COMMODITIES-Oil up on Turkish strikes, others on bargain-hunting

Thu Oct 4, 2012 3:51pm EDT

* Oil rebounds from 3-day loss after Turkey's strike on
Syria
    * Run-up on Wall Street stocks boost energy, metals
    * Soybeans jump after USDA puts exports at 3-month high


    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Oil rebounded on Thursday from
three days of losses after Turkey's retaliatory strikes on
Syria, and soybeans and metals also posted strong gains from
bargain hunting in markets cheapened by selling earlier this
week.
    Higher share prices on Wall Street on data suggesting an
improvement in the U.S. labor market - ahead of Friday's
all-important jobs report - gave a further boost to industrial
commodities such as energy and metals.
    The dollar dropped to a two-week low against the euro
, providing more support to dollar-denominated raw
materials, after the European Central Bank said everything was
in place for it to buy bonds of troubled member countries and
that conditions linked to such buys need not be punitive. 
    Commodities did pare some gains after minutes from the
Federal Reserve's September meeting said the Fed may adopt
numerical thresholds for inflation and joblessness that would
serve as guideposts for policy. 
    Even so, the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index,
a commodities bellwether, settled up nearly 1.3 percent.
Thirteen of the 19 markets tracked by the CRB rose, with heating
oil, light crude and gasoline up between 3 and 4 percent and
aluminum leading gains with a 5 percent jump.
    In some ways, the run-up added to already hefty gains this
week in soft commodities such as sugar, prompting analysts to
raise a mild caution. Raw sugar has been one of the best
performers among commodities since the fourth quarter began, up
by just over 10 percent and hitting a two-month high.
    "We suspect we are nearing resistance levels, but do not
discount a couple of days of further strength as funds continue
to cover," Sucden Financial analyst Nick Penney said, referring
to raw sugar.
    Oil prices rose by 4 percent in Thursday's session as Turkey
stepped up retaliatory artillery strikes on a Syrian border
town, while its parliament approved further military action if
there is more spillover from Syria's internal conflict.
 
    A fire that broke out Wednesday at Exxon Mobil Corp's
 refining and chemical complex in Baytown, Texas, also
boosted crude prices. The refinery is the largest operating in
the United States. 
    London's benchmark Brent crude settled at $112.58 a barrel,
up $4.41. New York-traded U.S. crude gained $3.57 to finish at
$91.71.
    Chicago-traded soybean futures rose for a second straight
day, climbing nearly 2 percent as end-users and investors hunted
for bargains the day after prices hit a three-month low. Corn
and wheat prices rose in sympathy. 
    The rebound came after the U.S. Department of Agriculture
said export sales of soybeans last week jumped to the highest
level in three months, renewing worries about thinning supplies
and the need to ration demand.
    The front-month soy contract on the Chicago Board of Trade,
November, settled up 1.3 percent, or 19-3/4 cents, at
$15.51-1/2 a bushel. 
    The contract is down from a record high of nearly $17.70 a
bushel set a month ago during a powerful rally sparked by
concerns of massive crop destruction from a drought in the U.S.
Midwest. Recent data from the government suggests that crop
damage may not have been as bad as feared.
    
 Prices at 2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT)                        
 
                              LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                        CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    91.44     3.30   3.7%   -7.5%
 Brent crude                111.78     3.61   3.3%    4.1%
 Natural gas                 3.449    0.055   1.6%   15.4%
 
 US gold                   1791.70    11.90   0.7%   14.4%
 Gold                      1789.30    11.91   0.7%   14.4%
 US Copper                  378.55     0.15   0.0%   10.2%
 LME Copper                8315.00    25.00   0.3%    9.4%
 Dollar                     79.371   -0.594  -0.7%   -1.0%
 
 
 US corn                    762.25     4.75   0.6%   17.9%
 US soybeans               1554.25    22.00   1.4%   29.7%
 US wheat                   884.00     0.00   0.0%   35.4%
 
 US Coffee                  174.80    -6.25  -3.5%  -23.4%
 US Cocoa                  2407.00    -9.00  -0.4%   14.1%
 US Sugar                    21.65     0.07   0.3%   -6.8%
 
 US silver                  34.960    0.270   0.8%   25.2%
 US platinum               1719.00    28.70   1.7%   22.4%
 US palladium               673.30    15.40   2.3%    2.6%
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