Gold Erases Year’s Gain on Europe Concern: Commodities at Close
Gold erased its gains for this year as concern that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening strengthened the dollar and cut gold’s appeal as an alternative asset.
Gold futures for June delivery declined 1.5 percent to $1,559.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices touched $1,556.50, the lowest since Dec. 30.
Silver futures for July delivery tumbled 1.5 percent to $28.465 an ounce on the Comex. Platinum futures for July delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $1,448.20 an ounce, after touching $1,446, the lowest since Jan. 10.
Natural gas futures fell in New York for the first time in six days on forecasts that mild weather will limit demand from electricity generators.
Gas declined as much as 2.2 percent as Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said weather in the western U.S. over the next two weeks may be “fairly benign with below normal demand,” while variable warmth is expected in the South and the East.
Natural gas for June delivery fell 3.6 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.473 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copper fell to a four-month low in New York on speculation that a possible Greek exit from the currency union that uses the euro and a slowdown in China, the world’s biggest user of the metal, will erode demand.
Copper futures for July delivery fell 2.3 percent to $3.5635 a pound on the Comex in New York, after slipping to $3.5475, the lowest since Jan. 12.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months lost 2.1 percent to $7,853.50 a metric ton ($3.56 a pound).
Aluminum, nickel, tin, zinc and lead fell in London.
Gasoline slid on concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and fuel demand will fall after Greece failed to form a new coalition government and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party lost a key election.
Gasoline for June delivery fell 4.45 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.9563 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
June-delivery heating oil declined 3.78 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.9258 a gallon on the exchange. Prices touched $2.9147, the lowest intraday level since Dec. 30.
Futures dropped as much as 2.6 percent after Greece failed to agree on a unity government and European Union officials considered its possible exit from the euro. Saudi Arabia wants crude prices lower than they are now, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday in Adelaide, Australia. The kingdom is pumping at its highest rate in almost three decades, OPEC data show.
Crude for June delivery fell $1.76, or 1.8 percent, to $94.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after declining to $93.65, the lowest front-month intraday price since Dec. 19.
Brent for June settlement tumbled $1.39, or 1.2 percent, to $110.87 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Soybeans fell to the lowest in more than six weeks on speculation that Europe’s worsening debt crisis and slowing Chinese economy will curb demand for food, feed and fuel made from the oilseed. Corn was little changed.
Soybean futures for July delivery declined 1.9 percent to $13.7975 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for a fifth drop in six sessions. Earlier, the most-active contract touched $13.76, the lowest since March 30.
Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.1 percent to $5.8175 a bushel in Chicago. On May 11, the grain touched $5.7225, the lowest since Oct. 3. Before today, prices fell 10 percent this year as U.S. farmers told the government in March they intend to plant the most acres since 1937.
Wheat futures for July delivery fell gained 0.3 percent to $5.9875 a bushel.
Cocoa, sugar, coffee, and orange juice slid as markets tumbled on signs that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening, clouding commodity demand prospects as investors speculate on Greece’s possible exit from the euro region. Cotton rose.
Cocoa for July delivery retreated 1.9 percent to $2,275 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to 20.18 cents a pound in New York, after touching 20.07 cents a pound, the lowest for a most active contract since Sept. 1, 2010.
Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $1.7615 a pound on ICE.
Cotton futures for July delivery rose 0.8 percent to 79.6 cents a pound, heading for the first gain in nine sessions
Orange-juice futures for July delivery tumbled 3.8 percent to $1.1785 a pound.
Hog futures may fall on speculation that the European debt crisis is slowing global growth and demand for raw materials. Cattle prices rose.
Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.1 percent to 85.25 cents a pound by 10:08 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Cattle futures for August delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1.17925 a pound in Chicago.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 0.5 percent to $1.567 a pound in Chicago.
-- Editors: Sharon Lindores, John Deane
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