Oil, Coffee, Copper Rise; Gold Falls: Commodities at Close
West Texas Intermediate crude rose, narrowing its discount versus Brent to the lowest level since July, on signs that Cyprus is moving closer to a deal to stave off financial collapse and as the U.S. economy improved.
WTI for May delivery gained $1.26, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $93.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 0.3 percent this week.
Brent for May settlement increased 19 cents to end the session at $107.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The grade has lost 3.1 percent this year, while WTI has gained 2.1 percent.
The European benchmark’s premium to WTI shrank to $13.95, the narrowest level in eight months.
Crude markets: NI CRMKTS
Gasoline fell for a second consecutive week as Brent crude weakened versus West Texas Intermediate oil. April’s premium over later months slipped on speculation supplies will increase.
Gasoline for April delivery fell 0.81 cent to $3.0625 a gallon on the Nymex. The price has dropped 3.2 percent this week and increased 8.9 percent this year.
Heating oil for April delivery declined 1.2 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.8843 a gallon, extending the decline for the week to 1.9 percent.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.5 cent to $3.686 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices have dropped 10 cents since reaching a 2013 high of $3.786 on Feb. 26 and are 19.5 cents below a year ago.
Oil-products markets: NI OILPROD
Natural gas futures fell for a third day in New York on forecasts for milder weather that would limit demand for the heating fuel.
Natural gas for April delivery fell 0.8 cent to settle at $3.927 per million British thermal units on the Nymex. The futures have gained 17 percent this year, the best performer on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI spot index of 24 commodities. Gas was the worst performer last year. Prices rose 1.4 percent this week, the fifth consecutive gain.
U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT
Gas market: NI GASMARKET
Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET
Copper climbed in New York, narrowing this week’s drop, on speculation that Cyprus is moving closer to a deal aimed at averting a financial collapse that threatened to worsen Europe’s debt crisis.
Copper futures for delivery in May rose 0.9 percent to settle at $3.466 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal fell 1.5 percent this week.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months added 1 percent to $7,655 a ton ($3.47 a pound).
Tin, nickel, lead, aluminum and zinc advanced in London.
Base Metal Markets: NI BMMKTS
Gold futures fell as lawmakers in Cyprus debated measures needed for a bailout, crimping demand for the precious metal as a store of value. Silver dropped the most in three weeks.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery dropped 0.5 percent to settle at $1,606.10 an ounce. This week, the price rose 0.8 percent, and the third gain marked the longest rally in six months.
Silver futures for May delivery fell 1.8 percent to $28.698 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest drop since Feb. 28.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,581.70 an ounce. The metal declined 0.7 percent this week.
Palladium futures for June delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $761.55 an ounce. The price dropped 1.8 percent this week.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Cattle futures dropped on signs that demand for animals is slowing from U.S. beef processors. Hogs rose.
Cattle futures for June delivery declined 0.7 percent to settle at $1.21175 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, leaving the contract down 0.1 percent for the week. Prices have dropped 8.4 percent this year.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement fell 0.2 percent to close at $1.4025 a pound in Chicago.
Hog futures for June settlement rose 0.2 percent to 89.725 cents a pound in Chicago, up 0.4 percent for the week. The price has climbed 4.7 percent this year.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
Coffee for May delivery rose 1.2 percent to settle at $1.353 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since March 7.
Cotton futures for May delivery fell 1 percent to settle at 87.29 cents a pound and the fiber this week tumbled 5.6 percent, the most since late October.
Cocoa futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $2,159 a metric ton, ending a three-day rally.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1.3815 a pound.
Sugar futures for May delivery were little changed at 18.2 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Corn futures fell, snapping the longest rally in two months, as U.S. farmers prepare to seed the most acres since the 1930s. Soybeans also dropped as seeding may increase, while wheat gained.
Corn futures for May delivery dropped 0.9 percent to settle at $7.2625 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price rose in the previous six sessions, the longest rally since mid- January.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $14.405 a bushel in Chicago. The price this week gained 1 percent.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $7.2975 a bushel on the CBOT after declining as much as 1.8 percent. The price added 0.9 percent this week.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at email@example.com