Crude oil and gold were falling Friday in New York, but most agricultural commodities were gaining ground. Oil for May delivery was down 42 cents at $52.22 a barrel late in the session in New York, while reformulated gasoline was up 1 cent at $1.48 a gallon. Heating oil was fractionally weaker at $1.43 a gallon, and natural gas was down 1 cent to $3.77 per million British thermal units.
As for metals, gold was losing $12.10 to $896.80 an ounce, and silver was up half a cent to $12.74 an ounce. Copper added 1 cent to $1.99 a pound. On the ag side, commodities were broadly stronger, with the exception of sugar. Cocoa, cotton and wheat were among the better-performing contracts. Lean hogs and cattle also rose. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index was up 1.97 points at 228.26. Among commodity-related stocks, Exxon Mobil ( XOM) was down 3 cents at $70.22, and Chevron ( CVX) was slipping 1 cent to $70.30. Miners BHP Billiton ( BHP) and Rio Tinto ( FTP) tacked on less than 1% each. Newmont Mining ( NEM) was down 5.4%, while Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX) was up 3.7%. Exchange-traded funds were reflecting the direction of commodities. The U.S. Oil ( USO) was down 4 cents at $30.94, and the Gold Shares ( GLD) was falling $1.14 to $87.66. The Market Vectors Agribusiness ( MOO) was up 16 cents at $30.08.