COMMODITIES-Up broadly after ECB rate cut; Brent oil above $100
* ECB rates at record low, boosting risk appetite across markets * Brent oil above $101; copper rises too but still below $7,000 * Gold futures makes up almost all of Wednesday's decline * Cocoa at 5-month high, corn prices firm By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil jumped to above $100 a barrel on Thursday and gold and copper prices rose too as the euro fell after a rate cut, boosting risk appetite across markets and helping commodities rebound from their weak start for May. In agricultural commodities, corn firmed on U.S. planting delays and cocoa hit a five-month high on strong technical buying. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global indicator for commodity prices, was up 0.8 percent by noon EDT (1600 GMT). It had fallen 1.7 percent on Wednesday, in the first session for May. The rebound came after the European Central Bank cut its benchmark refinancing rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.5 percent, pushing the euro down against the dollar and yen . The ECB also promised to provide euro zone banks as much liquidity as they needed and help smaller companies get access to credit to prevent a recession. Analysts said the rate cut could spur some traders and investors to put on more risk, but many remain fearful of economic headwinds ahead. A business survey showed on Thursday that factory activity in Europe's largest economy, Germany, fell for a second month in April and at a faster pace than in March. That was on the heels of Wednesday's data showing a slowdown in U.S. and China manufacturing. "A LOT OF DAMAGE" "A lot of damage has been done technically and psychologically, so it's hard to be confident about a significant bounce" in sentiment, said Stephen Briggs, a metals strategist at BNP Paribas in London. May is usually a time for weak prices and activity in financial markets, including commodities, as traders go on holiday with the advent of warmer weather in the United States and other parts of the northern hemisphere. That weakness is sometimes exacerbated by concerns about the economy, like now, and how demand for raw materials would fare. The CRB lost nearly 11 percent in May last year and almost 6 percent the previous year. Benchmark Brent crude oil out of London surged nearly 1.5 percent to a session high above $101 a barrel. It fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday and has lost almost 10 percent this year. U.S crude climbed more than 2 percent to above $93, after losing almost 3 percent in the previous session. "Yesterday's sell-off was a bit overdone," said Jefferies Bache oil broker Christopher Bellew, who expects Brent to gradually work its way back to between $103 and $104. "I am not quite as pessimistic as everybody else," Bellew said. "In general, the Chinese economy is growing and the American economy is better, but sometimes it doesn't happen as quickly as people expect." Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange bounced 1.5 percent to $6,900 a tonne in official midday trading after sliding 3.7 percent on Wednesday, its weakest since October 2011 and biggest one-day loss in over a year. U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose 1.6 percent to above $1,473 an ounce, making up almost all of Wednesday's 1.8 percent decline. Prices at 12:21 p.m. EDT (1621 GMT) LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG US crude 93.26 2.22 2.4% 1.6% Brent crude 101.98 2.03 2.0% -8.2% Natural gas 4.069 -0.257 -5.9% 21.4% Gold 1469.06 12.32 0.8% -12.3% US Copper 310.60 2.60 0.8% -15.0% LME Copper 6858.00 63.00 0.9% -13.5% Dollar 82.215 0.731 0.9% 7.1% CRB <.TRJCRB 0.000 0.000 0.0% -100.0% US corn 691.75 10.00 1.5% -0.9% US soybeans 1441.25 3.75 0.3% 1.6% US wheat 715.50 5.00 0.7% -8.0% US Coffee 139.65 4.95 3.7% -2.9% US Cocoa 2407.00 -8.00 -0.3% 7.6% US Sugar 17.33 0.00 0.0% -11.2% US silver 23.840 0.497 2.1% -21.1% US platinum 1488.80 19.30 1.3% -3.2% US palladium 690.65 5.90 0.9% -1.8%
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