Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 0.4 percent to 663.08 at 4:52 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.4 percent at 1,592.379.
Copper rose in New York, extending its best start to a year since 2003, as stronger gauges of manufacturing in China and India bolstered demand prospects.
Copper for March delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $3.839 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices advanced 10 percent in January, the most since October. Copper for three-month delivery rose 1.5 percent to $8,446.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.
Nickel for three-month delivery on the LME was 0.5 percent higher at $20,955 a ton. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s fourth- largest producer, said it will reduce mining activity at its West Australian operations by 30 percent because of weak prices and gains by the Australian dollar.
Aluminum, zinc and lead rose in London. Tin fell.
Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS
U.K. natural gas for immediate delivery advanced as colder weather boosted heating demand and Centrica Plc’s South Morecambe field halted.
Within-day gas added as much as 1 pence to 61 pence a therm, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The contract climbed 15 percent in January.
Temperatures in London may dip as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius on Feb. 3, CustomWeather data show. Power for tomorrow increased 3.5 percent to 48.40 pounds ($76.25) a megawatt-hour, broker data show.
Natural gas futures fell for a third day in New York after Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. gas producer, said it hasn’t curbed drilling even though rising U.S. output and mild weather drove prices to a 10-year low.
Gas has dropped 19 percent this year, the biggest loser on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index.
Natural gas for March delivery fell 8.4 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $2.419 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dropping to $2.355. Prices dropped to $2.231 per million Btu on Jan. 23, the lowest intraday price since February 2002.
U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET
Gold futures in New York climbed to the highest price in almost eight weeks as Europe’s lingering debt crisis and a weaker dollar spurred demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.
Gold futures for April delivery gained 0.6 percent to $1,750 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after reaching $1,754, the highest since Dec. 8. Before today, the metal was up 30 percent in the past year.
Gold climbed 10 percent in 2011, an 11th consecutive annual gain, reaching a record $1,923.70 in September, as investors sought to diversify from equities and some currencies.
Silver futures for March delivery rose 1.9 percent to $33.91 an ounce in New York. Yesterday, the price touched $34.13, the highest since Nov. 16.
Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS
Oil prices pared gains after an Energy Department report showed that U.S. inventories climbed and gasoline demand tumbled to the lowest level in a decade. test the $97.50 area.”
Crude oil for March delivery rose 7 cents to $98.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $98.95 before release of the inventory report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.
Brent crude oil for March settlement climbed $1.23, or 1.1 percent, to $112.21 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS
Raw sugar for March delivery climbed 0.2 percent to 23.68 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The sweetener plunged 27 percent last year.
Cocoa for March delivery retreated 2.4 percent to $2,236 a metric ton on ICE. The main chocolate ingredient rose 8.6 percent in January, after tumbling 31 percent in 2011.
Arabica coffee for March delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $2.14 a pound on ICE, heading for a fifth decline in six sessions. Before today, the price fell 5.2 percent this year.
In London futures trading, white, or refined sugar and cocoa sank, while robusta coffee gained on NYSE Liffe.
Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS
European gasoline rose to the highest in more than four months as Mercuria Energy Trading SA bought on the barge market. The motor fuel’s premium to Brent crude, or crack, declined.
BP Plc provided a crude cargo for Petroplus Holdings AG’s U.K. Coryton refinery, allowing operations to continue, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp traded from $1010 to $1012 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That’s the highest since Sept. 19 and compares with deals from $993.50 to $999 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The fuel rose 7.8 percent in January, extending a 2.4 percent gain in December.
Gasoline futures reduced gains after the Energy Department reported demand for the fuel sank to the lowest level since September 2001 and stockpiles increased more than projected last week.
Gasoline for March delivery rose 2.81 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.919 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was $2.9414 before the report’s release at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.
Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.7 cent to $3.45 yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices are 11 percent higher than a year earlier.
March-delivery heating oil gained 1.56 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.0665 a gallon, from $3.0808 before the report.
Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL
Wheat futures rose to a four-month high as sub-zero temperatures spread across Russia and parts of Europe, raising concern that winter crops may suffer damage where snow is insufficient to insulate fields.
Wheat futures for March delivery climbed 1.6 percent to $6.765 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $6.8375, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 20.
Corn futures climbed 1.3 percent to $6.475 a bushel, and soybeans gained 1.1 percent to $12.125 a bushel.
Grain markets: NI GRMKTS
Hog futures rose to a two-month high on speculation that accelerating growth in China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, will boost demand for U.S. supplies of the meat. Cattle were little changed.
Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.5 percent to 89.3 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached 89.7 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 2.
Cattle futures for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1.28525 a pound in Chicago. Before today, prices were up 13 percent in the past year.
Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement slid 0.1 percent to $1.55375 a pound. Earlier, the price reached a record $1.559.
Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS
--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane
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