Bloomberg News

Oil Falls; Gold Rises From Eight Week Low: Commodities on Close

December 15, 2011

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities declined 0.5 percent to 645.15 as of 5:39 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials dropped 0.6 percent to 1,510.471.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell from a one-week high in New York amid speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will set an output ceiling near current production levels at a meeting in Vienna today.

Crude for January delivery declined as much as 51 cents to $99.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, the contract gained $2.37 to $100.14, the highest settlement since Dec. 7. Prices are up 9.2 percent this year after climbing 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for January settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was at $109 a barrel, down 50 cents. The contract expires tomorrow. The more-actively traded February future lost 51 cents to $108.57. The European benchmark was at a premium of $9.22 to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate grade. The spread was a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures slid in New York. Gas for January delivery fell 0.5 percent to $3.263 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are 26 percent lower this year. U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude increased 9 cents to $17.95 a barrel at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread is a measure of refining profit.

Japan’s open-specification naphtha forward contracts for second-half January delivery were bid at $915.50 a ton against offers at $918.50, based on data from Ginga Petroleum Singapore Pte, a broker. Yesterday, the petrochemical feedstock advanced for a second day to close at $901.75.

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures, also known as the crack spread, added $2.41 to $79.19 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper declined for a third day to a two-week low as the Federal Reserve refrained from taking new measures to spur growth and amid concern that Europe’s debt crisis will erode demand for industrial metals.

The three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.4 percent to $7,492.50 a metric ton, the lowest price since Nov. 30. The March-delivery contract retreated 0.9 percent to $3.4095 per pound on the Comex in New York.

Aluminum rose 0.3 percent to $2,008 a ton in London, while zinc was down 0.2 percent at $1,906.5 a ton. Nickel dropped 1.1 percent to $18,113 a ton and tin fell 0.4 percent to $19,480 a ton, while lead declined 0.7 percent to $2,071.25 a ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, LIVESTOCK

Soybeans for delivery in January fell as much as 0.6 percent to $11.115 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $5.935 a bushel. Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $6.0125 a bushel after declining as much as 0.5 percent earlier today.

Hog futures for February settlement dropped 0.2 percent to settle at 86.4 cents a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price is up 8.3 percent in 2011.

Cattle futures for February delivery settled yesterday unchanged at $1.1865 a pound in Chicago. The commodity has gained 9.5 percent in 2011. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO> Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rallied from the lowest level in almost eight weeks as the biggest two-day drop since September spurred more purchases and investor holdings climbed to a record, countering the effect of a stronger dollar.

Immediate-delivery gold climbed as much as 0.7 percent to $1,642.82 an ounce. Holdings in exchange-traded products rose to 2,360.685 metric tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. February-delivery gold fell for a third day, losing as much as 2.3 percent to $1,625.30 on the Comex, the lowest since Oct. 21.

Spot silver gained as much as 0.8 percent to $31.01 an ounce, after dropping to $30.42 yesterday, the lowest level since Oct. 21. Palladium fell 0.2 percent to $643.50 an ounce, taking losses this week to 6.1 percent.

Cash platinum was little changed at $1,476 an ounce, after falling to an eight-week low of $1,466 an ounce, while futures retreated to the lowest price since Oct. 20. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Rubber gained for the first time in five days on concerns that supplies from Thailand, the largest producer, are declining and a weakening Japanese yen may improve the appetite for the commodity used in tires and gloves.

May-delivery rubber rose as much as 2.2 percent to 280.6 yen a kilogram ($3,597 a metric ton) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, before settling at 278.2 yen. The price fell 5.8 percent in the past four days.

Cocoa for March delivery advanced 2.8 percent to close at $2,243 a ton yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Raw- sugar futures for March delivery climbed 0.6 percent to settle at 23.44 cents a pound. The price has dropped 27 percent this year.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery yesterday rose 0.9 percent to $2.2295 a pound, snapping a five-session slump. The price has declined 7.3 percent this year. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

--Editor: Alexander Kwiatkowski

-0- Dec/14/2011 10:11 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at christian.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net -0- Dec/14/2011 09:42 GMT


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