* Oil posts biggest one-day gain in a month
* Corn falls to lowest levels in more than 5 months
* Soy extends Tuesday selloff on worries over China demand
* Cocoa hits 5-month low; copper slips too
By Barani Krishnan
Dec 19 Oil scored its biggest daily gain in a
month on Wednesday on hopes that a U.S. fiscal deal was still
possible to prevent a new recession in the No. 1 energy
consumer, while most other commodities, especially agricultural
types, closed down.
Corn fell to its lowest levels in more than five months
after a bearish acreage outlook was released by an influential
Soybeans extended Tuesday's selloff on worries that the firm
export demand for U.S. soy over the past few months may be
Cocoa dropped to a five-month low on speculative
selling ; copper slipped after fewer startups in
U.S. housing projects, and gold ended flat after
a 3-1/2-month low in the previous session.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, which
tracks 19 futures markets, settled a touch higher. Despite the
broad decline, the index got a boost from the higher close in
U.S. crude oil, its main component.
U.S. crude oil settled up 1.8 percent at $89.51 a
barrel. Brent crude in London finished at $110.366, up
1.4 percent, the biggest daily gain for the benchmark since Nov.
"There was a risk-on tone when we started the day
globally," said Addison Armstrong, an oil analyst at Tradition
Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
"All markets were looking to go higher, and I think crude
has fed off that," Armstrong said.
Crude rallied on expectations that President Barack Obama
and Republicans in Congress will agree on a U.S. budget by Dec.
31. While Obama threatened to veto a Republican tax plan, both
sides appeared confident a deal remained within reach.
CORN, SOY TUMBLE
Corn futures in Chicago fell 2.4 percent. The benchmark
contract hit its lowest in more than five months after
influential private forecaster Informa Economics raised its 2013
U.S. corn acreage forecast to 99.026 million acres. That
forecast, for the most corn acreage since 1936, came despite
sluggish demand for corn from importers and ethanol producers.
"The Informa numbers that came out today weighed on our
markets," said Brian Hoops, president at Midwest Market
Benchmark U.S. corn for March delivery settled down
17 cents at $7.03 a bushel.
Soybeans dropped around 2 percent for a second straight
session, reeling from Tuesday's news that top soy consumer China
canceled a contract to purchase 300,000 tonnes of U.S. supplies.
Aside from that cargo, the U.S. Agriculture Department said
on said another 120,000 tonnes of locally-grown soybeans sold to
unknown destinations -- which traders believe are buyers from
China -- were also scrapped.
"Soybeans are still suffering from the impact of signs that
demand is fading as illustrated by China's canceled purchases,"
said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
Chicago-traded soybeans for January delivery closed
down 29 cents at $14.37 a bushel.
Prices at 5:31 p.m. EST (2231 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 89.42 1.58 1.8% -9.5%
Brent crude 110.21 1.37 1.3% 2.6%
Natural gas 3.320 -0.098 -2.9% 11.1%
US gold 1667.70 -3.00 -0.2% 6.4%
Gold 1665.85 -0.71 0.0% 6.5%
US Copper 359.50 -4.15 -1.1% 4.6%
LME Copper 7926.00 -98.00 -1.2% 4.3%
Dollar 79.396 0.037 0.1% -1.0%
US corn 703.00 -17.00 -2.4% 8.7%
US soybeans 1437.00 -29.00 -2.0% 19.9%
US wheat 805.75 -5.50 -0.7% 23.4%
US Coffee 144.90 0.90 0.6% -36.5%
US Cocoa 2358.00 -39.00 -1.6% 11.8%
US Sugar 19.23 -0.16 -0.8% -17.2%
US silver 31.116 -0.553 -1.7% 11.5%
US platinum 1592.90 -0.80 -0.1% 13.4%
US palladium 698.35 7.40 1.1% 6.4%