Oil, Natural Gas, Gold, Silver Decline: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.5 percent to 676.80 at 6:05 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 0.5 percent to 1,617.156.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell from the highest level in three weeks, trimming a weekly advance, as concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and curb global commodity demand countered signs of an economic recovery in the U.S.

Crude for March delivery fell as much as 71 cents to $99.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $99.33 at 4:21 p.m. Singapore time. The contract rose a third day yesterday, climbing 1.1 percent to $99.84 for the highest close since Jan. 19. Prices are up 1.5 percent this week and 15 percent higher the past year.

Brent oil for March settlement slid 72 cents to $117.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas for March delivery fell 0.2 percent after gaining 1.2 percent yesterday on forecasts for colder-than-normal weather, and after Chesapeake Energy Corp. reiterated plans to cut output by as much as 1 billion cubic feet a day. Stockpiles dropped 78 billion cubic feet in the week ending Feb.

OIL PRODUCTS

Benchmark naphtha swaps for March rose $11.45, or 1.1 percent, to $1,014.95 a metric ton, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. Prices have gained 5.4 percent this week, the biggest increase since Oct. 14.

Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude fell 13 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $17.85 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread increased 1 percent this week.

Jet fuel traded at a discount of 65 cents below gasoil from 60 cents yesterday. This discount has widened from 10 cents a

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold for immediate delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1,720.13 an ounce by 9:09 a.m. in London. Prices are down 0.4 percent this week. Gold for April delivery was down 1.1 percent at $1,722.10 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery fell 0.7 percent to $33.6575 an ounce. It’s the best-performing precious metal this year, with a gain of 21 percent, and ETP holdings at 17,667.4 tons are the highest since May, Bloomberg data show.

Palladium slid 1 percent to $704 an ounce after reaching a four-month high of $718.50 yesterday. Assets held in ETPs, which

BASE METALS

Copper for delivery in three months dropped as much as 1.1 percent to $8,660 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, before trading at $8,670 by 3 p.m. Shanghai time. The contract is heading for a 1.2 gain this week. It climbed to $8,765 yesterday, the highest since Sept. 16. March-delivery copper on the Comex fell 0.9 percent to $3.9445 a pound.

On the LME, aluminum fell 0.6 percent to $2,275.75 a ton, zinc declined 1.2 percent to $2,134 a ton, and lead dropped 0.6

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa for May delivery dropped 1.5 percent to settle at $2,244 a metric ton at 12:09 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price touched $2,203, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 10.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to 24.53 cents a pound on ICE. Earlier, the price reached 24.89 cents, the highest since Jan. 26. The commodity has climbed 5.3 percent this year.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery tumbled 1.8 percent to $2.16 a pound, the biggest drop since Jan. 23.

In London futures, cocoa fell and robusta coffee and refined sugar advanced on NYSE Liffe.

March-delivery wheat fell as much as 1.2 percent to $6.3825 a bushel, the lowest level since Jan. 30, on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $6.42 by 2:34 p.m. Singapore time. The

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