Copper, Lead, Crude Fall, Livestock Gain: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 1.5 percent to 600.97 in New York, with copper, lead and crude oil leading the decline.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 1.3 percent at 1,451.263.


Copper futures plunged the most in 16 months as a weaker outlook for world economic growth and slowing car sales in Europe stoked demand concerns.

Copper futures for July delivery tumbled 3.6 percent to settle at $3.2025 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since Dec. 14, 2011. Earlier, the futures touched $3.192, the lowest price since Oct. 21, 2011.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 3 percent to $7,080 a metric ton ($3.21 a pound). Zinc, aluminum, nickel, lead and tin also dropped.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


Spot gold prices advanced for a second day as global equities declined and on signs that demand is rebounding. Gold futures fluctuated before closing lower for the third time in four sessions.

Gold for immediate delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1,377.43 an ounce in New York. On the Comex, gold futures for June delivery slid 0.3 percent to settle at $1,382.70, after gaining as much as 0.6 percent and dropping 1.6 percent.

Silver futures for May delivery fell 1.4 percent to $23.307 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Cocoa futures rose to the highest level in almost four months on speculation that supplies will remain limited as demand shows signs of improvement. Cotton and orange juice also gained. Coffee and sugar fell.

Cocoa for July delivery climbed less than 0.1 percent to settle at $2,317 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Earlier, the price reached $2,337, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 21.

Cotton futures for July delivery jumped 1.4 percent to 86.65 cents a pound on ICE, snapping a two-day slump.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS


Soybean and corn futures rose for the second straight day after U.S. farmers withheld supplies from last year’s crop as wet, cold weather delayed Midwest planting. Wheat declined.

Soybean futures for July delivery advanced 0.3 percent to close at $13.80 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the price rose 1.4 percent, the most since March 21.

Corn futures for July delivery gained 0.1 percent to $6.4125 a bushel. Yesterday, the price jumped 2 percent, the most in three months.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 0.1 percent to $7.0725 a bushel in Chicago. The price has climbed 7.2 percent from a nine-month low on April 1 as crop prospects deteriorated.

Grains markets: NI GRMKTS


Natural gas futures gained for a second day in New York on forecasts for colder-than-normal Midwestern weather that would stoke demand for the heating fuel and increase a supply deficit.

Natural gas for May delivery rose 5.4 cents to settle at $4.214 million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have gained 26 percent this year. Prices reached $4.29 per million Btu in intraday trading April 15, the highest level since July 28, 2011.

U.S. natural gas futures: NI NUSMKT


Cattle futures rose to a one-week high on signs of shrinking U.S. supplies of animals. Hog prices posted the biggest gain in almost six weeks.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $1.21825 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $1.22, the highest for the most-active contract since April 9. The commodity has dropped 7.9 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.7 percent to $1.475 a pound.

Hog futures for June settlement rose 1.5 percent to 90.35 cents a pound, the biggest gain since March 7. The commodity has climbed 5.4 percent this year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


West Texas Intermediate oil fell to a four-month low as equities declined and U.S. output rose to a 20-year high. Brent slid below a key technical level at $97.91.

WTI for May delivery fell $2.04, or 2.3 percent, to $86.68 a barrel on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Dec. 14. Prices have tumbled 8.4 percent since April 10.

Brent for June settlement slipped $2.22, or 2.2 percent, to end the session at $97.69 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the lowest level since July 2. Futures have dropped 8 percent in the past six days.

Oil markets: NI CRMKTS


Gasoline futures slid to a three-month low, deepening losses after the Energy Information Administration reported that inventories along the U.S. East Coast rose last week.

Gasoline for May delivery fell 5.28 cents to $2.729 a gallon on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Jan. 16. Prices are down 12 percent this month.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery declined 7.19 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $2.7346 a gallon, the lowest settlement since July 10. Prices have fallen 7.7 percent in six consecutive days of losses.

U.S. oil-product futures: NI OPFMKT

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