Bloomberg News

Oil Caps Longest Rally in Two Years: Commodities at Close

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 1.1 percent to 715.52 at 5:45 p.m. in New York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials was up 0.7 percent at 1,655.928.

CRUDE OIL

Oil capped its longest rally since January 2010 as escalating tension with Iran threatens supplies and on signs of a global economic recovery.

Futures advanced above $109 a barrel for the first time in nine months as sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation make it more difficult to sell oil. Iran dismissed UN atomic inspectors’ concerns that nuclear-weapons work is occurring, a document acquired by Bloomberg News showed. U.S., French and South Korean consumer confidence gained, reports showed today.

Crude oil for April delivery rose $1.94, or 1.8 percent, to $109.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since May 3. The front-month contract increased 6.3 percent this week. Crude’s seven-day advance was the longest since the period ended Jan. 6, 2010.

Brent oil for April settlement gained $1.85, or 1.5 percent, to end the session at $125.47 a barrel on the London- based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the highest settlement since April 29.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper climbed to a one-week high after economic reports signaled improving prospects for demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest metals consumer after China.

Copper futures for May delivery gained 1.5 percent to settle at $3.87 a pound on the Comex in New York, after reaching $3.889, the highest level since Feb. 13. Prices rose 4.1 percent this week.

Trading in Comex copper futures rose to a daily record of 117,165 contracts on Feb. 21, compared with a previous high of 109,426 on Feb. 9, exchange data show.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 1.7 percent to $8,530.50 a metric ton ($3.87 a pound). Aluminum, nickel, lead and zinc also rose. Tin fell.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures fell for the first time this week as demand for a haven eased amid signs of gains in the U.S. economy.

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.6 percent to settle at $1,776.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Yesterday, the metal reached $1,789.50, the highest level for a most-active contract since Nov. 14. The price advanced 2.9 percent this week.

Silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $35.42 an ounce on the Comex. Earlier, the price reached $35.80, the highest level since Sept. 23. The metal, up 6.4 percent this week, has surged 27 percent this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,715.10 an ounce. The metal gained 5 percent this week.

Palladium futures for March delivery declined 1.1 percent to $710.75 an ounce. The metal climbed 3.3 percent this week.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures gained for the first time in three days after export sales jumped in the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper. Orange juice climbed.

Cotton for May delivery rose 1 percent to close at 90.15 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price, down 2.7 percent this week, has slumped 49 percent in the past 12 months as global production outpaced demand.

Orange-juice futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1.84 a pound in New York. The commodity, up 1.6 percent this week, has advanced 8.9 percent in 2012.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures declined in New York, posting the biggest weekly drop since Feb. 3, as forecasts for warmer-than- usual weather east of the Rocky Mountains over the next two weeks signaled reduced purchases of the furnace fuel.

Gas futures fell 7.1 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.55 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since Feb. 15. Gas fell 5 percent this week and has dropped 15 percent this year.

Gas market: NI GASMARKET Americas natural gas: NI AGASMARKET

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans rose to a five-month high on signs that record exports will reduce reserves to a three-year low. Corn and wheat rose on signs that demand rebounded.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 0.3 percent to settle at $12.8675 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $12.9175, the highest for a most- active contract since Sept. 22. The oilseed has advanced 6.5 percent this year after adverse weather damaged crops in Brazil and Argentina.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.2 percent to $6.44 a bushel in Chicago. The grain has declined 7.5 percent in the past 12 months as record global wheat production reduced demand for U.S. supplies in livestock feed.

Wheat futures for May delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to $6.4125 a bushel. The grain has declined 18 percent in the past year.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline futures rose to the highest level since July as stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week and as crude oil rallied.

March-delivery gasoline rose 3.92 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.1528 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since July 26. Gasoline has gained 4.5 percent this week and 17 percent in 2012.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 3.5 cents to $3.647 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. Prices were 13 percent higher than a year earlier.

Heating oil for March delivery rose 2.1 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $3.3159 a gallon on the exchange, the highest price since April 8. Prices increased 4 percent this week and 13 percent in 2012.

Gasoline: NI GASOLINE Heating oil: NI HEATOIL

LIVESTOCK

Hogs prices rose on speculation that demand for U.S. ham is increasing before the Easter holiday. Cattle fell.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.1 percent to settle at 89.725 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The commodity has climbed 6.4 percent this year.

Cattle futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1.295 a pound on the CME after reaching $1.293, the lowest level since Feb. 16. Prices fell 1.1 percent this week, the biggest decline this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.57675 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

--With assistance from Claudia Carpenter in London and Mark Shenk, Debarati Roy and Naureen S. Malik in New York. Editors: Margot Habiby, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Gene Laverty in Calgary at glaverty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net


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