Bloomberg News

Natural Gas Falls, Biggest Loser in 2012: Commodities at Close

February 07, 2012

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 1.1 percent to 675.64 at 5:18 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.4 percent at 1,619.577. In the GSCI, natural gas was down the most, at 3.4 percent, and oil in New York was the biggest gainer, up 1.9 percent.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures declined in New York on speculation that government data will show a smaller-than-normal withdrawal from inventories, boosting a surplus of the fuel over the five- year average.

Natural gas for February delivery fell 3.3 percent to $2.467 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures have declined 17 percent this year, making gas the worst-performing commodity on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index.

U.K. natural gas: NI NUKMKT Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET European natural gas: NI EGASMARKET

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose as the dollar weakened after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that the jobs market is far from healthy.

Oil for March delivery rose 1.9 percent to $98.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $95.84. Prices have slipped 23 cents this year.

Brent oil for March settlement gained 73 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $116.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper rebounded, rising 0.1 percent to $8,512.25 a metric ton.

Tin for delivery in three months rose 3.9 percent to $25,449 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, after touching $25,495, the highest since Aug. 5.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil surged to the highest level since May as colder weather in Europe boosted gasoil futures.

March-delivery heating oil rose 2.36 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.1943 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $3.2208, the highest intraday level since May 3.

February gasoil rose $8 to $996.25 a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. The contract traded at as much as $2.25 a metric ton more than March, the biggest spread since Jan. 12.

Gasoline for March delivery gained 0.98 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $2.9377 a gallon on the exchange.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, was unchanged at $3.48 yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices were 11 percent above a year earlier.

Front-month gasoil’s premium to the second-month futures contract, a price structure known as backwardation, rose to the widest in almost a month as cold weather in Europe boosted demand for the heating fuel.

BP Plc plans to halt its Castellon oil refinery in Spain in May for maintenance. Gasoline barge prices rose.

Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp traded at $1,016 to $1,020 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with deals at $1,006 to $1,016 yesterday.

Oil Products Europe: NI OPEMKT Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures fell the most in a week as demand slumped in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Orange juice also slid.

Cotton for March delivery dropped 1.5 percent to 94.87 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Jan. 30. Before today, the price tumbled 43 percent in the past 12 months.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery fell 3.5 percent to $1.944 a pound in New York. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop since Jan. 12. The commodity rose to a record $2.2695 on Jan. 23.

Robusta coffee prices jumped as much as 3.2 percent as limited sales from Vietnam, the largest producer, have eroded stockpiles.

Robusta coffee for March delivery climbed 2.7 percent to $1,880 a metric ton on NYSE Liffe. The 3.2 percent jump was the biggest jump since Jan. 20.

Sugar fell in New York on speculation that output in Brazil and exports from India, the world’s two biggest producers, are set to increase. Cocoa dropped.

Raw sugar for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to 24.17 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Refined, or white, sugar for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $624.40 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London.

Cocoa for March delivery in New York slid 0.9 percent to $2,242 a ton. The chocolate ingredient for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to 1,461 pounds ($2,309) a ton in London.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures for April delivery rose $7.30, or 0.4 percent, to $1,732.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the metal fell as much as 0.7 percent.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Wheat futures fell for the third time in four sessions on speculation that wet weather in the U.S. Great Plains will boost the prospects for dry winter crops.

Wheat futures for March delivery fell 1.6 percent to $6.58 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Before today, the most- active contract was up 2.4 percent this year on speculation dry weather and sub-zero temperatures would hurt crops in parts of Russia and Europe.

Corn declined on speculation that rain will improve yield potential in Argentina and Brazil, reducing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Soybeans were little changed.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 0.5 percent to $6.4125 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the first two-day drop since Jan. 13. On Feb. 1, the price touched $6.50, the highest since Jan. 12, on speculation that dry weather would reduce South American yields.

Soybean futures for March delivery were little changed, up less than 0.1 percent at $12.3325 a bushel in Chicago, after dropping as much as 0.5 percent. Before today, the price gained 4 percent in the past five sessions. Yesterday, the most-active contract touched $12.44, the highest since Jan. 3.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures for April settlement fell 0.1 percent to 88.45 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Cattle futures for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1.2785 a pound.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.2 percent to $1.54375 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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