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Oil Leads Advance as Wheat Slumps: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities increased 1.3 percent to close at 646.31, the biggest rise in a month as gasoline and crude oil both reached the highest level in at least eight weeks. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.6 percent to 1,557.578.


Crude oil advanced to a two-month high in New York as the dollar slipped against the euro and President Barack Obama planned to leave for Washington to resume talks to avert spending cuts and tax gains that threaten the economy.

Crude rose 2.7 percent and the dollar approached an eight-month low against the euro before lawmakers return to discuss ways to avoid more than $600 billion in automatic measures that will take effect Jan. 1. Gains accelerated after United Arab Emirates security forces arrested members of a cell that was planning to carry out terrorist attacks.

Crude oil for February delivery climbed $2.37 to $90.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Oct. 18. Trading volume for West Texas Intermediate futures contracts was down 33 percent from the 100-day average. Prices have dropped 7.9 percent this year.

Brent oil for February settlement rose $2.27, or 2.1 percent, to $111.07 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe. The number of contracts trading was 70 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $20.09 to WTI, down from $20.19 on Dec. 24.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET


Gasoline jumped to a 10-week high as Obama will cut short his vacation to return to Washington tomorrow for budget talks.

Gasoline for January delivery rose 6.52 cents to $2.8158 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement since Oct. 16 and largest increase since Nov. 9. Prices are up 4.8 percent this year.

Heating oil for January delivery climbed 4.91 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $3.0513 a gallon on the exchange, extending this year’s increase to 4 percent.

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


Natural gas futures gained in New York for the first time in three days as freezing weather spurred demand for heating fuels.

Natural gas for January delivery fell rose 4.6 cents to settle at $3.392 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. Gas has climbed 13 percent this year, heading for the first annual gain since 2007. Futures trading volume was 55 percent below the 100-day average.

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


Wheat futures fell to a five-month low and corn dropped after a government report showed slowing overseas demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Wheat for March delivery slipped 2.4 percent to close at $7.745 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest since July 2. Still, the grain has climbed 19 percent this year.

Corn futures for March delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $6.9325 a bushel on the CBOT, the biggest decline since Dec. 19. Most-active futures touched $6.875 on Dec. 20, the lowest since July 11. The grain has risen 7.2 percent this year after the worst U.S. drought in 70 years cut production 13 percent.

Soybeans for March delivery retreated 1.2 percent to $14.185 a bushel.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Gold futures rose in New York on speculation that Japan’s new government will act to bolster the economy.

Gold for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to settle at $1,660.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $30.035 an ounce in New York.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery gained 10 cents to $1,539 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1.1 percent to $692.40 an ounce.

Trading in the U.K. was closed today for Boxing Day.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Cotton futures rose to a nine-week high as exports surged from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Sugar and coffee advanced, while cocoa and orange juice fell.

Cotton for March delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at 77.06 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached 77.07 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 22.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to 19.05 cents a pound on ICE.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1.483 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,263 a metric ton. The price fell for the seventh straight session, the longest slump in a year.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery declined 1.2 percent to $1.318 a pound. The commodity slid for the fourth consecutive session, the longest slump in seven weeks.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Cattle futures rose for the second time in three sessions on signs of fewer animals available for slaughter next month. Hogs declined.

Cattle futures for February delivery gained 0.4 percent to settle at $1.33775 in Chicago. The price is up 10 percent this year. Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.4 percent to $1.54875 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to 87.45 cents a pound. The most-active contract has gained 3.7 percent this year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


Copper capped the biggest gain in almost four weeks after workers rejected a wage proposal at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Escondida mine, the world’s largest source of the metal.

Copper futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to settle at $3.5975 a pound on the Comex, the biggest gain since Nov. 29.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

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