Bloomberg News

Gold, Silver, Cotton Drop on Dollar Rally: Commodities at Close

December 12, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 1.3 percent to close at 638.93 at 3:44 p.m. in New York, led by precious metals and cotton. Cocoa rose.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slipped 1.3 percent to 1,509.69.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures fell to the lowest in almost seven weeks as the dollar’s rally curbed demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

Gold futures for February delivery declined 2.8 percent to settle at $1,668.20 an ounce at 2:03 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 17. Earlier, the price touched $1,660.30, the lowest since Oct. 25.

Silver futures for December delivery slumped 3.9 percent to $30.935 an ounce, the biggest intraday fall since Nov. 21.

On the Nymex, palladium futures for March delivery fell 3.4 percent to $663 an ounce. Platinum futures for January delivery dropped 1.9 percent to $1,486.90 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa prices jumped as much as 8.7 percent, halting the longest slump in 50 years, after Olam International Ltd. said output will trail consumption. Coffee and sugar fell.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cocoa for March delivery surged 5.5 percent to settle at $2,181 a ton at 12:13 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since October 2009. The price climbed as high as $2,246. Volume for the most- active contract was an estimated 33,992, a record.

Raw sugar for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to 23.29 cents a pound on ICE.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery futures for March delivery lost 2.9 percent to $2.2105 a pound in New York, the fifth straight decline.

Cotton fell to a 15-month low after European Union leaders failed to contain the region’s debt crisis, while a rising dollar cut the appeal of commodities as alternative assets. Orange juice also slid.

Cotton futures for March delivery dropped 3.6 percent to settle at 87.16 cents a pound at 2:45 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the fourth straight decline. Earlier, the price touched 87.06 cents, the lowest since September 2010. The fiber has plunged 40 percent this year.

Orange-juice futures for January delivery slid 2.2 percent to $1.6625 a pound on ICE, after touching $1.635, the lowest level since Oct. 18. The price has fallen for five straight sessions, losing 6.8 percent.

On Dec. 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture boosted its estimate for this season’s crop in Florida, the world’s second- biggest, by 2 percent because of bigger fruit size.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil in New York fell to the lowest level in more than two weeks as Moody’s Investors Service said it will review the credit ratings of all European Union countries and China’s export growth slowed to the weakest pace since 2009.

Oil for January delivery fell $1.64, or 1.7 percent, to $97.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Nov. 25. Prices dropped 1.5 percent last week and are up 7 percent this year.

Brent oil for January settlement decreased 1.3 percent to $107.26 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS <GO>

Europe physical crude: NI CNSMKT <GO>

U.S. physical crude: NI CRGMKT <GO>

Asia physical crude: NI CRAMKT <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas dropped to a 27-month low in New York with U.S. stockpiles near record highs and warm weather in the forecast.

Gas futures for January delivery declined 6.3 cents to settle at $3.254 per million British thermal units, the lowest level since Sept. 11, 2009. The futures have fallen 26 percent this year and are trading at their lowest levels for December since 2001, when they tumbled to $2.45.

U.K. gas declined as warmer-than-usual weather was forecast for London for the next four days and the grid manager said supplies will increase.

Gas for January fell 3 percent to 58.2 pence a therm at 5:14 p.m. in London, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $9.08 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline declined on concern that the European economy will falter and reduce demand.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for January delivery fell 3.25 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $2.5636 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a one-week low. Gasoline has gained 4.5 percent in 2011.

Heating-oil futures for January delivery fell 1.64 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $2.8961 a gallon on the exchange. It was the fourth consecutive decline. Prices are up 14 percent this year.

U.S. oil product futures: NI OPFMKT <GO>

U.S. oil products: NI OPUMKT <GO>

Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT <GO>

Europe oil products: NI OPEMKT <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell the most in three weeks as mounting debt concern in Europe eroded prospects for demand.

Copper futures for March delivery declined 2.6 percent to close at $3.464 a pound on the Comex. The metal, down 3.1 percent this month, has dropped 20 percent in 2011.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 2.7 percent to $7,606 a metric ton ($3.45 a pound).

Lead, nickel, zinc, aluminum and tin also slipped in London.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose from a 14-month low on concern that adverse weather may threaten crops in South America, boosting demand for U.S. supplies. Corn dropped on forecasts for rising world grain supplies. Wheat declined.

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 0.5 percent to close at $11.12 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $10.95, the lowest for a most- active contract since October 2010.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to close at $5.9425 a bushel. The grain has fallen 28 percent in 2011 as record global production reduced demand for U.S. supplies.

Corn futures for March delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $5.94 a bushel. Earlier, the price dropped as much as 1.6 percent on speculation that rising global grain reserves will curtail demand for U.S. supplies.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures rose from an 11-week low on signs that U.S. beef demand may rebound. Hogs gained.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1.1865 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.1685, the lowest for a most-active contract since Sept. 23. The commodity has gained 9.5 percent in 2011.

Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement advanced 0.6 percent to $1.43 a pound.

Hog futures for February settlement climbed 0.2 percent to 86.6 cents a pound. Earlier, the price touched 85.7 cents, the lowest since Nov. 8. The commodity has increased 8.6 percent this year.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Dan Stets

-0- Dec/12/2011 23:21 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Stubbe in Houston at rstubbe1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net -0- Dec/12/2011 23:00 GMT


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