The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 1.3 percent to 630.6 by 5:07 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials fell 0.5 percent at 1,499.847.
Gold fell to the lowest since May, nearing a bear market, on signs that investors are seeking higher returns in equities as the global economic recovery cuts demand for haven assets.
Prices have tumbled 18.2 percent from a record close of $1,891.90 in August 2011, nearing the 20 percent that typically defines a bear market. Metal for immediate delivery has slumped 18.5 percent from its all-time high settlement of $1,900.23 in September that year. Bullion rallied every year from 2001 through 2012 as investors sought protection from currency debasement and potential inflation.
Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,547.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after dropping to $1,539.40, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 30.
Silver futures for May delivery slid 0.4 percent to $26.70 an ounce. Earlier, prices slumped as much as 0.8 percent to $26.575, the lowest since July 24.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Crude fell for a second day as more Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said risks remain to the region’s economy.
West Texas Intermediate oil for May delivery fell 1.8 percent to $92.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed at $94.45 yesterday, the lowest settlement since March 22.
Brent crude for May settlement declined 1.2 percent to $105.83 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It ended yesterday at the lowest settlement since Dec. 7.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Sugar rose for the first time in three days in New York on speculation more of the new cane harvest in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, will be used for ethanol. Coffee declined.
Raw sugar for May delivery jumped 0.5 percent to 17.59 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices have dropped 9.8 percent this year with Brazil forecast by Sucres et Denrees SA to have a record cane crop.
Arabica coffee fell 0.3 percent to $1.39 a pound in New York and robusta beans dropped 1.3 percent to $2,056 a pound in London.
Cocoa declined 0.8 percent to $2,132 a ton in New York and fell 1 percent in London to 1,452 pounds ($2,206) a ton.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Copper rebounded from an eight-month low in New York after a Chilean government official said a strike at a port is curtailing shipments from the country, the world’s biggest producer of the metal.
Copper futures for delivery in May gained 0.7 percent to $3.3555 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices earlier touched $3.306, the lowest since Aug. 3, as a contraction of European service industries and slumping car sales stoked concern that demand will decline.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months advanced 0.7 percent to $7,442 a ton ($3.38 a pound).
Tin, zinc, nickel, aluminum and lead also rose in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Soybeans fell for a second day in Chicago amid concern an outbreak in China of a new bird-flu strain may curb meat consumption, in turn reducing the oilseed’s use in animal feed in the world’s biggest importer.
Soybeans for delivery in May slipped 0.8 percent to $13.6875 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Corn for delivery in May shed 0.6 percent to $6.38 a bushel, set to drop for a fourth session in five.
Wheat for delivery in May rose 0.2 percent to $6.9775 a bushel. Milling wheat for November rose 0.7 percent to 215.50 euros ($277.15) on NYSE Liffe in Paris.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Gasoline dropped, following crude lower after U.S. unemployment benefits claims increased more than forecast. The crack spread on the New York Mercantile Exchange widened for the first time in a week.
Futures fell a fifth straight day as jobless claims rose by 28,000 to 385,000 in the week ended March 30, the highest level since Nov. 24, Labor Department figures showed today. Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI widened 32 cents to $28.26 a barrel. The May-June gasoline spread narrowed, indicating ample supplies.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.4 cent to $3.636 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices are 29.2 cents below a year earlier after falling in March for the first time in 10 years, according to AAA data.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Natural gas futures fell in New York after a government report showed that a U.S. stockpile drop was close to analyst estimates.
Natural gas for May delivery fell 0.9 cent to $3.891 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas traded at $3.942 before the storage number was released at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET