(Repeats article that appeared on April 5, no changes)
* Money managers slash net longs by $9.7 bln in Apr 2 week
* Corn most hit, with outflow of $3.1 bln; soy, gold next
* Analysts say pressure on commods likely to stay next week
By Barani Krishnan
April 5 Hedge funds and other big speculators
have cut their bullish bets on commodities by the most since
February, trade data showed on Friday, amid signs of stagnating
U.S. economic recovery and uncertainty over raw materials
Money managers slashed by $9.7 billion their net-long
holdings across 22 commodities to $59.7 billion during the week
to April 2, according to Reuters calculations of data released
by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The last time net-long managed money in those markets fell
by more was during the week to Feb. 19, when there was a drop of
$12.9 billion. Corn, gold and soybeans accounted for nearly 80
percent of the latest decline.
Since trading for the second quarter began this week, oil,
metals and crops prices have sunk to multi-month lows. The
selloff came after weaker-than-expected data on U.S. factory
growth and private sector hiring raised concerns about the
outlook for the No. 1 economy.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that American
employers hired at the slowest pace in nine months in March,
sparking another investor stampede out of oil.
Aside from disappointing economic data, commodity prices
have also been pressured by creeping stockpiles of raw
materials, particularly in corn, oil and copper.
"On balance, I think the down move we are seeing in
commodities will continue into next week," said Edward Meir,
analyst at INTL FCStone in New York. At Friday's close, the
19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index was
down 2.8 percent on the week for its worst week since October.
The CFTC data showed corn having the biggest net outflow in
managed money -- $3.14 billion -- for the week to April 2.
U.S. corn set a nine-month bottom below $6.27 a bushel
on Friday and posted a 9.5 percent loss on the week -- its
biggest in 21 months. Corn has tumbled since the U.S. Department
of Agriculture issued a larger-than-expected stockpile estimate
for the grain last week.
According to the CFTC data on Friday, hedge funds and other
speculators slashed their bullish bets on corn futures and
options on the Chicago Board of Trade by 70 percent after the
USDA stockpile forecast.
In CBOT soybeans, the net long position fell by 27,707
contracts to 57,287 in the week to April 2. In dollar terms, the
reduced net-length stood at nearly $2.5 billion.
Soybean prices fell to a 10-month bottom below $13.55
a bushel in Friday's sessions due to fears of a potential drop
in feed demand from a bird flu in China and seasonal pressure
from the harvest of massive soy crops in South America.
In gold futures and options traded on New York's COMEX,
money managers cut their net length by 12,962 contracts to
47,164. Gold saw an outflow of just over $2 billion in net-long
money for the week to April 2.
(Editing by David Gregorio)