The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials tumbled into a bear market, falling 2.8 percent to settle at 559 at 3:56 p.m. in New York. The index has plunged 22 percent from 715.52, this year’s highest close on Feb. 24.
The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 2.2 percent to 1,409.06.
Crude oil tumbled below $80 a barrel as economic reports increased concern that demand will slow amid rising supplies.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for August delivery fell 4 percent to $78.20 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Oct. 4.
Brent oil for August settlement slid 3.3 percent to $89.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Vitol Group withdrew its earlier offer for North Sea Forties blend at a higher price than yesterday. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals in the Mediterranean or northwest Europe for the second straight day.
CPC Corp., a Taiwanese state-run oil company, bought 5 million barrels of Angolan crude for loading in August and 1 million of Caspian Azeri Light via a tender, according to five traders who participate in the market.
Gold plunged, erasing this year’s gains, after the Federal Reserve’s failure to announce further debt purchases eroded demand for the metal as an alternative asset.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for August delivery dropped 3.1 percent to $1,565.50 an ounce, the biggest slump for a most-active contract since April 4.
Silver futures for July delivery slid 5.5 percent to $26.839 an ounce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery fell 1.9 percent to $1,438.60 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery slipped 1.8 percent to $608.55 an ounce.
Cotton futures had the biggest plunge in almost 21 years on mounting concern that demand will slow amid signs the world economy is cooling.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for December delivery plummeted by the exchange limit of 5 cents, or 6.9 percent, to 67.71 cents a pound, the biggest drop since June 28, 1991.
Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery climbed 4.2 percent to $1.588 a pound.
Raw-sugar futures for October delivery slid 0.9 percent 20.79 cents a pound.
Cocoa futures for September delivery dropped 1 percent to $2,147 a metric ton.
Orange-juice futures for September delivery declined 1.1 percent to $1.155 a pound.
Copper had the biggest drop in 11 weeks on speculation that demand will weaken as the Chinese economy slows and U.S. stimulus measures fall short in boosting growth.
On the Comex, copper futures for September delivery declined 2.6 percent to $3.3065 a pound, the biggest loss since April 4.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 2.7 percent to $7,341 a ton ($3.33 a pound).
Aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin also fell in London.
Heating oil slid to a 17-month low as manufacturing weakened in Europe and China and more Americans than forecast filed for jobless claims, indicating that fuel demand may decline.
On the Nymex, heating-oil futures sank 2.4 percent to $2.5253 a gallon.
Gasoline futures for July delivery slipped 1.5 percent to $2.5501 a gallon.
Soybeans and corn posted their biggest declines in more than two weeks on speculation that Midwest rains and forecasts for cooler temperatures will aid developing crops in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for November delivery, after the U.S. harvest, fell 1.7 percent to $13.7125 a bushel, the biggest drop since May 31.
Corn futures for December delivery declined 2.9 percent to $5.50 a bushel, the most since June 5.
Wheat futures for September delivery slid 0.7 percent to $6.785 a bushel.
Cattle fell the most in a week on speculation that consumer demand for beef will decline because of slowing economic growth in the U.S.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for August delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1.1655, the biggest loss since June 14.
Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement slipped 0.1 percent to $1.5265 a pound.
Hog futures for August settlement fell less than 0.1 percent to 92.125 cents a pound.
Natural gas rose for the first time in three days after a government report showed that U.S. stockpiles increased less than expected.
On the Nymex, gas futures for July delivery rose 2.6 percent to $2.582 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas for winter delivery fell to a 16-month low as the price of oil slumped.
Gas fell 0.45 pence, or 0.7 percent, to 63.45 pence a therm as of 4:37 p.m. London time. That’s equivalent to $9.92 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
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