COMMODITIES-Markets rebound from sell-off; Brent snaps 6-day loss

Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:36pm EDT

* Brent crude above $99 a barrel, up 1 pct
    * Gold also rises about 1 pct to $1,390 an ounce
    * Copper steadies; soybeans rally

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, April 18 (Reuters) - Commodities rebounded broadly
on Thursday as oil prices rose after a six-day selloff, while
gold climbed and copper steadied.
    In agricultural markets, soybeans hit 3-week highs on
tight supplies and fund buying pushed arabica coffee 
higher.  
    While markets deemed oversold such as oil attracted buying
from those looking for bargains, the weaker dollar made
commodities more attractive for those holding currencies such as
the euro.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
indicator of commodity prices, settled up 0.7 percent after 10
of the 19 markets it tracks ended in positive territory.
    Brent crude oil in London rose $1.44 to settle at
$99.13 a barrel, snapping a six-day losing streak as low prices
sparked buying by bargain hunters. 
    The backdrop for Brent's 9-percent price slide this month,
and U.S. crude's drop in four out of the previous five sessions,
was a series of reports and forecasts indicating slowing global
demand for oil. The moves have left prices technically oversold,
traders and analysts said. 
    "We haven't seen any change in the fundamentals, so the view
that we're in oversold territory is probably true," said Gene
McGillian, broker and analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford,
Connecticut, adding that traders with long bets on crude oil
prices had likely eased their liquidation selling. 
    Brent fell below $100 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time
since July 2012, prompting rumblings from Iran and Venezuela,
the price hawks in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC). 
    Gold prices rose on better physical demand but buyers stayed
cautious following the metal's historic sell-off earlier in the
week. The spot price of bullion was at around $1,390 an
ounce late on Thursday, up 1 percent from Thursday's 1,376
level. 
    Signs of improving physical demand at lower prices,
including a spate of buying of gold bars, coins and nuggets in
Asia, and very strong U.S. gold coins sales, lifted the market. 
 
    Copper ended flat after hitting a session low below $7,000 a
tonne for the first time in 18 months on persistent worries
about global demand.
    Analysts said data on copper trades indicated heavy short
selling might be drying up and a rebound could be on target. 
    "The data shows that the market has never been this short.
That for me is a big upside risk for prices because when people
start closing out those shorts, you could get quite a big snap
higher," said analyst Gayle Berry at Barclays. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange hit
a session low of $6,800 a tonne, its weakest since Oct. 20,
2011. The three-month contract - which has shed about 11 percent
so far this year - pared losses to close at $7,088, some $8 up
from its Thursday close. 
    
 Prices at 6:16 p.m. EDT (2215 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    88.31     0.58   0.7%   -3.8%
 Brent crude                 99.60     1.91   2.0%  -10.4%
 Natural gas                 4.401    0.000   0.0%   31.3%
 
 US gold                   1392.00     9.80   0.7%  -16.9%
 Gold                      1390.52    -0.10   0.0%  -17.0%
 US Copper                  321.90     1.65   0.5%  -11.9%
 LME Copper                7088.00     8.00   0.1%  -10.6%
 Dollar                     82.559   -0.125  -0.2%    7.5%
                             
 
 US corn                    644.50   -14.75  -2.2%   -7.7%
 US soybeans               1430.50     8.25   0.6%    0.8%
 US wheat                   702.75    -1.00  -0.1%   -9.7%
 
 US Coffee                  138.90     2.80   2.1%   -3.4%
 US Cocoa                  2310.00    11.00   0.5%    3.3%
 US Sugar                    17.69    -0.16  -0.9%   -9.3%
 
 US silver                  23.245   -0.062  -0.3%  -23.1%
 US platinum               1428.40    -6.40  -0.4%   -7.2%
 US palladium               669.80     8.40   1.3%   -4.8%