Silver Lead Gains as Natural Gas Declines: Commodities at CloseClaudia Carpenter
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.2 percent to 633.59 by 4:38 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.4 percent at 1,511.007.
Gold futures rallied to a one-week high on speculation that central bankers in the world’s major economies will take additional steps to spur growth, boosting demand for the precious metal as a store of value. Silver jumped 3 percent.
Gold futures for June delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $1,589.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Silver futures for May delivery increased to $27.94 an ounce in New York, heading for the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 30.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Natural gas futures slipped for a second day in New York on forecasts of moderate weather in the eastern third of the U.S. that would reduce fuel demand.
Natural gas for May delivery fell 1.6 percent to $4.016 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have climbed 20 percent this year.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Orange-juice futures rose on speculation that the U.S. government will reduce its estimate for Florida’s crop for the fifth straight month. Cocoa and coffee gained, while sugar and cotton slid.
Orange juice for May delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $1.476 a pound at 10:56 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. On April 5, the price reached $1.484, the highest for a most-active contract in almost a year.
Cocoa futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $2,225 a metric ton on ICE.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1.362 a pound.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 17.62 cents a pound.
Cotton futures for May delivery declined 0.7 percent to 84.79 cents a pound.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
Corn futures jumped the most in a month on signs that U.S. farmers are withholding grain from last year’s drought-reduced harvest, after prices dropped to a nine-month low. Soybeans gained, and wheat fell.
Corn futures for May delivery rose 1.5 percent to $6.43 a bushel at 10:21 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest gain since March 8.
Wheat futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $7.085 a bushel in Chicago, heading for the first decline in three sessions. Futures for July delivery, after the harvest, fell 0.6 percent to $7.13.
Grains markets: NI GRMKTS
Copper headed for the biggest gain since January in London, leading industrial metals higher after weaker-than-estimated Chinese inflation eased concerns that the government will tighten monetary policy.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 2 percent to $7,599.25 a metric ton ($3.45 a pound) at 3:58 p.m., heading for the biggest increase since Jan. 2.
In New York, copper futures for delivery in May added 1.8 percent to $3.4325 a pound on the Comex.
Aluminum for delivery in three months on the LME gained 1.1 percent to $1,910 a ton. Alcoa said yesterday that net income excluding a tax benefit and other one-time items was 11 cents a share, beating the 8-cent average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Demand for the lightweight metal in aircraft and cars improved, the company said.
Zinc advanced as much as 1.7 percent to $1,923.50 a ton in London, the highest since March 26. Lead, tin and nickel also gained.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
Hog futures dropped for the third time in four sessions on signs that overseas demand for U.S. pork is ebbing. Cattle were little changed.
Hog futures for June settlement fell 0.5 percent to 90.125 cents a pound at 9:25 a.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down 3.3 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.
Cattle futures for June delivery slid 0.1 percent to $1.2195 a pound on the CME. Prices were down 7.8 percent in 2013 through yesterday.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement rose 0.1 percent to $1.44925 a pound.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
West Texas Intermediate crude fluctuated as analysts forecast that U.S. supplies increased from the highest level in 22 years and the dollar weakened against the euro.
WTI oil for May delivery slid 17 cents to $93.19 a barrel at 10:51 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was 33 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices last traded at $85 in November.
Brent crude for May settlement decreased 18 cents to $104.48 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Trading was 5.4 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
Oil markets: NI OILMARKET
Gasoline futures fluctuated, narrowing the discount to ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
Gasoline for May delivery rose 0.13 cent to $2.9106 a gallon at 9:42 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 13 percent below the 100-day average.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 1 cent to $3.583 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. Prices have fallen 20.3 cents from the year-to-date high of $3.786 on Feb. 26 and are 34.4 cents below a year earlier.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery dropped 1.11 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.9426 a gallon on volume that was 12 percent above the 100-day average.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
European Carbon Permits
European Union emission permits declined 7.7 percent to 4.80 euros a metric ton.
EU Carbon Emissions: NI ECBMKT