COMMODITIES-Soybeans, gold rise in broad rally; CRB down on week

Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:07pm EDT

NEW YORK, Aug 23 (Reuters) - A weak dollar and prospects for
stronger demand pushed U.S. grains, precious metals and oil
prices up sharply on Friday, but a broad commodities gauge
finished the week down after losses in earlier sessions.
    Soybean futures leaped 3 percent to a two-month high, as hot
and dry weather forecast for the U.S. crop belt threatened to
trim soy yields.
    Gold rose to almost a three-month high, gaining nearly 2
percent, after a big drop in U.S. new-home sales renewed hopes
the Federal Reserve will maintain its bond-buying economic
stimulus. Silver was another big gainer among precious metals,
rising 3 percent.
    U.S. crude oil rose more than 1 percent for its sharpest
daily gain since Aug. 9 after news of a unit shutdown at an East
Coast Canadian refinery.
    The broad rally in commodities came as the dollar fell on
fresh speculation that the Fed may be influenced to keep its
monthly bond purchases worth $85 billion after the July home
sales data released on Friday. 
    Markets had speculated for months that the Fed might trim
its stimulus by September.
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-CRB index closed
up 0.9 percent. For the week, the index was down 0.6 percent
after accounting for sharp losses on Tuesday and Wednesday.
    The most-active soybeans futures contract on the Chicago
Board of Trade, November, settled up 41-1/4 cents at
$13.28 a bushel. Corn rose too, with the CBOT's benchmark
December contract finishing up 5-1/2 cents at $4.70 a
bushel. 
    Corn and soybeans were planted late this season due to
excessively wet spring weather in the U.S. Midwest, leaving each
crop well behind its normal maturity pace and vulnerable to
harsh weather in August.
    "The central and western Midwest is expected to be about 20
degrees above normal for the next 10 days and that can't be good
for either soybeans or corn given the lack of maturity," said
Mike Zuzolo, analyst at Global Commodity Analytics.
    The spot price of gold was up 1.5 percent to trade at
above $1,396 an ounce by 3:55 p.m. EDT (1955 GMT). It earlier
hit a 11-week high, above $1,399. 
    In oil, U.S. crude settled up $1.39 at $106.42 a
barrel. Brent crude finished $1.14 higher at $111.04.
 
    
 Prices at 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    106.40     1.37   1.3%   15.9%
 Brent crude                 111.00     1.10   1.0%   -0.1%
 Natural gas                  3.485   -0.060  -1.7%    4.0%
 
 US gold                    1395.70    24.50   1.8%  -16.7%
 Gold                       1396.50    21.26   1.5%  -16.6%
 US Copper                     3.35     0.02   0.6%   -8.3%
 LME Copper                 7360.00    40.00   0.5%   -7.2%
 Dollar                      81.360   -0.128  -0.2%    6.0%
 CRB                        290.794    2.452   0.9%   -1.4%
 
 US corn                     495.50     8.00   1.6%  -29.0%
 US soybeans                1365.25    43.25   3.3%   -3.8%
 US wheat                    634.50     4.00   0.6%  -18.4%
 
 US Coffee                   113.05    -0.15  -0.1%  -21.4%
 US Cocoa                   2427.00     7.00   0.3%    8.5%
 US Sugar                     16.47     0.19   1.2%  -15.6%
 
 US silver                   23.738   23.508   1.7%  -21.5%
 US platinum                1541.60     1.50   0.0%    0.2%
 US palladium                750.85    -4.20  -0.6%    6.8%
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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