Tags: oil | commodities | crb

Oil Leads As Commodities Tumble for 2nd Day

Thursday, 29 March 2012 04:23 PM

Commodities tumbled on T hursday, with a benchmark index for the sector posting its biggest daily decline in 3-1/2 months, as oil futures sank on talk that France, Britain and the United States were mulling release of strategic crude reserves to cool high fuel prices at the pump.

The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, which is dominated by U.S. crude futures, posted its largest decline since Dec. 15 after a selloff that hit most energy, agricultural and metals markets.

U.S. natural gas futures sank to a 10-year low due to a big inventory build and as mild weather projections hit demand prospects for the heating and cooling fuel.

Prices of soybeans, corn and wheat slumped on fund liquidation ahead of crop data due from the U.S. government on Friday.

Gold prices also ended in negative territory as the dollar rose.

Copper bucked the downtrend, ending near flat in London and eking out thin gains in New York trade on signs of physical tightness in the metal.



U.S. crude futures dropped $2.63 to settle at $102.78 a barrel, having dropped by 1.8 percent on Wednesday and marking the biggest two-day slide since mid-December.

The front-month gas futures contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 12 cents, or 5.3 percent, at $2.162 per million British thermal units after sinking late morning to $2.157, the lowest for the nearby contract since February 2002.



U.S. corn and wheat futures fell nearly 3 percent each while soybeans slipped about 1 percent as traders steered clear of the buy-side before the release on Friday of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.


Gold pared losses after sliding more than 1 percent in early trade as a break higher in the dollar and a drop in oil prices pushed bullion prices through key support near the $1,655 an ounce level.


Copper futures steadied, setting the market up for a 10 percent increase this quarter as signs of physical tightness helped to underpin prices of the industrial metal even as doubts over demand in top consumer China lingered.


U.S. cocoa futures sank more than 4 percent while arabica coffee prices tumbled 3 percent in heavy volume, tracking losses in many other commodity markets as investors' appetite for risk lessened.


DOLLAR INDEX : Up 0.02 percent


CRB INDEX : Down 1.78 percent, biggest decline since Dec. 15.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012 04:23 PM
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