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Natural Gas Leads Decline as Wheat Climbs: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.4 percent to 636.83 at 3:19 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.3 percent at 1,566.371.


Natural gas futures declined in New York for the third time in four days as forecasts for a warmer start to January signaled reduced demand for heating fuels.

Natural gas for January delivery fell 7.6 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $3.375 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures are up 13 percent this year, heading for the first annual gain since 2007. Volume was 44 percent below the average of the past 100 days.

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


Wheat futures rose for a second day in Chicago as freezing temperatures may have damaged some winter grain in Russia and on speculation three weeks of declines have made U.S. supplies more competitive.

Wheat for March delivery advanced as much as 0.5 percent to $7.9625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Milling wheat traded on NYSE Liffe in the French capital for delivery the same month rose 0.4 percent to close at 254.50 euros ($336.47) a metric ton.

Soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $14.3175 a bushel. The oilseed lost 4.2 percent last week, the first drop in five.

Corn for March delivery increased 0.5 percent to $7.0525 a bushel, set for a 6.3 percent drop this month, which would be a fifth consecutive loss. Corn, which surged to a record in August, has advanced 9.1 percent this year.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Oil fell for a second day in New York on concern that U.S. lawmakers will miss a year-end budget deadline, threatening to weaken the American economy.

Crude oil for February delivery declined 17 cents to $88.49 a barrel at 9:15 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume for all West Texas Intermediate oil futures traded was down 78 percent from the 100-day average. WTI is the grade traded on Nymex.

Brent oil for February settlement dropped 73 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $108.24 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The number of contracts changing hands was 70 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $19.75 a barrel to WTI, down from $20.31 on Dec. 21.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET


Gold swung between gains and declines in New York amid concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts.

Gold for February delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,661.60 an ounce by 7:51 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices gained and fell as much as 0.4 percent today and slid 2.2 percent last week, the biggest weekly loss since November. Gold for immediate delivery was up 0.2 percent at $1,660.97 in London.

Silver for March delivery lost 0.1 percent to $30.18 an ounce. Platinum for April delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1,546.60 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to $686.65 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Gasoline futures declined as concerns grew that American lawmakers will miss a year-end deadline to avoid triggering spending cuts, which could damp fuel demand.

Gasoline for January delivery fell 1.6 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.7187 a gallon at 9:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

January-delivery heating oil dipped 1.14 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.011 a gallon on the Nymex.

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


Sugar, heading for a second straight annual drop, retreated in New York on signs of large supplies from top producers Brazil and India and weak demand. Cocoa slid.

Raw sugar for March delivery dropped 0.3 percent to 19.20 cents a pound by 7:45 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. White, or refined, sugar for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $516.50 a ton on NSYE Liffe in London.

Cocoa for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $2,299 a ton ICE. It’s up 9 percent this year. Cocoa for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to 1,460 pounds ($2,361) a ton on NYSE Liffe. The commodity gained 5.8 percent this year.

Arabica coffee for March delivery was up 0.4 percent to $1.4725 a pound in New York. It’s fallen 35 percent this year. Robusta coffee for March delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1,906 a ton in London, 5.3 percent higher this year.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Cattle futures for February delivery slid 0.3 percent to $1.33175 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.1 percent to $1.546 a pound on the CME.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to 86.85 cents a pound in Chicago.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


Copper futures fell as concerns mounted that a U.S. budget impasse will damp prospects for the economy and metal demand.

Copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $3.555 a pound at 9:58 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Through Dec. 21, the metal gained 3.8 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.2 percent to $7,815.75 a metric ton ($3.55 a pound). Electronic trading will end at 4 p.m. local time.

Stockpiles monitored by the LME rose for the 13th straight session, the longest advance since January.

Aluminum, nickel, zinc and tin fell, while lead rose in London. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

European Carbon Permits

European Union carbon permits for December 2013 fell 1.3 percent to 7.12 euros a metric ton.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT

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