Bloomberg News

Oil Declines as Saudis Deny Sabotage: Commodities at Close

March 02, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 1.5 percent to 702.49 by 5:19 p.m. in London. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials declined 0.8 percent to 1,643.42.

CRUDE OIL

Oil fell for the first time in three days after Saudi Arabia denied a report of a pipeline explosion in its Eastern province and as the dollar headed for its biggest weekly gain in almost two months.

Crude oil for April delivery dropped $2.26, or 2.1 percent, to $106.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 2.9 percent this week.

Brent oil for April settlement slipped $2.48, or 2 percent, to $123.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It surged to $128.40 yesterday, the highest intraday price since July 2008.

Crude oil futures: NI CRMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold headed for the biggest weekly decline since mid- December as a stronger dollar lowered appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment. Silver also fell.

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,715.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices fell 1.7 percent last month after the biggest one-day drop in 11 weeks on Feb. 29 as the Federal Reserve gave no signal of additional economic stimulus.

Silver futures for May delivery on the Comex fell 1.8 percent to $35 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell on signs of ample supplies as inventories rose to the highest in at least nine years in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.

Copper futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $3.918 a pound on the Comex in New York. The price still headed for the second straight weekly gain. Before today, the metal climbed 14 percent this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.4 percent to $8,592 a ton ($3.90 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc and nickel also fell in London. Tin and lead advanced.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cocoa fell, heading for the first weekly decline in three weeks, on speculation that rain will improve crop prospects in West Africa, the world’s biggest producing region. Coffee also declined, while sugar rose.

Cocoa for May delivery fell 1.2 percent to $2,338 a metric ton on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. A settlement at that price would leave prices down 0.8 percent for the week, halting a two- week rally.

Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery fell 0.8 percent to $2.025 a pound in New York, down for the second day in three.

Raw-sugar futures for May delivery advanced 0.9 percent to 25.08 cents a pound on ICE, heading for the first gain in four days.

In London futures trading, cocoa declined, while robusta coffee and refined sugar advanced on NYSE Liffe.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures advanced in New York for a third day this week as the power-plant fuel helped fill the gap left by 18 offline U.S. nuclear reactors.

Natural gas for April delivery rose 0.7 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $2.47 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed to $2.505 earlier. Futures have declined 3.1 percent this week.

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

GRAINS

Corn dropped for a second day on signs that farmer sales will rise in the U.S. and South America and as a stronger dollar reduced the appeal of commodities. Soybeans gained for a 10th session.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $6.51 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after falling 0.6 percent yesterday. On Feb. 29, the grain touched $6.615, the highest since Jan. 9.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 0.3 percent to $13.2675 a bushel in Chicago. Prices are headed for a 10th straight gain, which would be the longest rally since July. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.2775, the highest for the most- active contract since Sept. 21.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline retreated from a nine-month high after a Saudi Arabian official late yesterday said there was no sabotage of any oil facility, following reports of a fire in a pipeline.

Gasoline for April delivery fell 5.84 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.2933 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $3.3868 yesterday after the close of floor trading.

April-delivery heating oil declined 5.47 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.2206 a gallon on the exchange. Prices have risen 9.7 percent this year.

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

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures rose to a one-week high on signs of increasing demand for U.S. pork as consumers seek alternatives to more expensive beef. Cattle was little changed.

Hog futures for April settlement rose 0.2 percent to 90.4 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached 90.65, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 22.

Cattle futures for April delivery slid less than 0.1 percent to $1.30925 a pound. Before today, the price rose 7.8 percent this year.

Feeder-cattle futures for April settlement dropped 0.1 percent to $1.61675 a pound. Earlier, the price rose to a record $1.6205.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net


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