Silver, Crude Oil Advance; Sugar Declines: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities gained 1.1 percent to 703.33 at 4:41 p.m. in New York. Silver, wheat and crude oil led the advance.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose for the first time in four days by 0.7 percent to 1,620.665 at 5:19 p.m.


Oil surged almost $3 a barrel after Reuters reported Iranian oil exports will drop by 300,000 barrels a day this month because of tighter sanctions.

Futures jumped more than 2 percent in three minutes on the New York Mercantile Exchange following the report, which cited Petrologistics, a Geneva-based consultant. Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group in Villanova, Pennsylvania, said the gain may have triggered traders’ automatic buy orders.

Crude oil for May delivery rose $1.52, or 1.4 percent, to $106.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell 19 cents this week and are up 8.1 percent this year.

Brent oil for May settlement gained $1.99, or 1.6 percent, to $125.13 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe


Gasoline jumped to a 10-month high on speculation the U.S. economy is recovering and concern that tensions over Iran’s nuclear program may limit oil supply.

Gasoline for April delivery rose 4.56 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $3.3852 a gallon on the Nymex. Prices rose


Heating oil: NI HEATOIL


Natural gas futures gained in New York as forecasts showed cooler weather that may boost demand for the heating fuel in late March and early April.

Nymex Gas for April delivery rose 0.6 cent, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $2.275 per million British thermal units. The


Gold advanced the most in four weeks on speculation that investors will buy more bullion as an alternative to the slumping dollar. Silver also rose.

Gold futures for April delivery climbed 1.2 percent to settle at $1,662.40 on the Comex in New York. Today’s jump helped prices rise 0.4 percent this week.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 3 percent to $32.272 an ounce on the Comex. Prices ended down 1 percent this week, the fourth straight loss and the longest slump since December.

Nymex palladium and platinum futures increased the most in a week. Palladium futures for June delivery jumped 1.4 percent to $659.90 an ounce. Still, prices fell 6 percent this week. Platinum futures for April delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $1,631.80 an ounce, narrowing the weekly loss to 2.6 percent.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Copper gained the most in more than a week on speculation that higher energy costs will limit production of raw materials, including metals.

Copper futures for May delivery advanced 1.1 percent to settle at $3.805 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since March 15. The metal fell 1.8 percent this week on concern that slowing economic growth would hurt demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 1.1 percent to $8,380 a metric ton ($3.80 a pound).

Zinc, lead, aluminum and tin also advanced in London. Nickel fell.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Coffee climbed in New York, after dropping yesterday to the lowest price since 2010, amid concern that colder weather may damage the crop in Brazil, the world’s biggest producer. Sugar and orange juice retreated, while cocoa and cotton rose.

Arabica coffee for May delivery advanced 1 percent to $1.7875 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices declined 2 percent this week and are down 33 percent in the past year.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery slipped 1.1 percent to 25.63 cents a pound on ICE.

Orange-juice declined to a three-month low on signs of increasing global supplies and reduced concern that citrus crops in Florida will be hurt by frost. May futures retreated 0.1 percent to settle at $1.662 a pound at on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Cotton futures for May delivery added 0.1 percent to 89.63 cents a pound on ICE, capping a 2.5 percent gain this week that was the biggest since Jan. 20. Prices have tumbled 56 percent in the past year.

Cocoa futures for May delivery rose 1 percent to $2,307 a metric ton in New York. In London, robusta coffee and cocoa increased, while refined sugar fell on NYSE Liffe exchange.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Soybeans and corn rebounded from one-week lows on speculation that declining production in Argentina will boost demand for U.S. exports.

Soybeans for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to close at $13.6575 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed fell 0.6 percent this week, snapping five straight weekly gains.

Corn for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to $6.465 a bushel in Chicago, trimming this week’s loss to 3.9 percent, the most in 10 weeks.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $6.5425 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Hog futures fell for the seventh time in eight sessions on speculation that U.S. demand for pork is slowing after domestic inventories jumped. Cattle declined.

Hog futures for June settlement dropped 0.6 percent to close at 92.225 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, leaving the commodity down 1.5 percent this week.

Cattle futures for June delivery slid 0.9 percent to $1.211 a pound on the CME, capping a 1.3 percent drop for the week.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS