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Metals Climb as Bernanke Backs Stimulus: Commodities at Close

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials rose 0.3 percent to 705.29 at 3:48 p.m. in New York, led by metals.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index of 26 prices advanced 0.5 percent to 1,628.58.

BASE METALS

Copper jumped the most in four weeks as the dollar’s slump bolstered prospects for commodities.

The greenback fell to a three-week low against a basket of currencies after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that accommodative policy is needed to cut U.S. unemployment. Copper also rose on a report showing business confidence in Germany, the third-biggest user, unexpectedly rose to an eight-month high in March.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery advanced 2.1 percent to $3.8875 a pound, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Feb. 21. The metal has climbed 13 percent this year.

Base metals markets: {NI BMMKTS <GO>}

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures rose the most in four weeks on bets that Bernanke’s comments signal more U.S. stimulus.

On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery rose 1.4 percent to $1,685.60 an ounce, the biggest gain since Feb. 21.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 1.5 percent to $32.75 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $668.75 an ounce. Platinum futures for July delivery gained 1.2 percent to $1,651 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: {NI PCMKTS <GO>}

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil advanced for the second straight session as Bernanke indicated the need for accommodative monetary policy.

On the Nymex, oil futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $107.03 a barrel. The price has climbed 8.3 percent this year.

Brent oil for May settlement gained 0.4 percent to $125.65 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell North Sea Forties blend at a higher price. Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold a cargo of Russian Urals crude in northwest Europe at a smaller discount to dated Brent.

Russia will export 63 cargoes of Urals from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk in April, five more than this month, according to a preliminary loading schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

Oil futures: {NI CRMKTS <GO>}

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline advanced to the highest in 10 months after Bernanke said accommodative monetary policy is still needed for a lower unemployment rate.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for April delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $3.4166 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for April delivery rose 0.6 percent to $3.2288 a gallon.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs climbed the most in three weeks on speculation that demand for U.S. pork will increase.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for June settlement climbed 0.7 percent to 92.9 cents a pound.

Cattle futures for June delivery were unchanged at $1.211 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1.53725 a pound.

Livestock markets: {NI LVMKTS <GO>}

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose to a six-month high on speculation that smaller crops in South America will increase demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest grower.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for May delivery jumped 1 percent to $13.795 a bushel. Earlier, the oilseed reached $13.885, the highest since Sept. 14.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.4 percent to $6.3775 a bushel.

Wheat futures for May delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $6.595 a bushel.

Grain markets: {NI GRMKTS <GO>}

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas closed at a 10-year low on speculation that a U.s. government report this week will show expanding inventories.

On the Nymex, gas futures for April delivery fell 2.2 percent to $2.226 per million British thermal units, the lowest settlement since Feb. 15, 2002.

U.K. gas for immediate delivery rose after Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA reported production halts and pipeline deliveries declined.

Gas climbed as much as 6.35 pence to 59.85 pence a therm. It was at 57.75 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $8.98 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar futures fell the most in 11 weeks as India, the world’s second-biggest producer, plans to allow more exports.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for May delivery slumped 3.3 percent to 24.78 cents a pound, the biggest decline since Jan. 5.

Cocoa futures for May delivery increased 1 percent to $2,331 a ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.788 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery climbed 1.4 percent to 90.91 cents a pound.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 1.2 percent to $1.6815 a pound, ending a seven-session slump.

Soft commodities markets: {NI SOMKTS <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McKiernan at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

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