Energy and agricultural futures were heading higher Monday, but metals, including gold, were a bit more sluggish. Recently, newly benchmarked crude oil for May delivery was up $1.81 in New York at $53.88 a barrel, and reformulated gasoline was rising 6 cents to $1.52 a gallon. Heating oil was adding nearly 9 cents to $1.47 a gallon, and natural gas was increasing 10 cents to $4.32 per million British thermal units.
Meanwhile, gold was down $5.50 at $950.70 an ounce, and silver was losing 2 cents to $13.83 an ounce. Copper was higher by 4 cents at $1.83 a pound. Agricultural contracts were stronger, with the exception of sugar. Soybeans, wheat, corn and cotton had the biggest percentage gains. Lean hogs declined, while cattle rose. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar was mixed. The greenback was climbing against the euro and the yen, but it lost ground to the pound and the Australian dollar. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index was edging ahead at 226.49. Among commodity-related stocks, Suncor Energy ( SU) was unchanged at $25.29 after saying it would buy Petro-Canada ( PCZ) in a deal worth more than $15 billion. Petro-Canada was up 25.5% at $30.12. Oil majors Exxon Mobil ( XOM) and Chevron ( CVX) had gains exceeding 4%, and ConocoPhillips ( COP) was up 5.2%.