Gold Climbs for Fifth Day; Copper Advances: Commodities at Close

Gold rose another day as tensions between Europe and Iran continue to grow over its nuclear program. Silver also gained over 1% to near $30/ounce. Commodities have been doing well in the market as global turmoil still remains as well as global debt.

January 05, 2012, 4:36 AM EST
By Christian Schmollinger
Business Week

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.3 percent to 667.84 as of 5:09 p.m. in Singapore. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials declined 0.3 percent to 1,556.S


Oil traded near the highest in almost eight months as speculation that sanctions against Iran will curb crude supplies countered concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and slow demand.

Crude for February delivery was at $103.28, up 6 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:13 p.m. in Singapore. It earlier rose as much as 0.5 percent after falling 0.4 percent. The contract yesterday climbed to $103.22, the highest close since May 10. Prices advanced 8.2 percent in 2011, the third annual increase.

Brent oil for February settlement gained 48 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $114.18 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $10.88, the widest based on closing prices since Dec. 15. It rose to a record $27.88 on Oct. 14. Crude markets: NI CRMKTS


Futures rose in New York. Gas for February delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $3.101 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are 31 percent lower than a year ago. U.S. natural gas: NI NUSMKT


Gasoil, or diesel, swaps for February climbed $2.25, or 1.8 percent, to $128.45 a barrel at 11:30 a.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. Prices are the highest since Nov. 17.

Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude rose 51 cents to $18.85 a barrel, PVM said. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, is the widest since Dec. 9.

Japan’s open-specification naphtha swaps increased $16.75, or 1.8 percent, to $944 a ton, according to PVM data. The petrochemical feedstock is the highest since Sept. 21.

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures added $4.52 to $80.40 a ton, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread is the widest in three days.

Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widened 93 cents to $3.60 a barrel, according to PVM. The gap increased for a third day, signaling refiners’ losses from turning oil into residual products are growing. February high-sulfur fuel oil swaps rose $5.25, or 0.8 percent, to $689 a ton, the highest since Nov. 16, PVM said. Asia oil products: NI OPAMKT


Cash gold rose as much as 0.8 percent to $1,623.97 an ounce, the highest since Dec. 21, by 3:10 p.m. in Singapore. The metal rose 4.9 percent in the four trading sessions from Dec. 30 as tension between Europe and Iran increased over its nuclear program. February-delivery bullion advanced as much as 0.8 percent to $1,625 on the Comex.

Spot silver gained as much as 1.4 percent to $29.58 an ounce, immediate-delivery platinum climbed as much as 1 percent to $1,433.13 an ounce and cash palladium rose as much as 1.5 percent to $658 an ounce. Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS


Three-month copper increased as much as 1.5 percent to $7,653.75 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,635 by 3:11 p.m. Seoul time. The price yesterday fell 3.2 percent, the biggest drop since Dec. 14. The March-delivery contract rose 1 percent to $3.4685 a pound on the Comex.

Lead for three-month delivery on the LME rose 0.3 percent to $2,065.25 a ton and zinc increased 0.3 percent to $1,874.5 a ton. Aluminum was little changed at $2,067 a ton, while nickel lost 0.3 percent to $18,731 per ton. Tin was 0.2 percent higher at $19,650 per ton. Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS


March-delivery wheat fell 0.5 percent to $6.47 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 2:19 p.m. Singapore time. Corn for March delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $6.5725 a bushel, erasing an earlier gain of 0.2 percent. Soybeans for delivery in March were little changed at $12.305 a bushel.

The March-delivery palm oil contract declined as much as 0.6 percent to 3,206 ringgit ($1,021) per metric ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange and was at 3,220 ringgit at 12:21 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur. The contract closed unchanged at 3,225 ringgit yesterday from Jan. 3, the highest close since Nov. 18.

Hog prices fell yesterday from a one-week high on speculation that U.S. pork supplies are increasing. Cattle futures were little changed. Carcasses averaged 211.49 pounds (95.9 kilograms) on Dec. 30, the highest since Jan. 7, 2011 and more than 2 pounds heavier than a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Hog futures for February settlement fell 0.4 percent to settle at 85.175 cents a pound yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the commodity reached 86 cents, the highest since Dec. 28. The price has climbed 10 percent in the past year.

Cattle futures for February delivery rose 0.075 cent to settle at $1.21625 a pound. Earlier, the price touched $1.20875, the lowest for the most-active contract since Dec. 22. Feeder- cattle futures for March settlement gained 0.8 percent to $1.5055 a pound. Grain markets: NI GRMKTS Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS


Orange juice for March delivery rose 2.9 percent to settle at $1.7805 a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, after gaining as much as 5 percent to $1.817, the highest for a most-active contract since Aug. 5. Prices have rallied 9.1 percent in the past two weeks. a telephone interview.

Cocoa for March delivery dropped 1.9 percent to settle at $2,075 a metric ton yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. In the fourth quarter, the price tumbled 19 percent, the most in three years.

Cotton futures for March delivery advanced 0.1 percent to 95.92 cents a pound in New York. The price climbed for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since late October.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to 24.42 cents a pound. Earlier, the price reached 24.65 cents, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 16. Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery slid 0.2 percent to $2.267 a pound. Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

--Editor: Mike Anderson

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at

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