COMMODITIES-Oil gains, gold loses on U.S. debt deal prospects

Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:04pm EDT

By Carole Vaporean
    NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - More commodities rose than fell
on Thursday, with Brent oil charging up over 2.50 percent on
Middle East supply concerns and growing hope for the United
States to avert debt default, which left gold languishing at
lower levels.
    Oil prices gained, in part, on improved demand prospects as
the possibility seemed to be increasing for Washington lawmakers
to reach a deal to extend funding of the U.S. government.
    A White House official said President Barack Obama would 
look at a proposal by congressional Republicans to extend the
debt ceiling for six weeks, though he insisted lawmakers end the
10-day government shutdown. The move signaled a new willingness
by Republicans to break a standoff of their own making.
 
    The dollar rallied to a two-week high against major
currencies and knocked gold down 1.58 percent as investors
unwound their safe-haven bid.     
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB commodity market
benchmark added 0.66 percent, with grains and soft agricultural
commodities falling along with gold, while the rest of the 19
index components finished higher, especially industrial metals
and energy markets. 
    Oil brushed off dollar gains, with Brent crude racing up to
a near one-month high and U.S. crude futures advanced 1.28
percent, as oil traders instead worried over supply disruptions
in the Middle East and Africa, especially after early news that
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had been captured. 
    He was freed after being held for several hours by former
rebel militia. 
    Brent crude settled with $2.74, or 2.51 percent,
gains at $111.80 a barrel. U.S. oil ended $1.40, or 1.38
percent, higher at $103.01 per barrel.  
    Spot gold was down 1.58 percent at $1,286.01 an ounce
by 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT). U.S. Comex December gold futures
 closed $10.30 an ounce lower at $1,296.90, extending
losses after settling to a 1.6 percent decline at $1,286.30.
    "Both Republicans and Democrats are starting to be a little
bit more willing to find a solution and that's what is dragging
gold lower," Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen said.
    Industrial metals followed equities higher on signs of
progress in the U.S. budget and debt-limit standoff, but the
stronger dollar kept gains in check. 
    Benchmark three-month copper ended at $7,145 from a
close of $7,100 on Wednesday.
    Chicago Board of Trade corn futures fell to a near
three-year low, pressured by talk the U.S. government will cut
its requirement for ethanol usage and by more plentiful harvest
yields than expected, traders said.
    U.S. wheat futures also fell as Egypt, the world's top buyer
of the commodity, canceled a tender for supplies. Soybeans edged
higher on a mild short-covering bounce. 
    Cocoa futures trading on Liffe rose to a two-year high,
boosted by a stronger third-quarter European grind, and the ICE
Futures U.S. market rose to a 13-month high late in the session.
North American third-quarter grind data is scheduled to be
released Oct. 17. 
     
 Prices at 3:01 p.m. EDT (1901 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    102.87     1.26   1.2%   12.0%
 Brent crude                 111.80     2.74   2.5%    0.6%
 Natural gas                  3.723    0.044   1.2%   11.1%
 
 US gold                    1296.90   -10.30  -0.8%  -22.6%
 Gold                       1297.00    -9.59  -0.7%  -22.5%
 US Copper                     3.24     0.02   0.6%  -11.3%
 LME Copper                 7145.00    45.50   0.6%   -9.9%
 Dollar                      80.432    0.056   0.1%    4.8%
 CRB                        287.375    1.872   0.7%   -2.6%
 
 US corn                     438.25    -5.25  -1.2%  -37.2%
 US soybeans                1288.00     0.25   0.0%   -9.2%
 US wheat                    685.50    -5.00  -0.7%  -11.9%
 
 US Coffee                   114.40    -0.85  -0.7%  -20.4%
 US Cocoa                   2729.00    26.00   1.0%   22.0%
 US Sugar                     18.72     0.13   0.7%   -4.0%
 
 US silver                   21.850   21.632   1.7%  -27.7%
 US platinum                1392.30    12.80   0.0%   -9.5%
 US palladium                711.55     8.45   1.2%    1.2%