"I think it is really the combination of the weak dollar and ongoing concerns in Libya and the rest of the region" as well as "hot inflation" in the European Union, said PFG Best Senior Research Analyst Phil Flynn. Heating oil for May delivery increased 1.7% to $3.106 a gallon. On Thursday, the euro strengthened against the dollar as inflation readings crept up faster than expected in March. The region's Eurostat office said consumer prices in 17 eurozone countries increased 2.6% year-over-year in March, up from 2.4% in February. This surprised economists, who had on average, according to a Reuters poll, forecast 2.3% growth. The much hotter than expected number "backed Trichet into a wall," Flynn said of European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, who now looks all but certain to oversee a rate hike in April. This notion switched carry trades favoring the higher-yielding euro currency, whereby the investors buys then sells the lower-yielding U.S. currency. Given that heating oil is priced in dollars, dollar weakness Thursday made the commodity more expensive to buy -- the higher price reflected the greater dollar amount required to buy it.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Heating oil futures rose on dollar weakness Thursday, as the dollar carry trade drove trading.
(Published at 2:35 p.m.) Wheat, corn and soybean futures popped Thursday following a bullish Department of Agriculture crop report. Wheat prices for May delivery jumped 5.1% to $7.64 a bushel and corn for May delivery hit its daily exchange limit of 30 cents. Corn futures rose 4.5% to $6.93 ¼ a bushel. May soybeans added 3% at $14.13 1/4 a bushel.
(Published at 11:19 a.m. ET) Natural gas futures were one of the biggest commodity losers Thursday after higher inventories were reported. Natural gas for May delivery was falling 2.7% to $4.24 per million British thermal units, after popping more than 2% the day before.
(Published at 10:26 a.m. ET) Cotton futures have broken a three-day losing streak after expected plantings turned out to be substantially less than industry estimates. "The USDA survey of producers showed that they intend on planting less acres to cotton than had been anticipated by the market," said veteran cotton analyst Mike Stevens. Cotton for May delivery was rising 2.3% to $1.98 a pound. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN ( BAL) was up 1.4% to $102.29.
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