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Crude Oil Rises on Iran Nuclear Concerns: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose less than 0.1 percent to settle at 679.37 at 3:54 p.m. New York time, led by energy and industrial metals.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices slid 0.2 percent to 1,603.49.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil rose for the third time this week as United Nations nuclear inspectors failed to reach a deal with Iran and fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits.

UN officials said they didn’t secure an agreement that would allow access to atomic facilities and couldn’t settle on a date for another meeting, indicating that sanctions on the country may remain in place. Gains accelerated after a report showed U.S. jobless claims fell by 27,000 last week, signaling fuel demand may increase.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for March delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $97.31 a barrel.

Brent oil for April settlement gained 0.1 percent to $118 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell North Sea Forties crude with an offer at the lowest in at least a month. Glencore

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline jumped to a four-month high, partly because of falling U.S. inventory.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for March delivery advanced 2.7 percent to $3.1166 a gallon, the highest settlement since Sept. 28.

BASE METALS

Aluminum advanced to a six-week high as rising global auto sales and further signs of economic recovery in the U.S. bolstered the outlook for demand.

On the London Metal Exchange, aluminum for delivery in three months rose 0.7 percent to $2,157 a metric ton. Prices earlier reached $2,166.50, the highest since Jan. 3.

Copper advanced 0.2 percent to $8,240 a ton ($3.74 a pound). Lead also gained, while zinc, tin and nickel fell.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn fell, capping the longest slump since 1965, as rain improved prospects for harvests in Brazil and Argentina, while U.S. exports lagged behind year-earlier shipments.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for May delivery fell 0.1 percent to $6.9275 a bushel, the 10th straight decline

Soybean futures for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $14.085 a bushel.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar tumbled to a 30-month low on signs that cane crops are getting enough moisture to boost harvests in Brazil, the world’s largest grower.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for May delivery slumped 2.4 percent to 17.77 cents a pound, the biggest decline since Jan. 3. Earlier, the price touched 17.76 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since August 2010.

Cocoa futures for delivery in May fell 0.6 percent to $2,156 a ton.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $1.4075 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery added 0.7 percent to 82.79 cents a pound.

LIVESTOCK

Hogs slumped to a two-month low on signs of waning demand for U.S. pork.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for April settlement fell 1.7 percent to 84.325 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 84.05 cents, the lowest since Dec. 12.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.29775 a pound.

PRECIOUS METALS

Platinum dropped the most in more than two weeks after a report showed Europe’s recession deepened more than economists forecast, spurring concern that metal demand will ebb.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery fell 1.1 percent to 1,710.90 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery slipped 1 percent to $764.05 an ounce.

Gold futures for April delivery retreated 0.6 percent to $1,635.50 an ounce on the Comex.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas tumbled to a five-week low after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles fell less than forecast last week.

On the Nymex, gas futures for March delivery retreated 4.3 percent to $3.163 per million British thermal units.

U.K. gas climbed as flows into the delivery network dropped to a four-day low.

The price for tomorrow gained as much as 1.4 percent to 68.95 pence a therm and was at 68.25 pence at 4:14 p.m. London

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