Natural Gas Rises on Colder April Forecast: Commodities at Close

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.8 percent to settle at 654.54 at 3:51 p.m. New York time, led by natural gas.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 0.5 percent to 1,548.89.


Natural gas rose to an 18-month high following forecasts of below-normal temperatures that would boost demand for the heating fuel.

Matt Rogers, the president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said the Midwest and East will have seasonal to below-average temperatures in the next 10 to 15 days. Gas stockpiles may have dropped 86 billion cubic feet in the week ended March 22, according to the median estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The five-year average change for the week is a gain of 6 billion.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gas futures for April delivery increased 2.9 percent to $3.976 per million British thermal units, the highest settlement since Sept. 14, 2011.

U.K. gas for next month climbed as much as 2.6 percent to 75.95 pence a therm, the highest since Nov. 5, 2008, before trading unchanged at 74 pence, broker data showed.

The within-day price rose 1 percent to 98.5 pence. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

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Crude oil advanced the most this year as U.S. orders for durable goods climbed more than forecast in February.

On the Nymex, oil futures for April delivery climbed 1.6 percent to $96.34 a barrel, the biggest gain since Dec. 26 and the highest settlement since Feb. 19.

Brent oil for May settlement increased 1.1 percent to $109.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Total SA failed to purchase North Sea Forties crude after bidding above yesterday’s trade. BP Plc and OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit offered Russian Urals grade without finding a buyer.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will raise exports in May to the highest in more than three years, after one more cargo than in the preliminary plan, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

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Gasoline advanced as increases in durable goods orders and home prices indicated the U.S. economy is strengthening and fuel demand may improve.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for April delivery rose 1.6 percent to $3.1106 a gallon.

Heating-oil futures for April delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $2.8813 a gallon.

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Hogs rallied to an eight-month high on signs of improving demand after U.S. pork prices tumbled.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hog futures for June settlement advanced 0.3 percent to 91.075 cents a pound after reaching 91.6 cents, the highest since July 9.

Cattle futures for June delivery slipped 0.3 percent to $1.2115 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement dropped less than 0.1 percent to $1.40475 a pound.

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Sugar futures fell to a five-week low on signs that cane farmers in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will harvest a bumper crop and add to a global surplus.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, raw sugar for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to 17.78 cents a pound, after touching 17.77 cents, the lowest for a most-active contract since Feb. 15.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery slid 0.3 percent to $1.3895 a pound.

Cotton futures for May delivery rose 1.7 percent to 88.04 cents a pound in New York.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $1.376 a pound.

Cocoa futures for May delivery gained 0.8 percent to $2,146 a metric ton.

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Gold futures dropped the most in three weeks after the Cyprus bailout curbed demand for the metal as a haven.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for June delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $1,597.30 an ounce, the biggest drop since Feb. 28.

Silver futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $28.679 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for July delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $1,569.80 an ounce. .

Palladium futures for June delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $761.40 an ounce.

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Copper rose in London on signs that manufacturing and housing are gaining in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest buyer of the metal used in wires and pipes.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.1 percent to $7,625 a ton ($3.46 a pound).

Copper futures for May delivery fell 0.1 percent to $3.4425 a pound on the Comex. Earlier, the price gained as much as 0.9 percent.

In London, nickel, aluminum, lead, zinc and tin declined.

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Corn dropped for the second time in three sessions on speculation that shrinking U.S. cattle herds will mean fewer grain purchases by feedlot owners.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $7.3025 a bushel.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $7.315 a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 0.7 percent to $14.4775 a bushel.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at