Gold futures fell the most in five months Wednesday as Cyprus plans to sell the metal to raise money, while minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting spurred speculation that U.S. stimulus will be curbed.
Cypriot authorities committed to sell “the excess amount of gold” owned by the state, yielding an estimated 400 million euros ($522 million), according to a draft of a European Commission report obtained by Bloomberg News. Several members of the Federal Open Market Committee said the U.S. central bank should begin scaling back debt purchases, minutes from a March meeting showed today. The S&P 500 Index of equities rose to a record.
Gold futures for June delivery fell 1.8 percent to $1,558.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Nov. 2.
Silver futures for May delivery fell 0.8 percent to $27.653 an ounce. The price has dropped 8.5 percent this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery slumped 1.7 percent to $720.85 an ounce. Earlier, the metal touched $704, the lowest since Jan. 15.
Platinum futures for July delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $1,529.80 an ounce.
Among other commodities:
Wheat fell the most in more than a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said global inventories will be bigger than forecast last month.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, wheat futures for July delivery declined 1.5 percent to $7.03 a bushel, the biggest drop since April 1. The price has dropped 9.6 percent this year.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $13.9275 a bushel, ending a two-day rally.
Corn futures for May delivery gained 0.7 percent to $6.49 a bushel, the third straight increase.
Gasoline dropped the most in a week after the Energy Information Administration reported a jump in inventory, imports and refinery processing.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for May delivery fell 2.6 percent to $2.8651 a gallon, the biggest decline since April 3.
Ultra low-sulfur-diesel futures for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $2.9479 a gallon.
Copper fell the most in a week on concern that global supply will exceed demand after China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, reported exports that trailed forecasts by analysts.
On the Comex, copper futures for May delivery slid 0.7 percent to $3.418 a pound, the biggest drop since April 3. The price has declined 6.4 percent this year.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.7 percent to $7,575 a metric ton ($3.44 a pound). Zinc, nickel, tin and aluminum dropped, and lead was unchanged.
Cattle slumped the most in more than three weeks on speculation that cold weather across the central U.S. will curb meat demand for outdoor grilling.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for June delivery dropped 1.4 percent to $1.20 a pound, the biggest slide contract since March 15. The price has declined 9.3 percent in 2013.
Feeder-cattle futures for May settlement fell 1.7 percent to $1.42325 a pound.
Hog futures for June settlement dropped 0.4 percent to 89.5 cents a pound. The price has slid 4.1 percent in the past 12 months.
Natural gas rose for the first time in three days following forecasts for below-normal temperatures through mid-April in the western U.S. that may boost heating demand.
On the Nymex, gas futures for May delivery climbed 1.7 percent to $4.085 per million British thermal units. The price dropped 2.6 percent in the previous two days.
U.K. gas for next-day delivery declined for the fifth straight session as forecasts showed temperatures approaching seasonal norms.
The price dropped 3.7 percent to 70 pence a therm after touching 69.4 pence, the lowest since Feb. 22. A therm is 100,000 Btu.
Crude oil rose for the third straight day as the S&P 500 advanced to a record, bolstering speculation that fuel consumption will climb.
On the Nymex, oil futures for May delivery advanced 0.5 to $94.64 a barrel, the highest settlement since April 2.
Brent oil for May settlement declined 0.4 percent to $105.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Vitol Group sold a cargo of North Sea Forties crude, its eighth since March 28, as the price dropped to the lowest in more than a week.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India’s third-largest state refiner, bought 2 million barrels of Nigeria’s Qua Iboe from Vitol via tender for loading from June 1 to June 30, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
Cotton futures rose for the first time in a week on signals that demand will climb for exports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper.
On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for July delivery gained 1 percent to 87.48 cents a pound. The contract dropped 4.5 percent in the previous four sessions.
Raw-sugar futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to 17.88 cents a pound, the third straight increase and the longest rally in a month. The price has dropped 23 percent in the past 12 months.
Arabica-coffee futures for May delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1.3605 a pound.
Orange-juice futures for May delivery dropped 0.8 percent to $1.4775 a pound. Earlier, the price reached a one-year high of $1.5265.
Cocoa futures for July delivery fell 0.1 percent to $2,231 a ton.
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