COMMODITIES-Softer dollar boosts prices; arabica up most in 4 mths

Mon Jan 6, 2014 3:18pm EST

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By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Arabica coffee jumped more than
4 percent on Monday, rallying its most in four months on fund
buying, while a weaker dollar helped boost prices of other crops
and also oil and metals.
    The dollar slipped against the euro and yen after the
release of weaker-than-expected U.S. services sector data,
adding to the demand for dollar-denominated commodities from
holders of other currencies. U.S. stock prices also fell, making
alternatives like commodities more attractive to investors.
    The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index, a
bellwether for commodities, rose 0.3 percent after gains in 11
of the 19 markets it tracks.
    Coffee futures rallied above long-term technical levels,
driven by index fund rebalancing at the start of the year.
    March arabica coffee trading on ICE Futures U.S.
surged 4.65 cents, or 4 percent, to settle at $1.21 per pound -
the highest close for the spot contract since Aug. 15. It was
also the market's sharpest one-day gain since Sept. 10.
    Adding to the technical rally in coffee was a report from
Swiss-based commodities house ED&F Man, which said top coffee
grower Brazil's 2014-15 crop was expected to fall well below
earlier forecasts due to hard pruning and tired trees after two
consecutive bumper harvests.
    "People will take notice of the report because the forecast
numbers are well out of the range targeted so far," said Stefan
Uhlenbrock, an analyst with F.O. Licht.
    In London-traded robusta coffee, the most-active second
month contract settled up $61, or 3.7 percent, at $1,705
a tonne, also on fund buying. 
    Brent crude oil edged higher in choppy trading after
reports of restarted production at a Libyan oilfield, which
hinted at more supply, were outweighed by doubts about its
ability to reach markets.  
    U.S. gold futures rose, shaking off an unusual and
sudden tumble earlier in the session, as weakness on Wall Street
extended bullion's rally to a third consecutive session. 
    Copper steadied as the dollar fell but the metal's
prices remained near a 2-week low on concerns about economic
recovery in China, which accounts for about 40 percent of global
copper demand. 
    Prices at 3:01 p.m. EST (2001 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
US crude              93.63    -0.33  -0.4%    2.0%
Brent crude         107.11     0.22   0.2%   -3.6%
Natural gas           4.306    0.002   0.0%   28.5%
US gold             1238.00    -0.60   0.0%  -26.1%
Gold                1239.56     3.40   0.3%  -26.0%
US Copper              3.36    -0.02  -0.7%   -8.0%
LME Copper         7325.00    10.00   0.1%   -7.6%
Dollar               80.662   -0.129  -0.2%    5.1%
CRB              277.104    0.574   0.2%   -6.1%
US corn               427.75     4.25   1.0%  -38.7%
US soybeans          1296.75     7.50   0.6%   -8.6%
US wheat              605.75     0.00   0.0%  -22.1%
US Coffee            121.00     4.65   4.0%  -15.9%
US Cocoa            2667.00   -32.00  -1.2%   19.3%
US Sugar              16.08     0.00   0.0%  -17.6%
US silver            20.103   19.901   1.6%  -33.5%
US platinum         1413.70     2.20   0.0%   -8.1%
US palladium         738.50     7.30   1.0%    5.0%

 (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)