Bloomberg News

Copper Tumbles on China’s Housing Signals: Commodities at Close

July 20, 2012

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials fell 0.4 percent to settle at 651.87 at 4 p.m. in New York, paced by industrial metals.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 prices declined 0.4 percent to 1,573.51.

BASE METALS

Copper futures fell the most in a month after China said it won’t ease restrictions on home purchases, dimming demand prospects from the world’s largest metal-consuming country.

China will seek to keep a “firm grip” on the market to prevent a rebound in housing prices, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The Copper Development Association estimates that 40 percent of world demand comes from construction materials including wire and pipe.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $3.448 a pound, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since June 21.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slid 2.4 percent to $7,545 a ton ($3.42 a pound).

Aluminum, zinc, tin, lead and nickel also fell in London.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle prices fell the most in five weeks on speculation that high feed costs and drought-damaged pastures will force more U.S. ranchers to sell livestock, increasing beef supplies amid weak demand.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for October delivery fell 1 percent to $1.231 a pound, the biggest decline since June 13.

Feeder-cattle futures for August settlement declined 2.2 percent to $1.361 a pound.

Hog futures for October settlement dropped 0.3 percent to 79.8 cents a pound.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil fell for the first time in eight days on concern that European governments aren’t doing enough to contain the worsening debt crisis, raising speculation that demand will ebb.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for August delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $91.44 a barrel.

Brent oil for September settlement retreated 0.9 percent to $106.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Statoil ASA failed to sell North Sea Forties crude at a higher price than yesterday. Glencore International Plc offered Russian Urals in northwest Europe without success at a bigger discount to Dated Brent.

Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. reduced its August official selling price of benchmark Es Sider crude to the lowest level in almost three years, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News.

OIL PRODUCTS

Heating oil fell, ending a seven-session rally, on concern that Europe’s debt crisis, slower growth in China and a stagnant U.S. economy will reduce fuel demand.

On the Nymex, heating-oil futures for August delivery fell 0.8 percent to $2.9243 a gallon.

Gasoline futures for August delivery rose 0.1 percent to $2.943 a gallon.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybeans extended a rally to a record and corn closed at an all-time high as forecasts for dry weather next week boosted concern that the persistent Midwest drought will cut output in the U.S., the world’s top grower.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures for November delivery jumped 2.1 percent to $16.8625 a bushel, after reaching a record $16.91.

Corn futures for December delivery increased 2.2 percent to $7.9575 a bushel, a record settlement for a most-active contract.

Wheat futures for September delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $9.4325 a bushel, rising for an eighth straight session, the longest rally since Dec. 28.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas closed above $3 per million British thermal units for the first time in six months on forecasts for hotter- than-normal weather that would erode a surplus of the U.S. power-plant fuel.

On the Nymex, gas futures for August delivery rose 2.7 percent to $3.081, the first settlement above $3 since Jan. 6.

The U.K. price for immediate delivery rose as the network manager forecast lower supply after Dutch pipeline deliveries halted and flows from a liquefied natural-gas terminal slumped.

Gas added as much as 1.1 pence to 55.6 pence a therm. It was at 55 pence at 4:30 p.m. London time, according to broker prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $8.59 per million Btu. A therm is 100,000 Btu.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures gained for the second straight day as Russia’s central bank increased holdings of the precious metal.

On the Comex, gold futures for August delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,582.80 an ounce, narrowing this week’s loss to 0.6 percent.

Silver futures for September delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $27.302 an ounce.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for October delivery fell 0.6 percent to $1,414.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $576.10 an ounce.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Orange juice fell for the ninth straight session, the longest slump in three years, as rains boosted the crop outlook in Florida, the world’s second-biggest citrus grower.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, orange juice for September delivery slid 2.3 percent to $1.11 a pound.

Raw-sugar futures for October delivery jumped 2.9 percent to 23.92 cents a pound.

Cotton futures for December delivery rose 0.4 percent to 72.94 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for September delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $1.8695 a pound.

September cocoa futures fell less than 0.1 percent to $2,229 a metric ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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