Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Falls to 10-Year Intraday Low: Commodities at Close

January 19, 2012

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.5 percent to 660.83 at 4:56 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 0.5 percent to 1568.786.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose in New York on speculation that shrinking U.S. stockpiles and increasing gasoline consumption indicate fuel demand is rising in the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation.

Crude for February delivery gained as much as $1.03 to $101.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $101.16 at 3:58 p.m. Singapore time. The contract, which expires tomorrow, dropped 12 cents to $100.59 yesterday and is up 2.4 percent this year. The more active March contract advanced 57 cents to $101.33 today.

Brent oil for March settlement rose 38 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $111.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate futures was at $9.71, compared with $9.90 yesterday and a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural-gas prices fell to a 10-year intraday low in New York as forecasts for mild weather in the U.S. signaled a wider stockpile surplus.

Gas slid to $2.402 per million British thermal units, the lowest price since March 4, 2002. Natural gas for February delivery was 4 cents lower, or 1.7 percent, at $2.429 per million Btu at 2:27 p.m. Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. natural gas market: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures increased $2.10 to $113.09 a metric ton at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, is the widest since Sept. 30.

Fuel oil’s discount to Asian marker Dubai crude widened 22 cents to 53 cents a barrel, according to PVM. The gap yesterday was the smallest in Bloomberg records going back to August 2006, signaling reduced losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude was unchanged after dropping to $18.20 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread was the narrowest in two weeks. Oil Products markets: NI OPAMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold advanced for a fourth straight day after the dollar weakened on data that added to signs of a recovering U.S. economy. Palladium and platinum rallied to the highest levels in more than a month.

Spot gold gained as much as 0.4 percent to $1,666.45 an ounce and traded at $1,662.28 at 3:27 p.m. in Singapore. Palladium advanced as much as 0.8 percent to $672.25 an ounce, the highest price since Dec. 12, while platinum climbed as much as 1 percent to $1,538.25 an ounce, the highest since Dec. 5.

Gold for February delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1,662.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York, and December-delivery gold on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.6 percent to 340.67 yuan a gram ($1,677.81 an ounce). Spot silver was little changed at $30.5175 an ounce, near the highest level in a week. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Copper rose to the highest level in four months on better- than-expected U.S. data and signs of credit easing in China, which boosted the demand outlook from the largest user. Other base metals also advanced.

Three-month delivery copper gained for a fourth day, climbing as much as 1.6 percent to $8,372 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, the highest level since Sept. 21, before trading at $8,355 by 3 p.m. Shanghai time. The metal for March- delivery on the Comex in New York climbed as much as 1.5 percent to a four-month high of $3.8085 per pound.

On the LME, aluminum rose 0.8 percent to $2,222 a ton and zinc gained 0.7 percent to $2,015 a ton. Lead advanced 0.4 percent to $2,148.25 per ton, nickel climbed 0.9 percent to $19,670 per ton and tin added 1 percent to $22,001 per ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES, LIVESTOCK

Corn advanced from a one-month low yesterday on speculation rains forecast in Argentina may fail to reverse crop damage in the second-largest shipper.

March-delivery corn added as much as 0.7 percent to $5.9775 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade after declining as much as 1.9 percent yesterday to the lowest price since Dec. 19. It traded at $5.975 at 3:12 p.m. Singapore time.

Wheat for March delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $5.9425 a bushel in Chicago, while soybeans for delivery in the same month gained 0.4 percent to $11.8775 a bushel.

The April delivery palm oil contract dropped as much as 0.9 percent to 3,150 ringgit ($1,016) per metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and ended the morning session at 3,160 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur.

Orange-juice futures rose the most in a week on mounting concern that production will decline in the U.S. while a government probe slows imports. Cotton prices dropped. trouble.’’

Orange juice climbed 3.7 percent to settle at $1.912 a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest increase since Jan. 10.

Cotton futures for March delivery declined 0.7 percent to close at 97.53 cents a pound on ICE. The fiber has climbed 6.2 percent this month.

Raw sugar for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to close at 24 cents a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price jumped 2.5 percent in the previous two sessions.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 0.1 percent to $2.2485 a pound in New York. Cocoa futures for March delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $2,265 a metric ton.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.6 percent to close at 87.925 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, after reaching 88.25 cents, the highest for the most- active contract since Dec. 8.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to close at $1.2665 a pound in Chicago. Yesterday, the price rose to $1.2745, the highest for a most-active contract since the commodity began trading on the CME in 1964. That was the third record this month.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose 0.3 percent to $1.52775 a pound on the CME. Yesterday, prices reached an all-time high of $1.53475. Soft commodity markets: NI SOMKTS <GO> Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

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


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