Bloomberg News

Gasoline Slides on Iran Nuclear Talks: Commodities at Close

April 16, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 1 percent to 675.59 at 4:17 p.m. New York time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials lost 0.9 percent to 1,562.372.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline fell the most in six weeks as international talks with Iran on April 14 over its nuclear program resulted in an agreement to reconvene in May, easing concern that crude supplies will be disrupted.

Gasoline dropped 2.4 percent, following Brent lower after the two lead negotiators, Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear envoy, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, called the talks constructive. Gasoline and Brent have risen this year as tension with Iran escalated and the U.S. and EU imposed sanctions on that country’s oil exports.

Gasoline for May delivery fell 7.91 cents to settle at $3.267 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil for May delivery declined 5.8 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $3.1166 a gallon, the first loss in four trading days.

CRUDE OIL

Oil rose as the reversal date for the Seaway crude pipeline was moved up, causing the spread between New York-traded futures and Brent in London to narrow. Retail sales in the U.S. increased more than forecast in March.

The price gap between the June contracts for U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent was the smallest since February, narrowing to $15.31.

Crude for May delivery gained 10 cents to settle at $102.93 a barrel on the Nymex. Brent oil for June settlement fell $2.53, or 2.1 percent, to $118.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures declined for a second straight session in New York as U.S. equities climbed, eroding demand for the precious metal as a safe haven.

Gold for June delivery slid 0.6 percent to settle at $1,649.70 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The precious metal has retreated 1.3 percent this month.

Silver futures for May delivery on the Comex fell 1.7 cents to $31.373 an ounce.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas rose for the first time in five days as the outlook for cooler-than-normal weather in late April signaled increased demand for the heating and power-plant fuel.

Gas gained 1.8 percent as temperatures will be below-normal over the next six- to 10-day period, according to the National Weather Service. U.S. stockpiles ended March at a record level for the month.

Natural gas for May delivery rose 3.5 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $2.016 per million British thermal units on the Nymex.

BASE METALS

Copper fell to a three-month low in London on signs that the debt crisis in Europe may worsen, dimming demand prospects.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months dropped 0.1 percent to $7,984.50 a metric ton ($3.62 a pound).

Nickel, tin and aluminum also dropped in London. Lead and zinc gained.

On the Comex in New York, copper for May delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to settle at $3.628 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

GRAINS

Corn extended a slump to a two-week low and soybeans had their biggest drop in almost a month on speculation that favorable weather will bolster crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter.

Corn futures for July delivery declined 1.2 percent to close at $6.1325 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for July delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $14.2425 a bushel on the CBOT, the biggest drop since March 20.

Wheat fell, capping the biggest two-session drop this month, on speculation that weekend rainfall boosted U.S. crop prospects in the Great Plains and Midwest.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 1.4 percent to close at $6.2125 a bushel on the CBOT.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures slid to the lowest level since late December amid signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., while expected rainfall boosted the outlook for crops in Texas. Orange juice advanced while sugar sank to a 10-month low.

Cotton for July delivery tumbled 2.8 percent to settle at 87.25 cents a pound at 3:15 p.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.

Orange-juice futures for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1.4625 a pound on ICE.

Raw sugar for July delivery tumbled 2.2 percent to settle at 22.31 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $1.7585 a pound on ICE.

Cocoa futures for July delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $2,226 a metric ton in New York.

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures declined, marking the biggest two-session drop since May, on signs of slowing demand for U.S. pork. Cattle prices rose.

Hog futures for June settlement fell 1.7 percent to settle at 88.725 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices have slumped 4.8 percent since April 12.

Cattle futures for June delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1.1615 a pound on the CME.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.2 percent to $1.55475 a pound in Chicago.

To contact the reporters on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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