Oil Leads Gains as Natural Gas Slumps Most: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 0.5 percent to 643.55 at 4:42 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.1 percent at 1,579.502.


Oil gained for a fourth day after the Energy Department reported that inventories decreased to a two-month low last week as demand strengthened.

Crude oil for January delivery rose $1.35, or 1.5 percent, to $89.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil traded at $88.40 before release of the inventory report. Crude for February rose $1.42, or 1.6 percent, to $89.82.

Brent for February rose $1.24, or 1.1 percent, to $110.08 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent’s premium to February WTI narrowed 18 cents to $20.26 a barrel.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET


Natural gas futures dropped in New York for the first time in three days as weather forecasts for late December and early January turned warmer.

Natural gas for January delivery fell 11.3 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $3.304 per million British thermal units at 9:21 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures are up 11 percent this year, heading for the first annual gain since 2007. Prices declined to $3.261 per million Btu in intraday trading on Dec. 14, the lowest since Sept. 28.

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


Gasoline and heating oil rose as President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders continued budget negotiations and as a stronger Brent boosted the prices of products produced with imported crude.

Gasoline for January delivery rose 1.68 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.7077 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $2.7179, the highest intraday level since Dec. 4. Futures have advanced 0.8 percent this year.

Heating oil for January delivery increased 2.14 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.0179 a gallon, extending this year’s increase to 2.8 percent.

Brent rose 77 cents to $109.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

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


Gold swung between gains and losses in New York as U.S. lawmakers sought a budget deal to avert tax increase and spending cuts set to begin in two weeks.

Gold futures for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,673 an ounce at 11:20 a.m. on the Come in New York, after rising as much as 0.4 percent and falling as much as 0.3 percent. The price touched $1,662 yesterday, the lowest since Aug. 31.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $31.365 an ounce in New York, after dropping to $31.155, the lowest since Nov. 6.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Cocoa dropped to a five-week low in New York on signs of rising supplies from Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer. Sugar and cotton also slid, while coffee and orange juice advanced.

Cocoa for March delivery fell 1.7 percent to $2,356 a ton at 10:59 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S., after touching $2,345, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12. Prices were up 14 percent this year through yesterday.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery declined 0.6 percent to 19.28 cents a pound on ICE. The sweetener sank 17 percent this year through yesterday.

Also in New York, cotton futures for March delivery dropped 0.3 percent to 75.69 cents a pound, extending this year’s slide to 18 percent.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1.4495 a pound on ICE, while orange-juice futures for March delivery rose 2 percent to $1.4275 a pound.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Hog futures rose to a two-week high on speculation that a U.S. winter storm will lower animal weights and delay meat shipments. Cattle also climbed.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 1 percent to 86.125 cents a pound at 10:17 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 86.475 cents, the highest for the most-active contract since Dec. 3. Prices are up 1.2 percent this year through yesterday.

Cattle futures for February delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $1.33625 a pound. Yesterday, the price rallied to $1.3405, the highest ever for the most-active contract.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement added 0.6 percent to $1.5535 a pound on the CME.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


Wheat rose to a one-week high as purchases of U.S. grain by Egypt, the world’s biggest importer, revived prospects for export demand.

Wheat futures for delivery in March climbed 0.4 percent to $8.145 a bushel at 10:02 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after reaching $8.2275, the highest since Dec. 12.

Corn fell 1.9 percent to $7.0625 a bushel and soybeans declined 1.2 percent to $14.435 a bushel. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Copper futures declined in New York to the lowest in more than two weeks as rising inventories signal demand is weakening.

Copper futures for March delivery dropped 1.4 percent to $3.6015 a pound at 11:18 a.m. on the Come in New York, after touching $3.60, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 30. Through yesterday, the metal gained 6.3 percent this year.

On the LME, copper for immediate delivery traded at a discount of $28.50 a ton to the contract for delivery in three months. The so-called counting of $28.75 yesterday was the widest since July 2010. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced for a second week, rising 3.7 percent to 205,385 tons, data showed Dec. 14.

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME fell 1.4 percent to $7,909 a ton ($3.59 a pound).

Aluminum, tin, zinc and nickel were also lower in London. Lead rose.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

European Carbon Permits

European Union carbon permits for December 2013 rose 3.8 percent to 7.19 euros a metric ton, the fourth consecutive drop.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

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