Commodities fell the most in a week on skepticism that European Union leaders will make progress on the debt crisis and after a report showed U.S. jobless claims hovered near the highest level of the year.
The S&P GSCI Index of 24 raw materials dropped, led by declines in energy and metals, as 27 European government chiefs met in a two-day summit to focus on immediate financial help for Spain and Italy. The U.S. Labor Department said applications for unemployment benefits were 386,000 in the week ended June 23.
“We’re not getting a lot of good news with the economy,” said Dan Flynn, a trader at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
The S&P GSCI dropped 1.7 percent to 567.47 after earlier touching 565.5. Eighteen of the commodities fell, led by silver, crude oil and natural gas.
The euro fell as much as 0.5 percent to $1.2407, the lowest level since May 31. It was down 0.2 percent to $1.2445 at 4:01 p.m. in New York.
Crude oil for August delivery fell $2.52, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $77.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest price since Oct. 4. Brent for August settlement decreased $2.14, or 2.3 percent, to $91.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Silver futures for September delivery slumped 2.6 percent to $26.291 an ounce on the Comex, after touching $26.105, the lowest since Nov. 18, 2010.
Natural gas for August delivery fell 7.6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $2.722 per million British thermal units in New York.