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Copper Jumps After Retail Sales, Oil Gains: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.8 percent to 709.58 at 4:56 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.7 percent at 1,638.932. In the GSCI, copper was up the most, at 1.5 percent, and natural gas was down the most, at 2.5 percent.


Copper climbed to the highest price in more than a week on speculation that an accelerating economic recovery in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal, will fuel demand.

Copper for May delivery gained 1.6 percent to $3.90 a pound on the Comex in New York after touching $3.9165, the highest since March 5. Prices increased for the fourth time in five sessions.

In London trading, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.4 percent to $8,570 a ton.

Aluminum, zinc, lead, tin and nickel also rose on the LME.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Oil rose after U.S. retail sales increased by the most in five months and equities gained, signaling stronger growth and higher demand.

Oil for April delivery rose 80 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price is up 8.4 percent this year.

Brent crude for April settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange gained $1.11, or 0.9 percent, to $126.45 a barrel.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS


Gold may fall in New York before a Federal Open Market Committee meeting and as Greece prepares to receive a second bailout. Platinum rose above gold for a second day.

Gold futures for April delivery were down 0.8 percent at $1,686.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,686.23 an ounce.

Platinum for April was little-changed at $1,696.20 an ounce. The price has gained 21 percent this year and has tied with silver as the best-performing precious metal.

Silver for May delivery was up 0.5 percent at $33.565 an ounce. Palladium for June delivery was down 0.5 percent at $700.70 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Corn rose to a five-month high on speculation that demand is increasing from China amid signs of tightening supplies in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, and delays in shipment from Argentina.

Corn futures for May delivery advanced 0.25 cent to $6.5975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the commodity reached $6.6675, the highest since Sept. 22.

Soybeans rose for the first time in three sessions on speculation that China, the world’s largest user, will boost purchases from the U.S. after drought cut yields in South America.

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $13.5225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. On March 9, the oilseed touched $13.555, the highest for the most-active contract since Sept. 19.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Cotton futures rose, snapping a five-session slump, on signs that demand is picking up in China, the world’s biggest user. Orange juice fell.

Cotton for May delivery advanced 0.6 percent to 88.5 cents on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Before today, the commodity plunged 57 percent in the past year as global production outpaced demand. The U.S. is the top exporter.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.855 a pound in New York.

Coffee for May delivery rose 0.6 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $1.8545 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price fell as much as 0.8 percent.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


European gasoline prices rose as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc bought in the barge market. April gasoil futures gained.

Shipments of jet fuel to Europe from Asia and the Middle East are set to drop in March after rising last month, according to reports from five shipbrokers including Delhi-based Interocean Shipping.

Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp traded at $1,127 to $1,128 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with trades at $1,115 to $1,116 yesterday.

Gasoline rose as U.S. retail sales climbed the most in five months in February, increasing optimism about the economic recovery and fuel demand.

Gasoline for April delivery rose 3.64 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.3594 a gallon at 12:35 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have risen 25 percent this year, making the fuel the best performer in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.4 cent to $3.805 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices have gained 16 percent this year and are 7 percent higher than a year earlier.

April-delivery heating oil rose 2.79 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.2708 a gallon on the exchange. Prices have gained 11 percent this year.

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


U.K. natural gas for next-day delivery declined for a third day as forecasts for higher-than-normal temperatures damped demand for the heating fuel. Day-ahead power dropped.

Next-day gas dropped 0.35 pence to 58.25 pence a therm, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $9.13 a million British thermal units. Day-ahead power fell 1.3 percent to 45.20 pounds a megawatt-hour.

Natural gas futures, the worst performing commodity this year, dropped to a 10-year low in New York as warmer-than-normal weather cut demand at the end the heating fuel’s peak season.

Natural gas for April delivery fell 2.5 percent to $2.213 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures declined to $2.204 in overnight electronic trading, the lowest intraday price since February 2002.

Gas, down 26 percent this year, is the worst performer on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index.

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

European Carbon Permits

European Union carbon permits slid for a fourth session as crude oil and natural gas declined.

EU permits were down 2.2 percent, or 17 cents, at 7.68 euros ($10.04) a metric ton on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contracts have lost 10 percent since Feb. 29. Poland blocked a pathway to meet a carbon reduction goal for cutting emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels in 2050 during a meeting of European environment ministers on March 9 in Brussels.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT


Hog futures climbed on signs of increasing overseas demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices also rose.

Hog futures for June settlement increased 0.5 percent to 95.375 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before today, the most-active contract rose 13 percent this year.

Cattle futures for June delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1.246 a pound in Chicago.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement jumped 0.4 percent to $1.5825 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

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