Commodities rose for the third time in four days, driven by increases in corn and wheat as drought threatens Midwest crops.
The S&P GSCI Index of 24 raw materials climbed as much as 2.3 percent as hot, dry weather in the grain-rich Midwest erodes prospects for output in the world’s biggest grower of the crops. Separately, crude oil jumped as a labor strike may halt all offshore production in Norway, Western Europe’s top exporter.
“It’s more the fear factor than anything else,” said Dan Flynn, a trader at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
The S&P GSCI advanced 1.5 percent to 614.41 at 3:16 p.m. after earlier touching 618.86. Twenty-two of the commodities rose, led by corn, natural gas and coffee.
Corn for December delivery surged 37 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $7.30 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. In intraday trading the price soared by the limit of 40 cents to $7.33.
Natural gas for August delivery gained 10.7 cents, or 3.9 percent, to settle at $2.883 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures tumbled 5.7 percent on July 6, the biggest one-day drop since June 7, after rising to a six-month high of $3.06.
Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery advanced 5.9 cents, or 3.3 percent to $1.8235 a pound on ICE.
Crude oil for August delivery increased $1.54, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $85.99 a barrel in New York. Futures have fallen 13 percent this year.
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