COMMODITIES-Gold up for 4th week; nickel's biggest week since Feb

Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:40pm EST

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By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday to finish
up for a fourth straight week after weakness in U.S. equities
and strong Asian physical demand and fund buying for bullion,
and gasoline and heating oil also rose to lead gains across
    Nickel vied with gold for top weekly rankings in commodities
as the stainless steel component gained 6 percent on the week,
its most since early February 2013, after an export ban by top
nickel ore exporter Indonesia.
    The bullish sentiment in the metals and energy markets was
offset by lower prices in many agricultural markets.
    The soft commodities complex, comprising coffee, cocoa and
sugar, tumbled on concerns about demand. 
    Wheat and corn prices also fell. 
    The mixed performance led the Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity
Index to close flat on the day. Nine of the markets
tracked by the commodities bellwether settled up while 10 were
    The spot price of gold rose nearly 1 percent to above
$1,253 an ounce by 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT).
    For the week, it rose 0.5 percent, extending its weekly
winning streak to four, the longest rise since September 2012.
    U.S. heating oil and gasoline futures both
rose more than 1 percent on higher demand as the eastern United
States hunkered down for another cold snap in the coming week.
    Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange,
closed flat on the day at $14,695 a tonne, compared with last
week's finish of $13,860. 
    Prices at 5:25 p.m. EST (2225 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG
US crude              94.09     0.13   0.1%
Brent crude         106.32     0.57   0.5%
Natural gas           4.326   -0.056  -1.3%
US gold             1251.90    11.70   0.9%
Gold                1252.86    -0.53   0.0%
US Copper              3.34     0.00   0.1%
LME Copper         7340.00    30.00   0.4%
Dollar               81.181    0.271   0.3%
CRB              278.410   -0.006   0.0%
US corn               424.00    -4.00  -0.9%
US soybeans          1316.50     1.50   0.1%
US wheat              563.50    -9.25  -1.6%
US Coffee            117.15    -1.20  -1.0%
US Cocoa            2700.00   -53.00  -1.9%
US Sugar              15.22    -0.23  -1.5%
US silver            20.304   20.103   1.6%
US platinum         1452.60    22.60   0.0%
US palladium         748.55     4.65   0.6%

 (Editing by Andre Grenon)