Heating Oil, Gasoline Rise on Blizzard: Commodities at CloseChristine Buurma
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.6 percent to 678.14, led by heating oil, gasoline and zinc. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 raw materials gained 0.2 percent to 1,612.67.
Heating oil rose to the highest level in almost four months on speculation that a snowstorm in the U.S. Northeast will boost demand for distillates and drain stockpiles on the East Coast.
Futures advanced as the National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings that stretched from Maine to New Jersey, and winter storm warnings and advisories reached south to Virginia and west to Michigan. That may increase demand for distillates and use East Coast supplies, which are at a 10-year seasonal low.
Heating oil for March delivery advanced 3.89 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.2384 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Oct. 11. The futures reached $3.2575 in intraday trading, the highest price since Oct. 12.
Gasoline for March delivery gained 5.89 cents to settle at $3.0588 a gallon on Nymex, a four-month high.
Oil products markets: NI OPFMKT
Copper futures rose the most in a week as China’s trade expanded more than forecast.
Copper futures for March delivery rose 0.9 percent to settle at $3.7595 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Feb. 1.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 1.1 percent to $8,294 a ton ($3.76 a pound). Aluminum, zinc tin, lead and nickel also gained.
Base-metal markets: NI BMMKTS
Arabica coffee, favored by Starbucks Corp., is fetching the smallest premium over the robusta variety in more than three years as supplies increase from Central America and Brazil.
Arabica coffee for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to settle at $1.4105 a pound on ICE Futures U.S. Robusta-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 1.2 percent to close at $2,123 a metric ton in London on NYSE Liffe. Arabica was 44.7522 cents a pound more costly than robusta, the lowest spread since March 30, 2009.
Also on ICE, raw-sugar futures for March delivery slid 0.1 percent to 18.14 cents a pound. Cocoa futures for May delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2,227 a ton in New York.
Orange-juice futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1.2055 a pound on ICE, while cotton futures for delivery in March climbed 1.6 percent to 82.67 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Natural gas futures fell for a second day in New York, capping the third straight weekly loss, as cold weather accompanying a snowstorm in the U.S. Northeast may be replaced by higher temperatures next week.
Natural gas for March delivery fell 1.3 cents to $3.272 per million British thermal units on the Nymex.
U.S. gas: NI NUSMKT
Brent crude surged to a nine-month high in London while oil in New York slipped after stronger-than-expected trade data from China signaled increased fuel demand in the world’s second-biggest consuming country.
Brent oil for March settlement rose $1.66, or 1.4 percent, to end the session at $118.90 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest closing price since May 1.
WTI crude oil for March delivery dropped 11 cents to settle at $95.72 a barrel on the Nymex. The contract fell 2.1 percent this week, after advancing 14 percent over the previous eight.
The European benchmark grade’s premium to WTI strengthened to $23.17, the most since Nov. 26. The Brent-WTI spread has widened since Enterprise Product Partners LP said Jan. 31 that capacity will be limited until late 2013 on its Seaway pipeline to the Gulf Coast from Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the New York contract.
Oil futures: NI CRMKTS
Gold futures dropped for the second time in three days as trade expanded more than forecast in China, the world’s second-largest economy, eroding the appeal of the precious metal as a haven.
Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $1,666.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $31.441 an ounce. The price fell 1.6 percent this week.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1,714.70 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $751.50 an ounce.
Precious-metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Soybean futures fell the most in seven weeks after the U.S. government said bigger crops in South America will boost global inventories before the Northern Hemisphere harvests. Corn also slipped.
Soybean futures for March delivery tumbled 2.3 percent to $14.525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $7.09 a bushel.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Feeder-cattle futures dropped the most in three weeks on speculation that demand will ebb as high U.S. grain costs discourage purchases of the animals. Cattle and hogs also fell.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 1.5 percent to settle at $1.45 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Jan. 17. The price dropped 2.8 percent this week.
Cattle futures for April delivery slid 1.1 percent to $1.30125 a pound, the biggest decline since Jan. 17.
Hog futures for April settlement dropped 0.5 percent to 86.125 cents a pound in Chicago. This week, the price tumbled 3 percent, the most in two months.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS