Markets & Finance

Natural Gas Leads CRB Lower


1:30 pm ET: CRB index pulls back from early session jump due to weaker prices for natgas and grains. The overall CRB is down a half point to around the 229.30 area which compares with Wed's closing high of 229.81. Near-term support is marked at the 228.67 or its 40-day mov avg.

Forecasts of milder temperatures has triggered spec selling in nearby natgas futs (-4.7%) while heating oil is off 0.5%. In contrast, crude oil futs continued to press higher (+0.8% to $29.70) ahead of next week's OPEC meeting and expected cut in oil output of at least 1.5% mln bbls/day.

Elsewhere, corn (-2.7%) is pacing the dec line in the grains complex while the industrial are mixed (copper up vs lower cotton). Note that lumber futs (not in CRB) remain at contract lows and off 19% since last Dec alone. Only the softs, led by a 3.5% rise in cocoa) are showing broad gains today within the CRB.


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