NEW YORK, Nov 19 A benchmark commodities index
sank to the lowest level since June 2012 on Tuesday as a weak
cash market weighed on natural gas futures and easing supply
concerns pressured Brent crude oil.
The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index
touched a more than one-year low of 272.3570 and closed down 0.2
percent at 272.4745 as nine of its 19 components fell.
Commodities markets tracked with global financial markets,
as stocks dipped amid signs of tepid economic growth.
Slowing emerging markets are dragging on the world's
economic recovery and advanced nations remain hampered by the
debt crisis, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
A U.S. Federal Reserve official said the central bank needs
to wait until next year to begin dialing back its massive
Commodities losses came in the face of support from a
slightly weaker U.S. dollar.
The softer currency encourages buying of dollar-traded
commodities, making them less expensive to holders of other
ENERGY MARKETS FLAG
Natural gas led the day's declines, as a weak cash prices
offset forecasts for colder weather and the prospect of higher
"I would have thought that the below normal temps in the six
to 10's (day forecast) would have the bulls running, but (Henry)
Hub cash is keeping a lid on NYMEX futures," Drew Wozniak, vice
president at ICAP Energy, said in a report.
Front-month gas futures on the New York Mercantile
Exchange ended down 6.1 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $3.556 per
million British thermal units
Brent crude futures dropped more than $1 a barrel as
exports from Libya's western Mellitah port resumed following
protests and as dealers eyed the potential for easing of
sanctions against Iran.
January Brent crude fell $1.55 to settle at $106.92
a barrel, for a third straight session loss.
"The bearish news out of Libya is really weighing on the
Brent," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC.
"That resumption (of exports) is helping to pressure it right
now, as well as the hopes for the Iran meetings tomorrow."
Talks are set to begin on Wednesday between Iran and six
major world powers to broker an interim deal on the oil-rich
country's nuclear program.
METALS REVERSE LOSSES
Gold inched up, stabilizing after the previous day's losses.
Investor focus was expected to shift on Wednesday to the reading
the Fed's October meeting minutes for clues about its future
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,274.44 an ounce by
3:05 p.m. EST (2005 GMT), after Monday's 1.2 percent drop.
Copper futures finished little-changed, recovering from more
than three-month low of $6,910 a tonne on short-covering.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
finished down 0.1 percent at $6,970.
CORN, WHEAT RECOVER
Technical support lifted corn and wheat prices after losses
during previous session, while soybeans sank on concerns over
"It seems like the trade is buying corn and selling beans
against it," said Garret Toay, risk management consultant at
Toay Commodities Futures Group. "The focus is starting to shift
to South America. With weather being benign down there, you are
seeing a bit of a unwind of that (long soy/short corn) trade."
CBOT wheat posted its biggest gain a month to settle
up 8 cents to $6.50-1/4 a bushel.
Chicago Board of Trade corn for December delivery
settled up 5-3/4 cents at $4.17-3/4 a bushel after touching a
more than three-year low of $4.10-3/4 in over three years in
CBOT January soybean futures ended down 11-1/4 cents
at $12.76-1/4 a bushel. During Tuesday's session, prices fell
below key support at their 200-day moving average for the first
time since Nov. 8 but closed above that technical point.
Elsewhere in commodities, cocoa prices rose for a sixth
straight session to a two-year peak on global supply concerns.
Prices at 4:50 p.m. EDT (2149 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 93.35 0.32 0.3% 1.7%
Brent crude 107.09 -1.38 -1.3% -3.6%
Natural gas 3.556 -0.061 -1.7% 6.1%
US gold 1273.50 1.20 0.1% -24.0%
Gold 1275.06 0.42 0.0% -23.9%
US Copper 3.16 0.01 0.3% -13.6%
LME Copper 6970.00 -5.00 -0.1% -12.1%
Dollar 80.655 -0.170 -0.2% 5.1%
CRB 272.475 -0.448 -0.2% -7.6%
US corn 417.75 5.75 1.4% -40.2%
US soybeans 1276.25 -11.00 -0.9% -10.0%
US wheat 650.25 8.00 1.3% -16.4%
US Coffee 104.65 -1.10 -1.0% -27.2%
US Cocoa 2795.00 15.00 0.5% 25.0%
US Sugar 17.65 -0.10 -0.6% -9.5%
US silver 20.334 20.130 1.6% -32.7%
US platinum 1419.90 8.90 0.0% -7.7%
US palladium 721.90 5.15 0.7% 2.6%
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; editing by Andrew Hay)