Silver Leads Decline as Natural Gas Gains: Commodities at Close
Gold futures fell to the lowest since August after a report showed the U.S. economy grew more than forecast last quarter, damping expectations that the Federal Reserve will expand monetary stimulus.
Gold futures for February delivery fell 1 percent to $1,650.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,647.30, the lowest since Aug. 31. Through yesterday, the price was up 6.4 percent this year.
Silver futures slumped 4.3 percent to $29.79 an ounce.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Natural gas futures climbed in New York for the third time in four days after a government report showed U.S. stockpiles fell by more than expected last week.
Natural gas for January delivery rose 3.1 percent, to $3.423 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas traded at $3.384 before the report.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Oil in New York fluctuated as concern that U.S. budget negotiations will fail countered better-than-projected economic growth in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation.
Crude oil for February delivery declined 4 cents to $89.94 a barrel at 10:43 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are down 9 percent this year.
Brent oil for February settlement fell 16 cents to $110.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The front-month European benchmark traded at $20.26 premium to the corresponding West Texas Intermediate contract traded in New York. The spread was $20.38 yesterday.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Gasoline futures fluctuated as the U.S. economy grew faster than early reports last quarter, and as U.S. refiners try to reduce inventories to avoid end-of-year property taxes.
Gasoline for January delivery rose 0.28 cent to $2.7459 a gallon at 9:25 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Heating oil for January delivery was up 0.99 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $3.0455 a gallon on the Nymex.
The average nationwide cost for regular gasoline sank 0.7 cent to a $3.219 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the 28th-straight-day of falling prices, and the lowest level since Dec. 21, 2011.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Cocoa fell to a five-week low in New York on speculation supplies from West Africa are improving just as top growers Ivory Coast and Ghana started selling their next crop. Sugar also declined.
Cocoa for March delivery fell 1 percent to $2,335 a ton by 8:23 a.m. ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price earlier declined to $2,334 a ton, the lowest since Nov. 12. New York cocoa gained 11 percent this year. Cocoa for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to 1,471 pounds ($2,393) a ton on NYSE Liffe in London, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 25. The commodity was still up 6.8 percent this year.
Raw sugar for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to 18.96 cents a pound on ICE. It lost 18 percent this year. White, or refined, sugar for March delivery slid 1.4 percent to $510.80 a ton in London. It fell 15 percent this year.
Arabica coffee for March delivery was down 0.6 percent to $1.44 a pound in New York. It’s fallen 36 percent this year. Robusta coffee for March delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $1,890 a ton in London, 4.6 percent higher this year.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Cattle futures fell from a record on speculation that high U.S. prices will curb consumer demand for beef. Hogs also declined.
Cattle futures for February delivery slumped 0.4 percent to $1.3385 a pound at 9:54 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $1.345, matching yesterday’s record.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.1 percent to $1.55625 a pound on the CME.
Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.4 percent to 86.2 cents a pound. The price through yesterday was up 2.7 percent this year.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
Soybeans declined to a one-month low after China, the world’s largest importer, canceled U.S. purchases for the second time in three days.
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $14.0925 a bushel at 10:30 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the first four-day decline since Nov. 12. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.9775, the lowest since Nov. 20. Trading in soybean futures was more than 70 percent higher than the 100- day average for the time of day.
Wheat fell to the lowest in more than five months on speculation that wet weather will improve the condition of the U.S. winter crop.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 2 percent to $7.8975 a bushel at 10:30 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, prices touched $7.825, the lowest since July 3.
Corn futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $6.9325 a bushel in Chicago. The price earlier touched $6.875 a bushel, the lowest since July 11.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Copper futures fell for a fourth day in New York, heading for the longest string of declines since October, as signs that U.S. budget talks are faltering dimmed prospects for economic growth and metals demand.
Copper futures for March delivery dropped 1.8 percent to $3.5405 a pound at 11:09 a.m. on the Comex in New York after touching $3.523 a pound, the lowest since Nov. 28. The metal hasn’t fallen for four straight sessions since Oct. 29. Prices were up 4.9 percent this year through yesterday.
Comex copper fell below its 100-day and 200-day moving averages, a bearish signal to analysts who study historical price patterns.
Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange expanded for an 11th session to 311,925 metric tons, the longest rising streak since January 2011.
On the LME, copper for delivery in three months slumped 1.9 percent to $7,775.75 a ton ($3.53 a pound).
Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also fell in London.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
European Carbon Permits
European Union carbon permits for December 2013 rose 2.8 percent to 7.43 euros a metric ton, the third consecutive gain.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
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