The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities was little changed at 679.11 at 5:34 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down less 0.3 percent to 1,603.135.
Gasoline advanced in New York as the March contract’s discount to April futures narrowed for the first time in four days.
Gasoline for March delivery advanced 2.1 percent to $3.0996 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 32 percent above the 100-day average. Gasoline has been the second-best performer after gasoil this year on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index.
Heating oil for March delivery rose 0.8 cent to $3.2268 a gallon on the Nymex. on volume that was 34 percent above the average.
The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 1 cent to $3.628 a gallon, the highest level since Oct. 22, AAA said today on its website. Costs have climbed 10 percent this year and are 11.5 cents above a year ago.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures tumbled to a one-month low in New York after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles fell by less than forecast last week.
Natural gas for March delivery fell 4 percent to $3.173 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas slipped to $3.172 per million Btu, the lowest intraday price since Jan. 10. The futures traded at $3.276 before the report was released at 10:30 a.m. Trading volume was 78 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
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 0.6 percent to $2,155.75 a metric ton at 3:54 p.m. local time. Prices earlier reached $2,166.50, the highest since Jan. 3. Through yesterday, the metal climbed 3.3 percent this year.
Copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.2 percent to $8,245.25 a ton ($3.74 a pound) on the LME. Lead also gained, while zinc, tin and nickel were lower in London.
In New York, copper futures for delivery in March slid less than 0.1 percent to $3.7415 a pound on the Comex.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Sugar futures 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. Cocoa and coffee also fell, while cotton and orange juice gained.
Raw sugar for May delivery slumped 2.1 percent to 17.82 cents a pound at 11:10 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching 17.76 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since August 2010. Sugar’s drop this year is the biggest among 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge.
Also in New York, cocoa futures for delivery in May fell 0.3 percent to $2,164 a ton on speculation that Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, may still have a lot of its crop to sell. Ivory Coast is lagging behind with sales of its current crop, according to Macquarie.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1.4095 a pound on ICE.
Cotton futures for May delivery added 1 percent to 83.02 cents a pound in New York.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.303 a pound on ICE.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
West Texas Intermediate oil rose for a 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.
Crude oil for March delivery rose 54 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $97.55 a barrel at 11:52 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 1.6 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 6.2 percent this year.
Brent oil for April settlement gained 5 cents to $117.93 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 9.1 percent below the 100-day average. The March contract settled at $118.72 when it expired yesterday.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Corn futures fell, heading for the longest slump since 1965, as rain improved prospects for harvests in Brazil and Argentina and U.S. exports lagged behind year-earlier shipments. Soybeans and wheat also declined.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $6.895 a bushel at 10 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would mark the 10th straight decline, the longest slump since July 1965. Yesterday, the grain touched $6.855, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 11.
As of yesterday, corn was down 18 percent from a record high of $8.49 on Aug. 10, following a drought that cut production for a third straight year in the U.S., the top exporter. Farmers probably will boost output to a record this year as weather returns to normal, the USDA said Feb. 11.
Soybean futures for May delivery declined 1.1 percent to $13.98 a bushel in Chicago, heading for a sixth decline in seven sessions. The price reached a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.
Wheat futures for March delivery dropped 1.2 percent to $7.2675 a bushel on the CBOT, after yesterday touching a seven-month low of $7.225.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Platinum futures fell for the first time in three days after a report showed Europe’s recession deepened more than economists forecast, spurring concern that metal demand will ebb. Gold advanced.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1,725.10 an ounce at 10:08 a.m. The price, which gained 2 percent in the previous two days, reached a 16-month high of $1,744.50 on Feb. 6.
Gold futures for April delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,647.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Through yesterday, the price dropped 1.8 percent this year.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits climbed 0.4 percent to 5.25 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Cattle futures fell to a three-month low on signs of waning export demand for U.S. beef. Hogs also declined.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1.29125 a pound at 10:25 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price slumped as much as 1.4 percent to $1.276, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 12.
Through yesterday, cattle dropped 2.2 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.4155 a pound. Earlier, the commodity touched $1.39175, the lowest since July 31.
Hog futures for April settlement declined 1.4 percent to 84.625 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 84.425 cents, the lowest since Jan. 10.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS