Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities rose 0.5 percent to close at 670.15 at 3:43 p.m. in New York, led by energy and gold.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 1.1 percent to 1,560.83.
Crude oil extended a rally to the highest since May as European Union governments moved closer to halting petroleum purchases from Iran.
The EU said foreign ministers intend to announce harsher sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking industries at their next meeting on Jan. 30. Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 20 percent of the world’s oil flows out of the Persian Gulf, if its exports are restricted.
Oil futures for February delivery rose 0.3 percent to $103.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 10.
Brent oil for February settlement gained 1.4 percent to $113.70 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Vitol Group, which is shipping a supertanker of North Sea crude to China next week, bought two more Forties crude cargoes after yesterday’s purchases. The Geneva-based energy trader also sold one shipment of Russian Urals blend in the Mediterranean at a higher price.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, cut differentials used in determining its official selling prices for February shipments of all grades to northwest Europe and the Mediterranean, according to a price list.
Natural gas climbed the most in more than two months on forecasts for colder-than-normal weather that may boost heating-fuel demand.
Gas futures for February delivery rose 3.4 percent to $3.096 per million British thermal units on Nymex, the biggest gain since Oct. 28.
U.K. summer natural gas rose as Brent crude gained after European Union governments moved closer to halting oil purchases from Iran.
Summer gas for delivery in the six months from April climbed as much as 0.4 pence to 53.25 pence a therm. It was at 53 pence at 4:33 p.m. in London. That’s equal to $8.28 per million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
Heating oil jumped to a six-week high on speculation that Europe will import more diesel from the U.S. after three regional refineries close this month and on the prospect of a European ban on Iranian oil.
Heating-oil futures for February delivery rose 1.7 percent to close at $3.0899 a gallon. The price reached $3.1011, the highest since Nov. 18.
Gasoline futures for February delivery rose 1.1 percent to $2.7778 a gallon.
Gold futures rose to the highest in two weeks on demand for a haven as the European Union moved closer to halting oil purchases from Iran, stepping up the confrontation over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.
Gold futures for February delivery gained 0.8 percent to settle at $1,612.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. After the close, the price reached $1,619.80 in electronic trading, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 21.
Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.6 percent to $29.097 an ounce on the Comex. Earlier, the price reached $29.74, the highest since Dec. 21.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery fell 1.5 percent to $653.55 an ounce. Platinum futures for April delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1,426.30 an ounce.
Wheat futures fell the most in three weeks on speculation that recent precipitation has boosted subsoil moisture in the U.S. Great Plains, improving prospects for dormant winter crops.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.50 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Dec. 14. Yesterday, the price climbed to a three-month high on concern dry weather in South America would cut world grain supplies.
Soybeans rose for the third straight session on speculation that adverse weather in South America will cut production, boosting demand for U.S. supplies. Corn was unchanged.
Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $12.30 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest settlement for the most-active contract since Oct. 27.
Corn futures for March delivery settled at $6.585 a bushel. Yesterday, the price reached $6.6425, the highest since Nov. 9.
Orange-juice futures jumped to a five-month high in New York after frigid weather damaged citrus crops in Florida, the world’s second-biggest grower.
Orange juice for March delivery rose 2.9 percent to settle at $1.7805 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1.817, the highest since Aug. 5.
Cocoa fell for the first time in three sessions on signs of increasing global supplies. Cotton rose, while sugar and coffee dropped.
Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $2,075 a metric ton on ICE. In the fourth quarter, the price tumbled 19 percent, the most in three years.
Cotton futures for March delivery advanced 0.1 percent to 95.92 cents a pound. The price climbed for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since late October.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 24.42 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 24.65 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 16.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slid 0.2 percent to $2.267 a pound.
Copper futures fell the most in three weeks as signs of faltering European manufacturing and service industries fueled concern that demand for industrial metals will ebb.
Copper futures for March delivery declined 2.7 percent to close at $3.4345 a pound, the biggest drop since Dec. 14. The metal gained 4.8 percent in the previous three sessions.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 3.2 percent to $7,540 a metric ton ($3.42 a pound).
Lead, tin, zinc, aluminum and nickel also dropped in London.
Hog prices fell from a one-week high on speculation that U.S. pork supplies are increasing. Cattle futures were little changed.
Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.4 percent to settle at 85.175 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the commodity reached 86 cents, the highest since Dec. 28. The price has climbed 10 percent in the past year.
Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.075 cent to $1.21625 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.20875, the lowest for the most-active contract since Dec. 22.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.8 percent to $1.5055 a pound.
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