Cattle Decline to Two-Week Low: Commodities at Close
Cattle prices fell to a two-week low on speculation that beef supplies will increase as U.S. ranchers send more animals to slaughter after a persistent drought damaged grazing areas. Hog futures rose.
More than 33 percent of the Midwest was in severe drought as of July 10, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The price of wholesale beef slumped to a 12-week low.
Cattle futures for August delivery dropped 0.8 percent to settle at $1.17025 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Hog futures for October settlement rose 0.3 percent to 81.35 cents a pound.
Corn and soybeans rose for the first time in three days as an expanding drought in the U.S. Midwest increased the chances that yield losses will exceed government forecasts. Wheat also rallied.
Corn futures for December delivery advanced 4 percent to close at $7.3225 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price has jumped 44 percent since June 15.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.4 percent to $15.29 a bushel. Yesterday, the oilseed reached $15.75, the highest level since July 2008.
Wheat futures for September delivery gained 2.5 percent to $8.4675 a bushel, the third gain this week.
Cotton futures fell on concern that the sagging global economy will sap demand amid increasing inventories. Orange juice also slid.
Cotton for December delivery dropped 1.5 percent to settle at 69.93 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
Orange-juice futures for September delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1.2375 a pound, capping the third straight drop, the longest slide in a month.
Cocoa for September delivery slid 4.5 percent to settle at $2,189 a ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 30.
Raw-sugar futures for October delivery fell 1.8 percent to 22.46 cents a pound, the biggest drop since June 28.
Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery declined 1.4 percent to $1.8205 a pound, ending a three-day rally.
Oil rose after the U.S. announced more sanctions on Iran, the second-biggest crude-producing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Crude oil for August delivery increased 27 cents to settle at $86.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have decreased 13 percent this year.
Brent oil for August settlement climbed 84 cents, or 0.8 percent, to end the session at $101.07 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the highest settle since May 31.
Gasoline surged to a six-week high as Brent crude gained after the U.S. prepared to impose additional sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.
August-delivery gasoline gained 3.73 cents to $2.8062 a gallon on the Nymex, the highest settlement since May 31.
Heating oil for August delivery rose 1.15 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $2.7733 a gallon, the highest settlement since May 29.
Natural gas futures rose for a second day in New York as forecasts for hotter-than-normal weather in the Northeast next week signaled higher demand for power-plant fuel.
Natural gas for August delivery advanced 2.1 cents to settle at $2.874 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The futures, which reached a six-month high of $3.06 on July 6, are down 3.8 percent this year.
Gold fell as fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policies.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped 0.7 percent to settle at $1,565.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Silver futures for September delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $27.161 an ounce on the Comex.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for October delivery fell 1.3 percent to $1,412.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery slipped 1.4 percent to $574.80 an ounce.
Copper fell for the second time in three days as signs of a global slowdown mounted and the Federal Reserve damped speculation of further stimulus by the central bank, eroding the outlook for demand.
Copper futures for September delivery slumped 0.9 percent to settle at $3.415 a pound on the Comex. The metal has fallen 2.3 percent this month.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.2 percent to $7,555 a metric ton ($3.43 a pound).
Also in London, nickel for three-month delivery dropped as much as 2 percent to $15,770 a ton, the lowest level since December 2009. The commodity, used to make stainless steel, “continues to display some of the weakest trends of the base metals in 2012,” Barclays Plc said in a report.
Aluminum, zinc, lead and tin also retreated in London.
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