COMMODITIES-Copper dives on US gov't shutdown; oil, gold down too

Thu Oct 3, 2013 3:35pm EDT

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Copper prices tumbled more than
1 percent on Thursday and gold and oil fell too, as data showing
slower service sector growth in September compounded worries
about raw materials demand given a budget crisis and the U.S.
government's partial shutdown.
    Grain market fundamentals lifted wheat to 3-1/2 month highs
and its highest premium to corn since 2010, due to strong export
demand and supply risks in major producing countries.
    Cocoa had its sharpest fall in more than a month after
technical selling triggered by bearish price patterns.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
bellwether for commodity prices, shed 0.3 percent as 9 of the 19
markets on the index closed lower.
    The losses came despite a weaker dollar that usually boosts
prices of commodities quoted in the currency. 
    Traders said oil, gold and copper were
all pressured by the U.S. government's spending impasse, and
higher-stakes wrangling due in mid-October over its borrowing
    Weaker-than-expected growth in the U.S. service sector also
weighed on copper. The Institute for Supply Management said its
services index fell to 54.4 last month after nearing an
eight-year high in August.
    Since the start of the year, copper prices have fallen 9
percent from a combination of a weak demand outlook and rising
stockpiles of the metal at exchange-monitored warehouses.
    "Copper's fundamentals are deteriorating," said Stephen
Briggs, strategist at BNP Paribas.
    Copper's benchmark three-month futures on the London Metal
Exchange closed down 1.2 percent at $7,189 per tonne.
    In New York, the most-active copper contract on COMEX,
December, settled down 1.4 percent at $3.2685 a lb.
    Wheat futures rose for a third straight session after
forecasts of crop-threatening frost in Australia added to a flow
of recent news suggesting a tightening global wheat market.
    Wheat's front-month contract on the Chicago Board of Trade,
December, settled up 3-1/4 cents, or 0.5 percent, at
$6.89-1/4 a bushel. 
    Cocoa slumped in a technically-driven long liquidation.
    ICE Futures' most active cocoa contract, December CCZ3,
settled down $53, or nearly 2 percent, at $2,585 a tonne in New
York. It was the contract's sharpest one-day decline since Aug
 Prices at 3:17 p.m. EDT (1917 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    103.00    -1.10  -1.1%   12.2%
 Brent crude                 108.62    -0.57  -0.5%   -2.2%
 Natural gas                  3.499   -0.043  -1.2%    4.4%
 US gold                    1317.60    -3.10  -0.2%  -21.4%
 Gold                       1316.30     1.66   0.1%  -21.4%
 US Copper                     3.26    -0.05  -1.5%  -10.7%
 LME Copper                 7185.00   -94.00  -1.3%   -9.4%
 Dollar                      79.774   -0.126  -0.2%    3.9%
 CRB                        285.552   -0.891  -0.3%   -3.2%
 US corn                     439.25     0.25   0.1%  -37.1%
 US soybeans                1288.25    13.25   1.0%   -9.2%
 US wheat                    689.25     3.25   0.5%  -11.4%
 US Coffee                   115.35     0.90   0.8%  -19.8%
 US Cocoa                   2585.00   -47.00  -1.8%   15.6%
 US Sugar                     17.48     0.00   0.0%  -10.4%
 US silver                   21.739   21.521   1.6%  -28.1%
 US platinum                1369.50   -20.30   0.0%  -11.0%
 US palladium                699.20   -21.00  -2.9%   -0.6%