Bloomberg News

Oil Trades Near $100, Natural Gas Rises: Commodities at Close

January 24, 2012

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities slid 0.2 percent to 657.81 at 5:48 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was little changed at 1,581.084.

CRUDE OIL

Oil traded near $100 a barrel in New York on concern Iran may respond to a European embargo on its crude exports by following through on threats to disrupt Persian Gulf shipping.

Crude for March delivery rose as much as 60 cents to $100.18 a barrel and was at $99.80 at 9:10 a.m. London time. It settled at 99.58 yesterday, the highest since Jan. 19. Brent oil for March settlement was at $110.67 a barrel, up 9 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $10.87 today, compared with a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas, the worst-performing commodity in 2012, rose for a third day in New York after Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer, said it will cut production and reduce spending. Natural gas for February delivery climbed as much as 6.6 cents to $2.591 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was at $2.579 at 3:58 a.m. in New York. It settled yesterday at $2.525 per million Btu. The futures are down 14 percent this year. U.S. natural gas market: NI NUSMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold bullion for immediate delivery fell $2.80, or 0.2 percent, to $1,674.38 an ounce by 9:09 a.m. in London. Gold for February delivery was down 0.2 percent at $1,674.40 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery was little changed at $32.3369 an ounce after reaching $32.785 yesterday, the most since Dec. 8. It’s the best-performing precious metal this year with a gain of 16 percent.

Palladium was down 0.9 percent at $681.50 an ounce after rising to a four-month high of $689.50. Platinum declined 0.5 percent to $1,554.25 an ounce. It earlier today climbed to $1,568.50, the highest price since Dec. 2. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

Three-month copper rose 0.4 percent to $8,395.25 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 3:39 p.m. in Tokyo after gaining 1.8 percent yesterday. The price touched $8,428.50 on Jan. 20, the highest price since Sept. 20. The March-delivery contract advanced 0.3 percent to $3.809 per pound on the Comex. Markets in China are closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

Aluminum climbed 0.3 percent at $2,245.50 a ton in London and lead gained 0.3 percent to $2,250.75 a ton. Zinc rose 1 percent to $2,080 a ton. Nickel advanced 0.9 percent to $20,489 a ton and tin climbed 0.3 percent to $22,222 a ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES, LIVESTOCK

Soybeans for March delivery lost as much as 0.5 percent to $12.11 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and were at $12.1575 at 3:33 p.m. in Singapore. The contract rose 2.6 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 9. Corn for March fell 0.2 percent to $6.19 a bushel.

Wheat futures lost as much as 0.6 percent to $6.16 a bushel and traded little changed at $6.1925.

Arabica coffee for March delivery fell 2.6 percent to settle at $2.1945 pound at 2 p.m. on ICE Futures in New York yesterday, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 13. The commodity has declined 3.3 percent in January.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to 24.96 cents a pound in New York. The price advanced for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since November 2010. The commodity has climbed 7.1 percent in January. Cocoa futures for March delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $2,269 a metric ton in New York. The price has climbed 7.6 percent this month.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery climbed 4.4 percent to close at $2.1995 in New York. Soft commodity markets: NI SOMKTS <GO> Grain markets: NI GRMKTS <GO>

--Editor: Alexander Kwiatkowski

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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