Bloomberg News

Oil Near Six-Week High; Gold Price Drops: Commodities at Close

December 28, 2011

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.4 percent to 650.98 as of 4:31 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials advanced 0.4 percent to 1,525.07.

CRUDE OIL

Oil traded near the highest price in six weeks after Iran threatened to block crude supplies through the Strait of Hormuz at a time when U.S. stockpiles are falling.

Oil for February delivery was at $101.49 a barrel, up 15 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $1.66, or 1.7 percent, to $101.34 a barrel yesterday, the highest settlement since Nov. 16. Futures have climbed 11 percent this year after increasing 15 percent in 2010.

Brent oil for February settlement was down 10 cents at $109.17 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European contract’s premium to crude in New York was $7.68 a barrel, compared with $7.93 at yesterday’s close, the smallest differential based on settlement prices since Jan. 20. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas for January delivery fell 0.6 cents to $3.095 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have declined 30 percent this year. U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude, a measure of refining losses from the fuel, narrowed 24 cents, or 6.7 percent, to $3.40 a barrel at 10:31 a.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. Yesterday, the discount reached $3.65, the widest since Dec. 16. The spread has narrowed 69 percent so far this year, data from the London-based broker showed.

High-sulfur fuel-oil swaps rose $7.75, or 1.2 percent, to $666.75 a metric ton. The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to the 380-centistoke grade was unchanged at $11.25 a ton.

Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude fell 35 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $16.62 a barrel, the lowest level since Oct. 19, PVM data showed. January swaps for gasoil rose 60 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 122.60 a barrel. The fuel traded at parity to jet fuel, PVM data showed. Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Cash gold fell for a second day, dropping as much 0.5 percent to $1,586.13 an ounce, the lowest price since Dec. 19. February-delivery futures retreated for a fifth session, the longest period of decline for a most-active contract since the five days to Oct. 28, 2009. They lost 0.3 percent to $1,590.60 in New York.

Spot silver was little changed at $28.70 an ounce, 7.2 percent lower this year. Cash platinum fell 0.2 percent to $1,430.25 an ounce, extending the year’s loss to 19 percent. Palladium, down 17 percent in 2011, was little changed at $662.50 an ounce. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper for delivery in three months dropped as much as 1.7 percent to $7,510 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange as trading resumed after the Christmas holidays. The contract was at $7,532 by 4:14 p.m. Tokyo time and is set for a 22 percent drop this year.

Lead fell 0.9 percent to $2,002 per ton and tin was unchanged at $19,300 per ton. Aluminum dropped 0.1 percent to $2,014 and zinc declined 0.2 percent to $1,851 per ton. Nickel was little changed at $18,510 per ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS, LIVESTOCK

Corn for March delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $6.3025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices rose 2.2 percent to $6.3325 yesterday, the seventh straight gain and the longest rally since Dec. 29, 2010.

Soybeans for March delivery dropped as much as 1.4 percent to $11.93 a bushel after jumping 3.2 percent yesterday, the most in 11 weeks, on speculation that adverse weather may reduce output. Prices gained 2.9 percent last week and are set to slump 15 percent this year.

Cattle futures for February delivery fell 0.9 percent to close at $1.232 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange yesterday, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Dec. 9. The commodity has climbed 14 percent this year, heading for the third straight annual gain. Hog futures for February settlement dropped 0.1 percent to 85.75 cents a pound. The price has advanced 7.5 percent this year, heading for a fourth straight annual gain. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO> Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at 23.61 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York yesterday. The price climbed 1.2 percent in the previous two sessions. Brazil is the top grower and exporter.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $2.2285 a pound in New York. The price has dropped 7.3 percent this year, heading for the first annual slide since 2008.

Cotton futures for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to 87.91 cents a pound. This year, the fiber has plunged 39 percent, the most since 2004. Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 1.6 percent to $1.6995 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery slid 0.1 percent to $2,216 a ton. This year, the price has tumbled 27 percent, heading for the biggest drop since 1999. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

--Editor: Alexander Kwiatkowski

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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