Gold slumped to a four-week low Tuesday, closing under $1,700 an ounce, as a stalemate in U.S. budget talks drove commodity prices down.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 0.9 percent to settle at 644.95 at 4 p.m. New York time, led by precious metals. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices declined 0.8 percent to 1,587.34.
In the GSCI index, 21 prices dropped. Democrats and Republicans have four weeks left before more than $600 billion in tax increases and federal spending cuts are triggered. Gold slid about $12 an ounce in about a minute during Asian trading, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for February delivery dropped 1.5 percent to $1,695.80. Earlier, the price touched $1,692.60, the lowest for a most-active contract since Nov. 6.
Silver futures for March delivery fell 2.8 percent to $32.808 an ounce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery declined 1.9 percent to $1,582.90 an ounce, the biggest drop since Oct. 23.
Palladium futures for March delivery fell 1.2 percent to $682.70 an ounce.
Among industrial metals, copper rose to a six-week high in London as signs of manufacturing growth in China and U.S. automobile sales at the highest in almost five years buoyed demand prospects.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 0.3 percent to $8,032 a ton ($3.64 a pound).
But on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $3.6555 a pound.
Meanwhile, coffee fell for the second time in three sessions on signs of rising supplies from Brazil, the world’s top producer.
Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery dropped 1.6 percent to $1.4835 a pound at 1:40 p.m. on ICE in New York.
Cocoa futures for March delivery slumped 3 percent to $2,444 a metric ton.
Cotton futures for March delivery declined 1.4 percent to 72.91 cents a pound.
Raw-sugar futures for March delivery dropped 1.6 percent to 19.44 cents a pound.
Orange-juice futures for January delivery rose 1 percent to $1.236 a pound.
In the energy market, crude oil declined for the first time in four sessions after President Barack Obama’s administration rejected a Republican budget plan.
On the Nymex, oil futures for January delivery slid 0.7 percent to $88.50 a barrel.
Brent oil for January settlement decreased 1 percent to $109.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Gunvor Group Ltd. bought a cargo of North Sea Forties at the highest price in almost a month. Glencore International Plc sold a consignment of Russian Urals in the Mediterranean, the first trade in a month.
OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest producer, issued a tender to sell three Urals cargoes for shipment in December from two Baltic ports, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.
Gasoline slid the most in two weeks on the U.S. budget impasse and speculation that U.S. fuel supplies rose last week.
On the Nymex, gasoline futures for January delivery slumped 1.4 percent to $2.689 a gallon, the biggest drop since Nov. 20.
Heating-oil futures for January delivery fell 1.7 percent to $3.004 a gallon, the largest decline since Nov. 7.
Natural gas declined to a three-week low as predictions for mild U.S. weather signaled reduced demand for the heating fuel.
On the Nymex, gas futures for January delivery fell 1.4 percent to $3.539 per million British thermal units.
U.K. gas for same-day delivery fell as Norwegian flows increased to a nine-month high and imports from the Netherlands rose, leaving the delivery network with excess fuel.
The price dropped 0.7 percent to 68.4 pence a therm at 4:04 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas was little changed at 69.4 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $11.18 per million Btu.
Meanwhile, corn fell for the third time in four sessions on signs of slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $7.52 a bushel.
Wheat futures for March delivery declined 0.5 percent to $8.565 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $8.515, the lowest since Nov. 19.
Soybean futures for January delivery rose 0.1 percent to $14.555 a bushel.
Cattle prices fell on signs of weak demand for U.S. beef.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for February delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1.3015 a pound.
Feeder-cattle futures for January settlement slid less than 0.1 percent to $1.45575 a pound.
Hog futures for February settlement slipped 0.2 percent to 85.525 cents a pound after reaching 85.15 cents, the lowest since Nov. 12.
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