Commodities End Monday Trade Mixed With Gold Higher Ahead of Earnings, Oil Lower Amid Deals in Energy Stocks

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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 increased.

"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 market."

In precious metals-based issues, the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) ETF was down $0.40, or 0.35%, to $113.24. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ) was down 0.45%, or $0.22, to $48.46 in late Tuesday trading. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) was down 0.94%, or $0.17, to $17.84.

In energy stocks, shares of Apache Corp. ( APA ) were up 0.54%, or $0.58, to $107.34 in late Tuesday trading after the company said it is buying Devon Energy's ( DVN ) Gulf of Mexico shelf assets for $750 million cash, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Transocean ( RIG ) 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 ( COP ) 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. ( WEL ) soared Monday morning on news it is being bought by oil field services company Haliburton Co. ( HAL ) 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.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities


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