COMMODITIES-Gold posts big weekly gain but US crude drags commods index

Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:14pm EDT

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold closed flat on Friday,
concluding a second week of strong gains as investors bet that
continuing U.S. economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve will
keep drawing funds into the precious metal, but copper slid,
hitting a two-week bottom as demand outlook for the base metal
eroded.
    In crop markets, U.S. soybean futures edged lower and
corn futures were little changed ahead of what is
expected to be an active weekend of harvesting in the United
States, the world's top producer of both crops. 
    Coffee futures in New York and London sank
to multi-year lows for a second straight day and posted large
weekly losses as expectations of another year of excess supplies
discouraged buying. 
    U.S. crude oil futures recovered for a second day
from a sharp selloff early this week. Benchmark Brent crude out
of Europe fell, narrowing its premium over U.S. oil . Traders bet that U.S. refineries would process more
oil and throughput from a new U.S. crude pipeline will slow
buildup in U.S. crude stockpiles. 
    The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index, which
tracks 19 futures markets, settled up 0.3 percent on the day.
For the week, it fell 1.5 percent for its sharpest weekly
decline in 3 months due to U.S. crude's 3 percent loss on the
week. U.S. crude is the largest component of the CRB.
    Gold inched up in Friday's trade as disappointing U.S.
economic data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve
will keep its stimulus intact well into 2014.
    The spot price of bullion was up $5.11, or 0.4
percent, at $1,351.31 an ounce by 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT),
hovering below its highest level since Sept. 20 of $1,351.61.
    U.S. gold futures' most-active contract, December 
, closed up $2.20, or 0.2 percent, at $1,352.40.
    For the week, both the spot and futures markets for gold
rose about 3 percent for a second week in a row.
    Gold got a boost this week as weak U.S. payrolls data for
September fed expectations that the Federal Reserve will not
reduce, or taper, its economic stimulus until well into next
year. The precious metal hit four-week highs on
Thursday but remains down 20 percent for the year to date.
    "Things are sluggishly moving here," Thomas Capalbo, a gold
broker at New York futures brokerage Newedge, said, following
weaker-than-expected consumer confidence and durable goods data
on Friday morning. 
    "There's no real indication that things are getting much
better, and no indication saying that we are going to see
tapering soon, so that's going to be beneficial for gold and
probably silver too." 
    Copper fell on Friday to its lowest level in two weeks on
expectations of a growing supply surplus. Patchy data on global
factory growth and fears top consumer China would clamp down on
credit also weighed on the metal.
    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 fell to $7,113, its lowest since Oct. 11. It has traded
in a $7,000-$7,420 range since early August due to swelling
supply and slower demand growth from top buyer China. 
    
 Prices at 4:27 p.m. EDT (2027 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                     97.91     0.80   0.8%    6.6%
 Brent crude                 107.25     0.26   0.2%   -3.5%
 Natural gas                  3.707    0.078   2.1%   10.6%
 
 US gold                    1352.50     2.20   0.2%  -19.3%
 Gold                       1351.46     4.92   0.4%  -19.3%
 US Copper                     3.27     0.00   0.1%  -10.6%
 LME Copper                 7185.00    10.00   0.1%   -9.4%
 Dollar                      79.204    0.023   0.0%    3.2%
 CRB                        282.556    0.893   0.3%   -4.2%
 
 US corn                     440.00    -0.25  -0.1%  -37.0%
 US soybeans                1300.00    -9.75  -0.7%   -8.4%
 US wheat                    690.75    -5.75  -0.8%  -11.2%
 
 US Coffee                   109.10    -1.20  -1.1%  -24.1%
 US Cocoa                   2713.00    27.00   1.0%   21.3%
 US Sugar                     19.03     0.06   0.3%   -2.5%
 
 US silver                   22.603   22.375   1.7%  -25.2%
 US platinum                1452.50    -0.80   0.0%   -5.6%
 US palladium                746.90     0.10   0.0%    6.2%
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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