent this year.

Gasoline futures for April delivery dropped 0.83 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $3.134 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.

Corn for March delivery rose 4.75 cent, or 0.6 percent, to $7.46 a bushel in Chicago. One bushel makes at least 2.75 gallons of ethanol. The May contract rose 5.25 cents to $7.155.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures jumped to a three-month high in New York after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles last week fell to the lowest level in almost two years.

Natural gas for April delivery climbed 11 cents, or 3 percent, to $3.79 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising to $3.81, the highest intraday price since Nov. 29. Volume was more than double the 100-day average for the time of day. Gas has climbed 13 percent this year.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures declined for the second straight day on speculation that demand for U.S. pork is weakening. Cattle prices also fell.

Spot hogs fell 0.3 percent to 74.02 cents a pound yesterday, the lowest price this week, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Meatpackers processed 1.269 million hogs in the first three days of this week, down 1.1 percent from a week earlier, government data show. Wholesale pork prices are down 4.8 percent this year, USDA data show.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.7 percent to 89.45 cents a pound at 10:03 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The contract is down 2.2 percent this month.

Cattle futures for April delivery slid 0.2 percent to $1.28275 a pound in Chicago. Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement declined 0.6 percent to $1.4365 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Lindores in London at slindores@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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