Heating Oil Advances as Natural Gas Falls: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities dropped 0.3 percent to 674.37 at 5:40 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was down 0.4 percent to 1,609.256.


Heating oil rose to the highest level since October as seasonal refinery maintenance limits supplies. Gasoline’s March-April spread weakened a sixth day.

Heating oil for March delivery rose 1.38 cents to $3.1996 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume 3.4 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions is performing work on the Girard Point section of the 355,000-barrel-a-day plant, the largest East Coast refinery.

Gasoline futures slipped 1.43 cents to $3.0254 a gallon. Volume was 55 percent higher than average.

Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.9 cent to $3.555 a gallon, AAA said on its website today. That’s the highest price for gas at the pump since Oct. 25.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL


Natural gas futures fell for the first time this week after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles declined by less than forecast last week.

Natural gas for March delivery fell 6.3 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $3.355 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas traded at $3.412 before the storage number was released at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Prices are up 36 percent from a year ago. Volume was 33 percent above the 100-day average.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET


Oil fell in New York as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the euro’s strength could hamper an economic recovery, curbing fuel demand.

WTI oil for March delivery slid 75 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $95.87 a barrel at 11:40 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 72 percent above the 100-day average.

Brent for March settlement climbed 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $117.05 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 41 percent above the 100-day average.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET


Zinc fell to the lowest price this week, leading a slump for industrial metals, on renewed concern that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening and will curb demand.

Zinc for delivery in three months slid 0.3 percent to $2,162 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 4:26 p.m. local time, after reaching $2,144, the lowest since Feb. 1.

Nickel, aluminum, copper, lead and tin also fell in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Cotton futures fell for the third time in four sessions on signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Coffee slumped to the lowest since June 2010. Cocoa, sugar and orange juice advanced.

Cotton for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 81.38 cents a pound at 10:35 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Trading volumes were almost double the average of the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery retreated 1.1 percent to $1.405 a pound on ICE, on pace for the fourth straight decline, the longest slump since mid-August. Earlier, the price touched $1.404, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 11, 2010. Trading volume was about 78 percent higher than the 100-day average for this time of the day.

Also in New York, cocoa futures for delivery in March rose 1.1 percent to $2,251 a metric ton in New York.

Raw-sugar futures for delivery in March gained 0.3 percent to 18.24 cents a pound on ICE, while orange-juice futures for March delivery added 0.2 percent to $1.202 a pound.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Wheat fell for fifth time in six sessions on speculation that rain will boost the winter crop in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $7.5575 a bushel at 11:26 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Through yesterday, the price dropped 3.2 percent since Jan. 30. Soybean futures rose for the fourth time in five sessions as China increased imports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Corn headed for the longest slump in eight weeks.

Soybean futures for March delivery gained 0.3 percent to $14.915 a bushel at 11:08 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the oilseed fell as much as 0.6 percent after the Brazilian government raised its forecast for this year’s harvest. On Feb. 4, the price touched $14.98, the highest since Dec. 17.

In Chicago, corn futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $7.145 a bushel. The price dropped for the fifth straight session, the longest slump since Dec. 13. On Feb. 1, the grain reached $7.4625, the highest since Dec. 7.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS


Gold and silver futures fell most in a week after a rally by the dollar reduced the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment.

Gold futures for April delivery declined 0.6 percent to $1,668.60 an ounce at 10:12 a.m. on the Comex in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop for the most-active contract since Jan. 31.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $31.44 an ounce, heading for the biggest slide since Jan. 31.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

European Carbon Permits

European Union emission permits gained 0.5 percent to 4.20 euros a metric ton.

EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT


Cattle futures declined to the lowest price in almost two weeks on signs of slowing demand for U.S. beef. Hogs also dropped, heading for the longest slump since August.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1.31125 a pound at 9:21 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching $1.30725, the lowest for the most-active contract since Jan. 25.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 0.5 percent to $1.468 a pound in Chicago, heading for a fifth straight decline. Trading was 89 percent higher than the average over the past 100 days at this time.

Hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.4 percent to 85.875 cents a pound on the CME, heading for a fifth straight decline, the longest slump since Aug. 24.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

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