COMMODITIES-Most commods jump as dollar falls on weak U.S. jobs data; wheat drops

Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:07pm EST

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By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Commodities surged on Friday,
reversing the previous session's losses as weaker-than-expected
U.S. job data for December stirred speculation the Federal
Reserve might not hike rates or roll back stimulus money as
quickly as previously thought.
    Gold, silver, copper, nickel,
natural gas and crude oil rallied between 1 and
nearly 4 percent, rebounding from Thursday's market liquidation
sparked by concerns the U.S. economy might growing too firmly
for the Fed to keep rates low for too long.
    New doubts about the strength of the economy arose after
U.S. non-farm payrolls (NFP) showed only 74,000 workers were
hired last month, the smallest increase since January 2011, and
significantly under the 196,000 expected by analysts.
 
    The dollar also fell broadly on the data, which
suggested no quick end to the Fed's monetary expansion policies
that had weighed heavily on the currency in the past. 
    The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index, a
bellwether for commodities, rose 1.2 percent after Thursday's
near 1 percent decline that took it to an 18-month low.
    Gold, a favorite hedge against the dollar, was the among the
CRB's bigger gainers, rising 1.5 percent to hit a 3-week high.
By 3:25 p.m. EST (2025 GMT), the spot price of bullion 
was at $1,245.59, after earlier scaling the Dec. 16 peak of
$1,248.41. 
    Gold plunged in 2013, losing nearly 30 percent after a
12-year rally. Since this year began it has risen more than 3
percent.
    But some analysts said it was too early to chase the rebound
in the shiny metal, or to write off the recovery in the U.S.
economy.
    "One swallow does not make a summer and one bad NFP print
doesn't change 12 months of gold-bearish macroeconomic news,"
Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said. "Nobody is now thinking
the U.S. economy is near collapsing."
    Nickel had the biggest percentage gain of the day, jumping
nearly 4 percent after traders priced in a ban beginning this
weekend on exports of nickel ore from Indonesia, which supplies
half of China's huge stainless steel-making industry. 
    Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange closed
at $13,860 a tonne, up from Thursday's $13,350.
    London-traded copper and crude oil futures in New
York rose more than 1 percent each.  
    Wheat was one of the few commodities that fell,
sliding nearly 3 percent after the U.S. Department of
Agriculture put out crop data that forecast larger-than-expected
supplies for the grain. 
    
    Prices at 3:26 p.m. EDT (2026 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG
US crude              92.76     1.10   1.2%
Brent crude         107.39     1.00   0.9%
Natural gas           4.053    0.048   1.2%
                                                          
US gold             1246.90    17.50   1.4%
Gold                1244.74    17.20   1.4%
US Copper              3.34     0.04   1.3%
LME Copper         7302.50    89.50   1.2%
Dollar               80.639   -0.366  -0.5%
CRB              275.423    3.129   1.2%
                                                          
US corn               432.75    20.75   5.0%
US soybeans          1303.75     7.50   0.6%
US wheat              569.00   -15.25  -2.6%
                                                          
US Coffee            120.65     1.30   1.1%
US Cocoa            2712.00    28.00   1.0%
US Sugar              15.57     0.09   0.6%
                                                          
US silver            20.223   20.026   1.6%
US platinum         1434.70    17.00   0.0%
US palladium         746.05     9.55   1.3%

 (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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