Base Metals Lead Gain, Cotton Falls: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.2 percent to 609.91 in New York, rebounding from an earlier slide of as much as 1.8 percent. Aluminum, cocoa and corn led the gains.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.9 percent at 1,471.123.


Copper rebounded in London from the lowest price in almost 18 months after U.S. housing starts rose more than expected and a mine shutdown in Utah prompted Rio Tinto Group to cut its production forecast.

Copper for delivery in three months advanced 1.4 percent to settle at $7,300 a metric ton ($3.31 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange. Prices yesterday touched $7,085, the lowest level since Oct. 21, 2011.

In New York, copper futures for May delivery rose 1 percent to close at $3.3055 a pound on the Comex.

Aluminum, tin, zinc, lead and nickel rose.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Gold rebounded from the biggest drop in 33 years as BlackRock Inc. said sales didn’t reflect fundamentals and an Asian central banker said policy makers may take the opportunity to buy. Silver also advanced.

Gold futures for June delivery gained 1.9 percent to close at $1,387.40 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest increase since Sept. 13. Prices earlier touched $1,321.50, the least since Jan. 28, 2011.

Silver futures for May delivery jumped 1.1 percent to $23.628 ounce on the Comex. Earlier, prices touched $22, the lowest level since Oct. 5, 2010. Yesterday, the precious metal retreated 11 percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 23, 2011.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Sugar futures gained the most in more than five weeks in New York on speculation that harvest delays will limit supplies in Brazil, the world’s top producer. Cocoa and coffee advanced, while cotton and orange juice fell.

Raw sugar for July delivery rallied 1.8 percent to settle at 17.87 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S., the biggest gain since March 7.

Cocoa futures for July delivery climbed 2.2 percent to $2,316 a metric ton on ICE. Earlier, the price reached $2,318, the highest level for a most-active contract since Dec. 21.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery rose 0.8 percent to $1.3725 a pound on ICE.

Cotton futures for July delivery dropped 0.8 percent to 85.42 cents a pound in New York. Orange-juice futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $1.4815 a pound.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Corn futures rose the most in three months and wheat gained on speculation that cold, wet weather will delay planting in the U.S., the world’s biggest grain exporter. Soybeans advanced.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 2 percent to close at $6.4075 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Jan. 14.

Winter-wheat futures for July delivery gained 1.2 percent to $7.0775 a bushel in Chicago. Spring-wheat futures for July delivery on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange climbed 1.6 percent to $8.02 a bushel.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to $13.7525 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest gain since March 21.

Grains markets: NI GRMKTS


Natural gas futures gained for the fourth time in five days on speculation that a shot of cold in the central U.S. next week may spur demand for heating fuel.

Natural gas for May delivery increased 2.3 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $4.16 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. natural gas futures: NI NUSMKT


Cattle futures rose on speculation that U.S. meat purchases will increase as the weather warms up and more consumers grill outdoors. Hog prices also climbed.

Cattle futures for June delivery advanced 0.5 percent to settle at $1.2045 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price is down 9 percent this year.

Hog futures for June settlement gained 0.5 percent to 89.025 cents a pound on the CME. Prices have risen 3.8 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.1 percent to $1.46475 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


Brent crude fell below $100 a barrel for the first time since July on signs economic growth will slow, curbing demand. West Texas Intermediate oil was little changed before a report that may show a U.S. supply gain.

Brent oil for June settlement fell 72 cents, or 0.7 percent, to end the session at $99.91 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The May futures contract expired at $100.39 yesterday.

WTI crude for May delivery rose 1 cent to settle at $88.72 a barrel on the Nymex. Prices earlier fell as much as $2.65 to $86.06.

The front-month Brent grade traded at a premium of $11.19 to the May WTI contract.

Oil markets: NI CRMKTS


Ultra-low sulfur diesel slid to a nine-month low as Brent crude and gasoil slipped amid declining fuel demand in Europe.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery declined 2.27 cents to settle at $2.8065 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since July 13. Prices have fallen 5.2 percent in five days of losses.

The fuel’s crack spread versus May West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed 96 cents to $29.15 a barrel.

Gasoil in Europe for May delivery on ICE Futures Europe fell 1.4 percent to settle at $835.75 a metric ton.

Gasoline for May delivery rose 2.42 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $2.7818 a gallon. Prices earlier touched $2.7036, the lowest intraday level in three months.

U.S. oil-product futures: NI OPFMKT