Bloomberg News

Oil, Hogs Fall; Gold, Natural Gas Rise: Commodities at Close

May 18, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.2 percent to 629.5 at 4 p.m. New York time. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,496.79.

CRUDE OIL

Oil dropped to a six-month low in New York on concern that Greece will have to leave the euro, deepening Europe’s debt crunch and curbing fuel demand.

Crude oil for June delivery fell $1.08 to $91.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Oct. 26. Prices retreated 4.8 percent this week and are down 7.4 percent this year.

Brent oil for July settlement declined 35 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $107.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

NATURAL GAS

Natural-gas futures climbed to a four-month high as forecasts for warmer-than-normal weather into June signaled increased power-plant demand.

Natural gas for June delivery advanced 14.8 cents to $2.742 per million British thermal units on the Nymex, the highest settlement price since Jan. 11. Futures have rebounded 44 percent from a 10-year intraday low last month on expectations that power plants will burn a record amount of gas this year.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose on speculation that the May 28 U.S. Memorial holiday, the traditional kickoff of the summer driving season, will boost demand for the motor fuel.

Gasoline for June delivery rose 1.13 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $2.8895 a gallon on the Nymex. Prices lost 3.7 percent this week.

Heating oil, traded as a surrogate for diesel, slid 0.7 percent to $2.83 a gallon, the lowest level since December.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold rose to a one-week high on renewed speculation that the Federal Reserve will announce more stimulus to boost the U.S. economy, increasing demand for the precious metal as an inflation hedge.

Gold futures for June delivery gained 1.1 percent to settle at $1,591.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal is up 1.6 percent for the year, heading for a 12th straight annual gain.

Silver futures for July delivery rose 2.5 percent to $28.715 an ounce on the Comex.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for July delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $1,459.30 an ounce, rising for the second straight day. Palladium futures for June delivery fell 0.4 percent to $603.60 an ounce.

BASE METALS

Copper fell in New York, capping the biggest weekly drop this year, on concern that Europe’s worsening debt crisis and a slowing U.S. economy will cool demand for the metal.

Copper futures for July delivery slid 0.3 percent to settle at $3.4685 a pound on the Comex in New York. Prices slumped 4.9 percent this week, the biggest drop since Dec. 16.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months advanced less than 0.1 percent to $7,650 a ton ($3.47 a pound). Also on the LME, aluminum, tin and lead rose. Nickel and zinc fell.

GRAINS

Wheat futures capped the biggest weekly gain in almost five years on speculation that dry weather in the U.S. and the Black Sea region will hurt crops and limit production. Corn also rose while soybeans fell.

Wheat futures for July delivery gained 5.7 percent to $6.9525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price jumped 16 percent this week, the biggest weekly gain since June 2007.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 1.7 percent to close at $6.355 a bushel. The most-active futures gained 9.4 percent this week, the most since May 20, 2011. Futures for delivery in December, after the harvest, rose 1.7 percent to $5.37.

Soybean futures for July delivery, the most actively traded and widely held contract, dropped 2.3 percent to $14.05 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest loss since May 11. The price fell 0.1 percent this week, the third straight slide. The oilseed for delivery in November, after the harvest, fell 1.4 percent at $12.88.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton futures rose the most in a month on speculation that a recent price slump will prompt farmers to plant fewer crops in the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Orange juice fell.

Cotton for July delivery advanced 1.7 percent to settle at 77.99 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the biggest gain since April 18. The fiber dropped 1.2 percent this week, the third straight decline.

Orange juice for July delivery dropped 3.4 percent to settle at $1.022 after reaching 97.1 cents, the lowest level for a most-active contract since October 2009. The price has plunged 28 percent in May, heading for the biggest decline since November 1968.

Cocoa for July delivery slid 3 percent to settle at $2,224 a metric ton.

LIVESTOCK

Hog futures fell for the first time in a week on signs of increasing U.S. pork supplies as warmer weather leads to heavier animals that yield more meat. Cattle prices extended a rally to a seven-week high.

Hog futures for July settlement slid 0.2 percent to settle at 88.575 cents a pound at 1 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That’s the first decline since May 10 and leaves the contract up 4 percent for the week.

Cattle futures for August delivery rose 1.6 percent to settle at $1.21925 a pound in Chicago. Prices climbed 3.6 percent this week, the biggest gain since Jan. 13.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement climbed 0.5 percent to $1.607 a pound in Chicago after reaching $1.6125, the highest price since March 5.

With assistance from Christine Buurma, Mark Shenk, Marvin G. Perez, Joe Richter and Debarati Roy in New York; Elizabeth Campbell and Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago, Isis Almeida and Maria Kolesnikova in London; Barbara J Powell in Dallas and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne. Editors:

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

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


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