Oil Climbs as Consumer Confidence Gains: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.2 percent to close at 647.12 at 3:48 p.m. in New York, led by lead, silver and nickel.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slipped 0.2 percent to 1,529.59.


Crude oil in New York climbed the most in more than a week after a report showed that confidence among U.S. consumers rose to a six-month high and as Europe agreed to boost its rescue fund and tighten budget rules.

Oil futures for January delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $99.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain since Nov. 29. The price fell 1.5 percent this week because of rising U.S. inventories and Europe’s debt woes. This year, the commodity has climbed 8.8 percent.

Brent oil for January settlement increased 0.5 percent to $108.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

BP Plc failed to sell North Sea Forties crude at a lower price. Vitol Group didn’t manage to find buyers for Russian Urals cargo in the Mediterranean.

Exports of the Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crude


Natural gas dropped in New York, capping the first weekly decline since mid-November, on speculation that near-record stockpiles will overwhelm demand for the heating fuel.

Gas futures for January delivery fell 4.1 percent to $3.317 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The price, down 7.5 this week, has slumped 25 percent in 2011.

U.K. gas climbed for the second straight day as Gassco AS said an approaching storm may trigger shutdowns at its export plants due to power interruptions.

Gas for January rose as much as 1.45 pence to 60.45 pence a therm and traded at that level at 4:34 p.m. in London, according


Gasoline advanced for the first time in three days as a gauge of U.S. consumer confidence surged and equities climbed.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for January delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $2.5961 a gallon. The price, down 0.8 percent this week, has gained 5.8 percent in 2011.

Heating-oil futures for January delivery declined 0.6


Gold futures rose for the second time in three days as the dollar’s decline boosted demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.

Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1,716.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, paring this week’s decline to 2 percent. The metal has climbed 21 percent in 2011, heading for an 11th straight annual gain, on demand for a haven amid escalating debt in Europe and the U.S.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 2.3 percent to $32.253 an ounce, snapping a two-day slump. The metal fell 1.3 percent this week.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.7 percent to $686.50 an ounce, the ninth gain in 10 sessions.


Copper rose the most in more than a week after European leaders agreed to increase a rescue fund and tighten budget rules to stem the region’s debt crisis.

Copper futures for March delivery increased 1.6 percent to close at $3.5575 a pound on the Comex, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Nov. 30. The metal, down 0.8 percent this week, has dropped 20 percent in 2011.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.4 percent to $7,815 a metric ton ($3.54 a pound).


Wheat and soybeans fell to the lowest in more than a year and corn declined after the U.S. government said global crop inventories will be larger than expected.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to close at $5.96 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $5.84, the lowest since July 27, 2010. The grain has fallen 25 percent in 2011 as record global production reduced demand for U.S. supplies.

Soybean futures for January delivery dropped 2.3 percent to $11.07 a bushel, the biggest loss since Nov. 23. Earlier, the oilseed touched $11.0025, the lowest since Oct. 8, 2010. The commodity has dropped 21 percent this year.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $5.9425 a


Cattle futures dropped to the lowest in more than five weeks on speculation that U.S. meatpackers will reduce purchases as beef demand slows. Hogs also fell.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery fell 1 percent to settle at $1.1845 a pound, leaving prices down 3.9 percent this week, the most since mid-August. The commodity, which has rallied 9.3 percent this year, touched $1.184 today, the lowest since Nov. 1.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement dropped 0.3 percent to $1.421 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement declined 0.9 percent to settle at 86.425 cents a pound. Prices touched 86.35 after the


Cocoa prices plunged, extending the longest slump in 50 years, on signs that supplies are rising in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for March delivery slumped 3 percent to settle at $2,067 a metric ton. Earlier, the price touched $2,053, the lowest since November 2008. The commodity fell for a 12th consecutive day, the longest slide since at least 1961, according to Bloomberg data.

Sugar prices fell 3 percent on signs of rising supplies and a slowing economy in China, the world’s second-biggest consumer.

Raw sugar for March delivery fell 0.73 cent to settle at 23.4 cents. The price, down 0.2 percent this week, has slumped 27 percent this year. India is the top consumer.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to $2.2775 a pound in New York, the fourth straight drop. This week, the commodity dropped 0.8 percent, the third straight decline.

Orange-juice futures fell to a three-week low after a report showed Florida’s crop, the world’s second-biggest, may be larger than analysts expected.

Orange juice for January delivery slid 1.5 percent to settle at $1.6995 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.6955, the lowest since Nov. 17.

Cotton futures for March delivery dropped 1.8 percent to 90.43 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 90.15 cents, the

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