Bloomberg News

Crude Climbs; Gold Prices Rise; Gas Falls: Commodities at Close

February 01, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.8 percent to 666.11 at 6 p.m. Singapore time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 0.6 percent to 1,595.835 yesterday.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose in New York after China’s manufacturing index unexpectedly rose, boosting optimism that the world’s second- biggest crude consumer is withstanding Europe’s debt crisis.

Crude for March delivery increased as much as 51 cents to $98.99 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $98.97 at 4:40 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday declined 0.3 percent to $98.48 a barrel, the lowest since Jan. 20. Prices slid 0.4 percent in January, falling for a second month.

Brent oil for March settlement gained 56 cents to $111.54 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate futures traded at $12.51, compared with a record spread of $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS <GO>

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas for March delivery fell 21 cents, or 7.7 percent, to settle at $2.503 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day percentage loss since Oct. 1, 2009. The monthly drop was the most for a January since a 21 percent decline in 2009. U.S. natural gas market: NI NUSMKT <GO>

OIL PRODUCTS

High-sulfur fuel oil swaps for March fell $16.25, or 2.3 percent, to $692.75 a metric ton at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. That’s the biggest drop since Nov. 21.

Fuel oil lost $1.68 to $2.07 a barrel below Asian marker Dubai crude, PVM data showed. Yesterday, this crack spread turned negative for the first time in five days, indicating losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures increased $1.51 to $138.39 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of refining profit, is the widest since Sept. 28.

Benchmark naphtha swaps were up $4, or 0.4 percent, at $977 a ton, based on PVM data. The petrochemical feedstock rose 7.5 percent in January, up for the third month.

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Dubai crude climbed 14 cents to $18.77 a barrel, according to PVM. This crack spread widened for the fifth day in six. Oil products market: NI OPAMKT <GO>

PRECIOUS METALS

Bullion for immediate delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1,743.07 an ounce by 9:12 a.m. in London. It reached $1,747.79 yesterday, the highest price since Dec. 8. Gold for April delivery was up 0.3 percent at $1,745.70 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery rose 1.4 percent to $33.6494 an ounce after reaching $34.105 yesterday, the highest price since Nov. 16. It’s the best-performing precious metal this year with a gain of 21 percent.

Palladium increased 0.7 percent to $690 an ounce. Platinum was 0.8 percent higher at $1,601.50 an ounce. It climbed to $1,631.75 yesterday, the highest price since Nov. 16.Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS <GO>

BASE METALS

The metal for delivery in three months rose as much as 0.5 percent to $8,360 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $8,308.50 at 1:44 p.m. Shanghai time. March-delivery copper fell 0.2 percent to $3.7820 per pound on the Comex. market on prices.’’

Copper climbed 3.7 percent last week, helping to take gains in January to 9.5 percent, the best performance since October. The metal’s best start to a year since 2008 may stall as China is likely to buy less in the coming months, according to a report from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. yesterday.

April-delivery copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.4 percent to 59,760 yuan ($9,475) per ton. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4 to 2,282.89.

On the LME, aluminum rose 0.5 percent to $2,249 a ton, while zinc fell 0.4 percent to $2,098 a ton. Lead declined 0.7 percent to $2,198 a ton, nickel dropped 0.8 percent to $20,679 per ton, and tin lost 1.2 percent to $24,050 per ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS <GO>

GRAINS, SOFT COMMODITIES, LIVESTOCK

Wheat climbed to the highest in more than four months on concerns that frost in parts of the Black Sea region may harm crops and as Russia said it will discuss a tax on grain exports, potentially curbing global supplies.

Wheat for March delivery advanced as much as 1.4 percent to $6.75 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price for a most-active contract since Sept. 21. It traded at $6.7175 at 3:20 p.m. Singapore time. Futures gained 2 percent last month.

Corn for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $6.4375 a bushel after rallying 1.2 percent yesterday. Soybeans for March delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $12.055 a bushel. The oilseed jumped 1.2 percent yesterday.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 2 percent to close at 88.875 cents a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain for the most-active contract since Oct. 14.

Wholesale pork in China, the world’s biggest consumer, climbed 0.9 percent in the week ended Jan. 22 from a week earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said today.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.6 percent to $1.28575 a pound in Chicago. This month, the price climbed 5.9 percent, the biggest January gain since 2002.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement advanced 0.8 percent to $1.55525 a pound. Earlier, the price reached a record $1.558.

Orange juice for March delivery advanced 0.1 percent to settle at $2.10 a pound at yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. This month, the price surged 24 percent, the biggest January increase since 1981.

Cocoa for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to close at $2,291 a ton yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Yesterday, prices plunged 5.2 percent on a report that Ivory Coast will start selling beans before the next harvest season begins in October.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 0.9 percent to 23.64 cents a pound in New York. Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery fell 0.7 percent to $2.1505 a pound on ICE. In London futures trading, cocoa gained on NYSE Liffe. Robusta coffee and refined sugar slipped. 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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