Sugar Tumbles Most in 3 Weeks as Gas Drops: Commodities at Close
Sugar futures fell the most in three weeks on signs that global demand remains sluggish amid abundant supply prospects. Orange juice, coffee, cocoa and cotton prices also slid.
Raw sugar for March delivery dropped 2.3 percent to 19.24 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. A close at that price would mark the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Dec. 10.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery declined 1.7 percent to $1.1465 a pound on ICE. The price hasn’t posted a gain since Dec. 19.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $1.4785 a pound. Earlier, the price reached $1.5195, the highest since Dec. 10.
Cocoa futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $2,256 a metric ton.
Cotton futures for March delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to 75.33 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Zinc fell the most in three months and lead dropped on the London Metal Exchange before weightings for the metals in a benchmark commodity index change next week.
Copper dropped for the first time in three sessions in New York on speculation that U.S. policy makers will struggle to reach agreement on raising the nation’s debt limit, threatening growth and demand prospects.
Copper futures for delivery in March slid 0.3 percent to $3.726 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Zinc dropped 2.2 percent to $2,092 a ton and lead dropped 1.6 percent to $2,393.25 a ton on the LME.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Natural gas futures declined for a third day in New York on forecasts of warmer weather that would cut demand for the heating fuel.
Natural gas for February delivery fell 4 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.193 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures are up 6.7 percent from a year ago. Trading volume was down 25 percent from the 100-day average.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Crude fluctuated near a three-month high as more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week and on estimates that U.S. oil inventories decreased.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery slipped 6 cents to $93.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures climbed to $93.12 a barrel yesterday, the highest settlement for a contract nearest to expiration since Sept. 18.
Brent for February settlement slid 42 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $112.05 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The North Sea crude was $18.99 a barrel more than WTI, down from yesterday’s $19.35. Trading volume in WTI was 4.3 percent above the 100-day average, while Brent was 25 percent higher.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Heating oil slipped as a forecast for warmer weather in the U.S. Northeast indicated less demand for fuel to heat homes.
Heating oil for February delivery fell 2.87 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.0176 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first loss in three days. Volume was 24 percent below the average of the past 100 days.
Gasoline for February delivery fell 0.36 cent to $2.7915 a gallon. Volume was 41 percent below average. Gasoline inventories probably increased 2 million barrels last week, according to the survey.
The average nationwide retail price for regular gasoline rose 0.1 cent to $3.292 a gallon, AAA said today on its website.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Gold fell in New York, tracking losses in other commodities, as a stronger dollar curbed demand for bullion as an alternative investment.
Gold futures for February delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1,680 an ounce on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest loss for the most-active contract since Dec. 20.
Silver futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $30.92 an ounce in New York.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $13.7725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $13.725, the lowest since Nov. 16.
Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $7.535 a bushel on CBOT. Corn for delivery in the same month retreated 0.5 percent to $6.875 a bushel.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Cattle futures rose the most in two weeks on speculation that U.S. animal supplies are shrinking as demand for beef climbs. Hog prices also increased.
Cattle futures for February delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $1.33425 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain for the most-active contract since Dec. 19.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.4 percent to $1.54525 a pound.
Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.4 percent to 86.5 cents a pound. In 2012, the price increased 1.7 percent, the fifth straight gain and the longest rally since at least 1987, according to exchange data compiled by Bloomberg. The commodity debuted in February 1966.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
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