Energy futures were generally trading a bit to the upside Thursday, but the near-term contract for oil was dropping more than $1 a barrel, falling below $62.
Crude for May delivery was recently down $1.38 at $61.75 a barrel, while heating oil and reformulated gasoline were fractionally higher.
Meanwhile, natural gas tacked on 2 cents to $7.52 per million British thermal units following the latest inventory data. The report showed that 46 billion cubic feet of gas were drawn down last week, right in line with estimates and taking stores to 1.55 trillion cubic feet.
Among energy shares,
was down 0.7% at $77.68,
lost 0.7% to $77.21, and
slipped 0.6% to $69.43.
was off 0.4% at $68.64, and
Royal Dutch Shell
was flat at $69.70.
Turning to metals, gold was falling $6.90 to $686.40 an ounce, and silver was slumping 32 cents to $13.66 an ounce. Copper was weaker by 5 cents at $3.58 a pound. Platinum for July delivery advanced $2.90 to $1,309.80 an ounce.
Mining stocks were on the decline.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
was shedding 1.2% to $69.32, and
was losing 0.6% to $79.04.
was falling 1.5% to $18.86, and
Pan American Silver
was plunging 3.2% to $30.60.
Elsewhere on the commodities scene, cocoa, coffee, cotton and frozen concentrated orange juice were on the decline, but sugar was stronger. In Chicago, corn, soybeans and wheat rose, while ethanol eased.
The CRB Index was losing 2 points to 310.76.