Commodities were mixed at the close of trading with gold ending
higher and oil futures finishing the day on a down note.
Crude oil for May delivery declined $0.68 cents, or 0.7%, to
close at $84.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In
other energy futures, natural gas fell 2.6%, or $0.10, to close at
$3.96. Heating oil fell $0.004 to close at $2.22 a gallon.
Gold for June delivery, the most active contract, gained $0.30,
or 0.3%, to $1,162.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New
York Mercantile Exchange. In other metals, silver futures declined
0.71%, or $0.13, to $18.22 while copper futures declined 0.96%, or
$3.45, to $3.55 a pound.
One analyst attributed the rise in gold to the start of earnings
season, which buyers were stocking up on "just in case,"
MarketWatch quoted Frank Lesh, a broker and futures analyst with
FuturePath Trading in Chicago, as saying.
Oil has been moving with signals about how strong the economy is
going forward. Investors are eyeing inventory reports, which are
due to come out later this week. The Energy Information
Administration reports on crude-oil stockpiles on Wednesday, while
trade group American Petroleum Institute releases its information
on Tuesday. Data released last week showed that inventories had
"The fundamental picture is coming back into play," Bloomberg
quoted Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in
Chicago, as saying. "The supply side is weighing on the
In precious metals-based issues, the SPDR Gold Trust (
) ETF was down $0.40, or 0.35%, to $113.24. The Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF (
) was down 0.45%, or $0.22, to $48.46 in late Tuesday trading. The
iShares Silver Trust (
) was down 0.94%, or $0.17, to $17.84.
In energy stocks, shares of Apache Corp. (
) were up 0.54%, or $0.58, to $107.34 in late Tuesday trading after
the company said it is buying Devon Energy's (
) Gulf of Mexico shelf assets for $750 million cash, the Wall
Street Journal reported earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Transocean (
) said earlier its shares will begin trading on April 20 on the SIX
Swiss Exchange under the symbol RIGN. The shares will remain listed
on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RIG.
Also, ConocoPhillips (
) said it would sell its 9% stake in Canadian oil sands developer
Syncrude for $4.65 billion to China's oil and gas giant China
Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or "Sinopec."
ConocoPhillips shares were up 1.17%, or $0.65, to $55.97.
Meanwhile, Boots & Coots Inc. (
) soared Monday morning on news it is being bought by oil field
services company Haliburton Co. (
) for about $240 million.
Halliburton said after the market close Friday that Boots &
Coots shareholders will get $1.73 in cash and $1.27 in Halliburton
stock per share. The combined price of $3 is 28% more than Boots
& Coots' closing price last week.
Boots & Coots shares were up $0.60, or 25.53%, to $2.95.
Haliburton shares were up 0.19%, or $0.06, to $31.63.
In other commodities, wheat futures rose for the first time in
three sessions as investors speculated that a declining dollar will
increase demand from U.S. producers and make grains more appealing
as a hedge against inflation.
Wheat futures for July delivery rose $0.05, or 1%, to $4.84 a
bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.