Bloomberg News

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

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 1.4 percent to 623.34 as of 5:49 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose 1.8 percent to 1,468.76.

CRUDE OIL

Oil advanced from a five-week low in New York as investors bought back contracts on speculation yesterday’s drop, the biggest since September, was exaggerated.

West Texas Intermediate futures gained as much as 1 percent after nearing the 50-day moving average of about $94.24 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Buy orders tend to be clustered near chart-support levels. Oil fell yesterday after OPEC raised its output ceiling and Europe’s debt crisis worsened, threatening a recession that may curb demand for commodities.

Crude for January delivery rose as much as 97 cents to $95.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $95.89 at 4:30 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract fell 5.2 percent to $94.95, the lowest settlement since Nov. 4. Prices are 4.6 percent higher this year after climbing 15 percent in 2010: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Futures slid in New York. Gas for January delivery fell 0.5 percent to $3.121 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are 29 percent lower this year. U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Fuel oil’s discount to Asian marker Dubai crude widened 54 cents to $6.01 a barrel at 3:20 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The gap has increased 9.1 percent so far this week.

The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade fell 50 cents to $12 a metric ton, PVM said. A narrowing viscosity spread means bunker, or marine fuel, declined less than higher-quality fuel oil. Light Distillates

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures slid $6.48 to $109.80 a ton at 5:30 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of profit from making the petrochemical feedstock, yesterday was the widest since September.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, LIVESTOCK

Soybeans for delivery in March advanced 0.8 percent to $11.19 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 3:16 p.m. in Singapore, paring this year’s decline for futures to 20 percent. Corn for March delivery was little changed at $5.805 a bushel, taking the loss to 7.3 percent this year. Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $5.81 a bushel in Chicago, after swinging between a gain of 0.5 percent and a loss of 0.2 percent. Futures are set for a 27 percent loss this year.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.1 percent to settle at 86.325 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The price has gained 8.2 percent in 2011.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1.18775 a pound in Chicago. The commodity has climbed 9.6 percent in 2011. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO> Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper for three-month delivery dropped for a fourth day by as much as 1.1 percent to $7,131 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, after slumping as much as 5.6 percent yesterday. The contract traded at $7,201.50 at 3:01 p.m. Shanghai time. Copper for February-delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 5.2 percent, the biggest intraday drop since Nov. 10, before closing 4 percent lower at 53,460 yuan ($8,388) a ton.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold extended a rout into a fourth day as concern that Europe’s debt crisis is escalating boosted the dollar, raising the prospect that the precious metal may enter a bear market. Platinum dropped to a two-year low.

Spot gold dropped 0.5 percent to $1,566.55 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. in Singapore. The price lost 8 percent in the preceding three days, and is set for the worst weekly fall since the period to Sept. 23. The February-delivery contract dropped as much as 1.2 percent to $1,567.60 on the Comex.

Cash platinum fell for a fourth day, losing as much 3 percent to $1,378.50 an ounce, the lowest level since Nov. 13, 2009. Palladium also dropped for a fourth day, declining 0.5 percent to $615.25 an ounce.

Spot silver declined for a fourth day, dropping as much as 1.8 percent to $28.40 an ounce, the lowest level since Sept. 26. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa for March delivery retreated 2.8 percent to settle at $2,180 a metric ton at 12:04 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The most-active contract has dropped 28 percent this year.

Renewed speculation that output in West Africa will be ample enough to meet demand also pressured prices. Futures soared 8.5 percent in the previous two days after Singapore- based trader Olam International Ltd. forecast supplies would lag behind demand.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 2.7 percent to 22.8 cents a pound on ICE. The sweetener touched 22.68 cents, the lowest since June 2.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery declined 2.2 percent to $2.18 a pound in New York. The most-active contract is down 9.4 percent this year. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

--Editor: Mike Anderson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at ralrikabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net


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