The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced for the second day, rising 0.7 percent to 676.64 at 4:53 p.m. in New York, led by gains in metals, wheat, coffee and gasoline futures. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 materials increased 1.1 percent to 1621.318.
Gold rose to a six-month high as government data showed that the U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast last month, spurring speculation that the Federal Reserve will expand stimulus measures to boost the labor market.
The U.S. economy added 96,000 workers last month following a revised 141,000 increase in July that was smaller than estimated by the government. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an August gain of 130,000. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the central bank may need to do more to counter high unemployment.
Gold futures for December delivery climbed 2 percent to settle at $1,740.50 an ounce at 1:52 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices, which are up for a third straight week, earlier reached $1,745.40, the highest level for a most-active contract since Feb. 29.
Silver futures for December delivery jumped 3.1 percent to $33.69 an ounce in New York. Earlier, the price reached $33.775, the highest level since March 13. The metal has gained 21 percent this year, while gold has advanced 11 percent.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery increased 0.6 percent to $1,596.30 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $1,606.50, the highest level since April 13. Palladium futures for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to $654.75 an ounce.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Copper rose to a 16-week high in New York after China approved new infrastructure projects and the disappointing U.S. jobs report fueled bets that policy makers will move to boost growth.
The Chinese government backed construction plans including roads and warehouses, statements on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website showed yesterday, signaling stronger metals demand.
Copper futures for December delivery climbed 3.7 percent to settle at $3.645 a pound at 1:22 p.m. on the Comex in New York after reaching $3.6525, the highest level since May 14. The metal gained 5.4 percent this week, the most since June 29.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 3.5 percent to $7,970 a metric ton ($3.62 a pound).
Aluminum, tin, zinc, nickel and tin were also higher in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Raw-sugar rebounded from a two-year low on signs that lower prices are spurring demand. Coffee and cotton gained, while cocoa slid.
Egypt bought 50,000 metric tons of raw sugar in a tender Sept. 2, according to two people with direct knowledge of the process. Tunisia purchased 28,000 tons for delivery in October and November, the country’s trade office said on Aug. 28.
Raw sugar for October delivery rose 2.7 percent to settle 19.38 cents a pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest advance since Aug. 28. The price touched 18.81 cents yesterday, the lowest level since August 2010.
Arabica-coffee futures for December delivery climbed 3.1 percent to $1.6305 a pound in New York, the largest gain since July 19.
Also on ICE, cotton futures for December delivery added 0.4 percent to 76.3 cents a pound.
Orange juice for November delivery climbed 1.9 percent to settle at $1.2745 a pound at 2 p.m. That was the eighth consecutive advance, the longest series of gains since September 2010. The price rose 7.1 percent this week.
Cocoa futures for December delivery fell 0.6 percent to $2,676 a metric ton.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Wheat rose on speculation that demand for grain from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, will increase as Russia and Ukraine run low on supplies. Corn also gained, while soybeans slid.
Egypt yesterday bought 475,000 metric tons of wheat from Russia, Ukraine and Romania. Russia’s grain harvest will fall to 69 million tons this year, down from a forecast of as much as 72 million tons a month earlier, according to the Institute for Agriculture Market Studies.
Wheat futures for December delivery rose 1.5 percent to settle at $9.05 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending the weekly gain to 1.7 percent.
Corn futures for December delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $7.995 a bushel in Chicago.
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.6 percent to $17.365 a bushel on the CBOT. The most-active contract declined 1.1 percent this week.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Gasoline rose as refiners worked to increase production after disruptions caused by Hurricane Isaac reduced U.S. stockpiles to the lowest level since 2008.
Prices gained after Gulf Coast refineries operated last week at the lowest level since January. Almost one-quarter of U.K. refining capacity is expected to shut in October for planned work, reducing shipments to the East Coast. Tropical Storm Leslie is moving north up the coast and may reach Newfoundland by the middle of next week, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 2 p.m. East Coast time.
October-delivery reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, advanced 2.86 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $3.0196 a gallon on the New York Mercantile exchange. Prices fell 2.8 percent this week and are up 11 percent this quarter.
Heating oil for October delivery rose 0.64 cent to $3.1489 a gallon on the exchange. Prices declined 0.7 percent this week and have climbed 17 percent this quarter.
Products Markets: NI OPFMKT
Natural-gas futures declined for a third day in New York as demand for the fuel to power air conditioners faded with cooler weather.
Gas fell 3.4 percent as Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted normal temperatures in most of the U.S. through Sept. 21. While unusually hot summer weather helped reduce a stockpile surplus, supplies have been rising to seasonal highs each week, Energy Department data show.
Natural gas for October delivery dropped 9.4 cents to $2.682 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since Aug. 29. Gas fell 4.2 percent this week, capping the sixth loss in seven weeks. The futures are down 10 percent this year.
Natural Gas markets: NI NUSMKT
Oil advanced for a third day after the Labor Department report showed U.S. payrolls increased less than expected in August.
Crude for October delivery rose 89 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $96.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement in a week. Futures dropped 5 cents this week and are down 2.4 percent this year. They have advanced 24 percent from the year’s low of $77.69 a barrel on June 28.
Brent oil for October settlement increased 76 cents, or 0.8 percent, to end the session at $114.25 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The lower-than-forecast employment growth will move the Fed closer to more quantitative easing, Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said. The Fed implemented two rounds of large-scale asset purchases totaling $2.3 trillion from December 2008 to June 2011.
Oil markets: NI CRMKTS
Hog futures fell, extending a slump to a 21-month low, as climbing U.S. pork supplies outpace demand. Cattle advanced.
Meatpackers have processed 1.738 million hogs this week, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier, and the price of hogs for immediate delivery to slaughter plants has dropped for 19 straight sessions, the longest slide since at least April 2003, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
Hog futures for October settlement declined 0.6 percent to settle at 71.35 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price touched 70.375 cents, the lowest since Nov. 10, 2010. The commodity lost 3.8 percent this week, extending this year’s decline to 15 percent.
Cattle futures for October delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1.26475 a pound. The price has climbed 4.1 percent this year.
Beef-export sales totaled 18,236 metric tons (40.2 million pounds) in the week ended Aug. 30, up 12 percent from the four-week average, government data showed today. The figures were “pretty good” and are supporting prices, Schultz said.
Feeder-cattle futures for October settlement fell 0.1 percent to $1.46125 a pound.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS