GO
Loading...

COMMODITIES-Up in thin pre-Christmas trade; copper jumps on error

Barani Krishnan
Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 | 1:54 PM ET

NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Reuters) - A trading error likely caused copper to spike higher on Tuesday, while most other commodities saw slight gains or price changes as players minimized risk ahead of the Christmas holiday, traders said. Oil , natural gas, gold and cotton were among commodities that inched higher. Sugar , corn and aluminum were nearly flat. The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index was up 0.3 percent after a positive close for 13 of the 19 commodities it tracked. U.S. copper futures' benchmark March contract jumped 2 percent to a session high of $3.4475 a lb in high volume in what a source said was a "trading error". Trades that reached above $3.42 on the contract after 11:49 a.m. EST will be adjusted back to that level, the source said. March copper officially ended the session at $3.3740 versus Monday's settlement of $3.3075. The contract gained 7 cents in about 10 seconds during the trading glitch, said Frank McGhee, a senior metals trader at Chicago's Integrated Brokerage Services who watched the move. "Unless you had something sitting up there, there was no ability to react," McGhee said. In London, the three-month copper futures contract settled up 0.4 percent at $7,271 a tonne. The excitement in copper aside, activity was light in commodity markets across London, New York and Chicago on position squaring before the holiday season. Global markets will be closed on Wednesday for Christmas Gold edged higher as bargain hunters appeared after prices fell to six-month lows of around $1,200 an ounce. U.S. gold futures' benchmark February contract settled up 0.5 percent at $1,203.30. The spot price of bullion was flat at $1,198.23 an ounce at 1:00 p.m. EST (1800 GMT). Oil and other energy commodities posted stronger gains. Oil's benchmark Brent crude hovered near 2-week highs as conflict in South Sudan threatened that country's oil output amid production cuts in Libya that were already curbing global crude supplies. Brent was up 0.4 percent at $112.01 a barrel by 12:15 p.m. EST. U.S. crude climbed 0.3 percent to $99.25 per barrel. U.S. gasoline was the outlier rising 1.4 percent to $2.8175 a gallon, extending 15-week highs hit in the previous session, as refinery outages in the United States and Europe thinned supplies while demand remains robust. A strike in France has shut a third of the country's refinery capacity. Prices at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT)

LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG US crude 99.20 0.29 0.3% 8.0% Brent crude 111.92 0.36 0.3% 0.7% Natural gas 4.416 -0.047 -1.1% 31.8% US gold 1205.50 7.10 0.6% -28.1% Gold 1204.01 5.21 0.4% -28.1% US Copper 3.40 0.07 2.1% -6.9% LME Copper 7282.85 41.85 0.6% -8.2% Dollar 80.490 0.043 0.1% 4.8% CRB 282.826 0.733 0.3% -4.1% US corn 435.00 0.75 0.2% -37.7% US soybeans 1333.00 5.25 0.4% -6.0% US wheat 606.25 -3.25 -0.5% -22.1% US Coffee 115.30 -0.55 -0.5% -19.8% US Cocoa 2818.00 10.00 0.4% 26.0% US Sugar 16.27 0.04 0.3% -16.6% US silver 19.410 0.001 0.4% -35.8% US platinum 1335.10 7.70 0.6% -13.2% US palladium 694.70 -0.95 -0.1% -1.2%

(Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)