Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Rises on Cold-Weather Forecast: Commodities at Close

January 07, 2012

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities rose 0.1 percent to close at 661.9 at 4:01 p.m. in New York, led by natural gas and aluminum.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials gained 0.3 percent to 1,543.9.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas climbed, capping the first weekly gain since early December, on forecasts for below-normal temperatures later this month that may increase heating-fuel demand.

MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland, predicted colder-than-normal weather in the Northeast and parts of the northern Midwest from Jan. 16 through Jan. 20. About 51 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

Gas futures for February delivery rose 2.8 percent to $3.062 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price gained 2.4 percent this week.

U.K. summer gas dropped to the lowest in more than 13 months amid low demand and ample inventories.

Summer gas for delivery in the six months from April dropped as much as 0.8 pence to 52 pence a therm, the lowest since Nov. 26, 2010. It was at 52.1 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London. That’s equal to $8.03 a million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

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

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

BASE METALS

Copper futures rose for the first time in three days after U.S. employment growth topped estimates by analysts, signaling gains for the economy and metal demand.

Copper futures for March delivery rose 0.2 percent to $3.435 a pound on the Comex. The price dropped 2.9 percent in the previous two days.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months gained 0.5 percent to $7,580 a metric ton ($3.44 a pound).

Aluminum, nickel and zinc also gained on the LME, while lead dropped and tin was unchanged.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton rose for the seventh time in eight sessions on prospects for a smaller-than-expected crop from India, the world’s second-biggest grower.

Cotton futures for March delivery rose 1.2 percent to 95.86 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. This week, the fiber climbed 4.4 percent, the third straight gain.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery advanced 0.7 percent to settle at 23.29 cents a pound. The price was little changed this week.

Cocoa futures for March delivery were unchanged at $2,028 a metric ton after touching $2,003, the lowest since Dec. 12. The price, down 3.8 percent this week, has slumped 28 percent in the past 12 months.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery rose 1 percent to $2.2175 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $2.166, the lowest since Dec. 19. The commodity dropped 2.2 percent this week.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.7775 a pound. The price gained 5.2 percent this week.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS <GO>

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell for the second straight day as speculation that Europe is headed for a recession overshadowed concern that tensions with Iran may lead to a disruption in Middle East shipments.

Oil futures for February delivery fell 0.3 percent to $101.56 a barrel on the Nymex, the lowest settlement since Dec. 30. The contract climbed 2.8 percent this week.

Brent-oil futures for February settlement increased 0.3 percent to $113.06 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. By Sherry Su

Royal Dutch Plc sold two cargoes of North Sea Forties crude at less than dated Brent, the first time the grade changed hands at a discount in six weeks. Gunvor Group Ltd. failed to buy Russian Urals in northwest Europe for the second day even after it raised the bid.

Exports of the North Sea Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes, which make up the benchmark dated Brent, in February will be 2.6 percent less than this month, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

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>

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil rose after the Labor Department reported job gains and a lower unemployment rate, indicating demand may increase, and as European and U.S. refinery shutdowns reduce fuel supplies.

Heating-oil futures for February rose 1 percent to $3.0702 a gallon on the Nymex. The price increased 4.6 percent this week.

Gasoline futures for February delivery rose 0.6 percent to $2.7516 a gallon. The price gained 2.4 percent this week.

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>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures fell, ending the longest rally in 10 weeks, as the dollar’s surge eroded demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.

Gold futures for February delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $1,616.80 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price climbed in the previous four days, the longest rally since late October.

Silver futures for March delivery declined 2.1 percent to $28.683 an ounce on the Comex. This week, the metal climbed 2.8 percent, halting a slump since early December.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery fell 4.7 percent to $614 an ounce, the biggest drop since Dec. 14. Platinum futures for April delivery declined 0.7 percent to $1,408.20 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans fell, capping the biggest two-day drop in six weeks, on speculation that a faltering global economy will damp prospects for commodity consumption.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 1 percent to $11.965 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. In two days, the price dropped 2.7 percent, the most since the end of November. The oilseed fell 0.9 percent this week.

Corn futures for March delivery were unchanged at $6.435 a bushel. The grain fell 0.5 percent this week after a two-week gain of 11 percent.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $6.2475 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. After dropping for three straight days, prices slid 4.3 percent for the week, the most since Dec. 9.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

LIVESTOCK

Cattle futures dropped to the lowest in more than two weeks on signs of slowing demand from U.S. beef processors.

Cattle futures for February delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1.20325 a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching $1.2015, the lowest since Dec. 21. Prices fell 0.9 percent this week, the second straight loss. The commodity is up 13 percent in the past year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement dropped 0.6 percent to $1.49875 a pound. Yesterday, prices reached a record $1.521.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.1 percent to 83.9 cents a pound. The price, down 0.5 percent this week, has climbed 5.2 percent in the past 12 months.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS <GO>

--With assistance from Sherry Su and Ben Farey in London, Barbara Powell in Dallas, Jeff Wilson, Whitney McFerron and Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago and Debarati Roy, Mark Shenk, Christine Buurma, Marvin G. Perez and Joe Richter in New York. Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Daniel Enoch

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick McKiernan in New York at pmckiernan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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