COMMODITIES-Oil and copper rise on positive global data, supply outage

Thu Aug 1, 2013 4:25pm EDT

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped on Thursday,
with Brent crude gaining its most in nearly six months, and
copper rallied too as energy supply outages in Africa and Iraq
and a wave of surprisingly positive  global economic data drove
investors toward commodities.
    Prices of precious metals and crops bucked the broadly
higher trend.
    Gold  fell for a fourth straight day after the
European Central Bank's pledge to keep rates low pushed the euro
down and the dollar up.  
    Corn tumbled to a near 3-year low as yield-boosting
weather across the U.S. Midwest raised already high expectations
about a bumper harvest this fall. 
    Arabica, the premium grade for coffee, hit a 4-year
bottom as favorable weather forecasts eased concerns over
potential damage to a bumper crop in top grower Brazil. 
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
 settled up 0.4 percent on the day after the sharp
upward move in U.S. crude -- the index's main component -- was
offset by the slump in gold and crops.
    U.S. crude rose more than 2 percent, its biggest gain
in 2 weeks, to settle at $107.89 a barrel after oil supply
disruptions in Libya, Iraq and Nigeria underpinned prices.
Benchmark Brent crude out of London surged 1.7 percent,
its most since February, to finish at $109.54 a barrel. 
    Strong global economic data also fueled the rally.
    Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits fell to a 5-1/2-year low last week. A
closely watched index of U.S. manufacturing activity rose to a
2-year high; a China industrial index beat expectations and a
reading for euro zone manufacturing returned to growth.
   
    The U.S. Federal Reserve's remarks on Wednesday showing no 
sign of curbs by September on the central bank's economic
stimulus extended the bullish sentiment across markets. U.S.
stocks' Dow and S&P 500 indexes hit record highs.
    "The combination of a strong stock market, strong economic
data, and the fact that the Fed said they were worried about
deflation, looks double-barrelled bullish to me," said Phil
Flynn, an analyst with Price Futures Group in Chicago.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose
to a session high of $7,044 a tonne, the strongest since July
24. It was last bid at $6,998 at the close, up from $6,880 on
Wednesday. 
    
 Prices at 4:07 p.m. EDT (2007 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    107.68     2.65   2.5%   17.3%
 Brent crude                 109.34     1.64   1.5%   -1.6%
 Natural gas                  3.387   -0.059  -1.7%    1.1%
 
 US gold                    1311.00    -1.40  -0.1%  -21.8%
 Gold                       1310.09   -12.40  -0.9%  -21.8%
 US Copper                     3.12     0.00   0.0%  -14.7%
 LME Copper                 6999.00   119.00   1.7%  -11.8%
 Dollar                      82.381    0.929   1.1%    7.3%
 CRB                        285.077    1.135   0.4%   -3.4%
 
 US corn                     487.50   -11.50  -2.3%  -30.2%
 US soybeans                1357.75   -16.25  -1.2%   -4.3%
 US wheat                    658.00    -9.75  -1.5%  -15.4%
 
 US Coffee                   115.60    -3.00  -2.5%  -19.6%
 US Cocoa                   2301.00     3.00   0.1%    2.9%
 US Sugar                     16.83    -0.14  -0.8%  -13.7%
 
 US silver                   19.624   19.428   1.5%  -35.1%
 US platinum                1443.80    14.50   0.0%   -6.2%
 US palladium                731.85     5.50   0.8%    4.1%