Natural Gas and Brent Gain as Nickel Falls: Commodities at Close
Natural gas futures advanced for a third day in New York, climbing to the highest price in more than a week. Forecasts showed colder-than-normal weather that would boost demand for the heating fuel.
Natural gas for February delivery rose 3.8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.437 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 25 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. The futures have gained 35 percent from a year ago. Prices climbed to $3.455, the highest since Jan. 25.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Oil fluctuated in New York as U.S. inventories climbed last week while stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the futures, fell.
Crude oil for March delivery rose 22 cents to $96.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $95.68 before the release of the inventory report by the Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Trading was 98 percent above the 100-day average for this time of day. Futures are up 5 percent this year.
Brent oil for March settlement gained 30 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $116.82 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent volume was 42 percent above the 100-day average.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Copper fell in New York as commodities retreated amid concern political turmoil in Spain and Italy may hamper governments in responding to the euro-area debt crisis that threatens growth and demand. Nickel slumped 1.9 percent.
Copper for delivery in March declined 0.8 percent to $3.7385 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal for delivery in three months fell 0.6 percent to $8,222 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
Comex prices are up 2.4 percent this year, helped by the first increase in economic growth in eight quarters in China, the world’s biggest copper consumer. Still, stockpiles of the metal tracked by the LME climbed 21 percent this year as orders to remove copper from warehouses slid 36 percent.
Aluminum, tin, zinc and lead fell on the LME.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Coffee futures in New York slumped to the lowest in a month on signs that supply will outweigh demand due to a record crop in Brazil, the world’s largest grower and exporter.
Arabica-coffee for March delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1.4235 a pound at 11:18 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after touching $1.4185, the lowest since Dec. 31. Prices have fallen 35 percent from a year ago.
Also in New York, cocoa futures for March delivery slid 0.7 percent to $2,230 a metric ton, after a 2.5 percent gain yesterday.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Soybeans fell for the first time in four sessions on speculation that Brazil, poised to become the world’s biggest exporter this year, may harvest a larger crop than forecast earlier.
Soybeans for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $14.84 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures touched $14.98 a bushel on Feb. 4, the highest level for a most-active contract since Dec. 17.
Corn for March delivery fell 0.6 percent to $7.2475 a bushel, heading for a fourth straight loss.
Wheat for delivery in March fell 0.5 percent to $7.5375 a bushel in Chicago. In Paris, milling wheat for May delivery dropped 0.7 percent to 241 euros ($326) a ton on NYSE Liffe. Rough rice for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $16.16 per 100 pounds on the CBOT, after rallying to $16.29 yesterday, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 7, 2011.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Platinum rose to a 16-month high on concern that supplies will fall from South Africa, which accounts for about 73 percent of global output. Palladium reached a 17-month high and gold gained.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for delivery in April rose 1.6 percent to $1,734.30 an ounce at 10:45 a.m. Earlier, prices jumped to 1,744.50, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 22, 2011. Volume was about 84 percent higher than the 100-day average for the time of day.
Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $767.25 an ounce on the Nymex, after reaching $772.90, the highest since Sept. 6, 2011. The metal is typically found alongside platinum and both are mostly used in pollution-control devices in cars.
Gold futures for April delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,675.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
March gasoline fell 0.2 percent to $3.0322 a gallon after an Energy Department report showed an increase in supplies.
Gasoline inventories rose 1.74m bbl to 234m bbl in week ended Feb. 1; analysts estimated 900,000 bbl gain, according to Bloomberg survey.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits tumbled 5 percent to 4.20 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT
Hog futures for April settlement dropped 1.2 percent to 86.625 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Cattle futures for April delivery declined 0.6 percent to $1.3145 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 0.7 percent to $1.47425 a pound.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
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