* CRB index rises, could end 8-session skid
* Oil rebounds on German business data
* Copper at Dec lows on renewed Europe worries
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Feb 22 Commodities rebounded broadly
for the first time in nine sessions on Friday, with oil rising
on better business morale data in Germany but copper fell to
2-month lows on fresh worries over Europe.
Raw sugar and coffee's premium grade arabica
rallied more than many other commodities although traders
cautioned that excess supplies could weigh on prices again.
In grains markets, U.S. soybeans were hurt by profit-taking
after hitting a 3-1/2-month high on strong buying from China and
a port strike in Brazil that stalled grains shipments there.
Corn and wheat also pared early gains.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
commodities bellwether, was up by about a quarter percent by 1
p.m. EST (1800 GMT), on the way to snapping losses in eight
previous sessions. Twelve of the 19 markets tracked by the CRB
rose, with nickel, sugar and coffee gaining more than 1 percent
Oil's benchmark Brent crude in London rose $1.26 per
barrel to a high of $114.79 before paring gains to trade below
$114. U.S. crude added about 10 cents to near $93.
Brent had lost 3.3 percent in the past two sessions,
plumbing 3-week lows. U.S. crude had fallen to 6-week lows.
The selloff began after rumors hit the markets on Wednesday
that a commodities hedge fund was in trouble and liquidating
positions. It accelerated on speculation the U.S. Federal
Reserve may end its bond-buying program, which has provided
liquidity to financial markets, sooner than previously thought.
Commodity markets started 2013 strongly, with the CRB rising
3 percent in January on signs of better economic recovery in the
United States, Europe and China. But uneven business and growth
data in the past two weeks raised market jitters, pushing the
CRB lower for eight straight sessions.
OIL TICKS UP WITH STOCKS
In Friday trade, oil followed stocks higher after data
showed Germany's business morale grew at its fastest pace in
over two years in February. Wall Street's key equities index,
the S&P500, was up 0.7 percent, rising for the first time
in three sessions.
The rebound came despite the euro dropping to a
6-week low against the dollar after the European Central Bank
announced crisis loan repayments by euro zone banks at levels
far below market expectations.
"With the equity markets focused more on German business
confidence than downward revisions to Euro Zone economic
forecasts, the petroleum markets are seeing at least a limited
bounce after the Wednesday-Thursday drop," Tim Evans, energy
futures specialist at Citi Futures said in a research note.
"The height of the bounce - whether today or into next week
- will provide an indication of whether oil market bullish
sentiment is resilient or whether further urgent long
liquidation is on tap," Evans added.
Copper slipped to its lowest level in 2 months and showed
its biggest weekly loss in 14 months on concerns about the
global economy and the demand for industrial metals.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed at $7,805 a tonne, down from $7,860 at the close on
Thursday. It earlier fell to its lowest level since Dec. 21, at
The metal, used in power and construction, has fallen 4.8
percent so far this week for its biggest weekly fall since
mid-December 2011. On Thursday, it suffered its biggest
single-day slide of 2013.
Prices at 1:25 p.m. EST (1825 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US crude 92.93 0.09 0.1% 1.2%
Brent crude 114.10 0.57 0.5% 2.7%
Natural gas 3.276 0.030 0.9% -2.2%
US gold 1572.60 -6.00 -0.4% -6.2%
Gold 1572.95 -2.80 -0.2% -6.1%
US Copper 353.10 -2.20 -0.6% -3.3%
LME Copper 7808.00 -53.00 -0.7% -1.6%
Dollar 81.472 0.011 0.0% 6.1%
CRB <.TRJCRB 0.000 0.000 0.0% -100.0%
US corn 692.50 1.75 0.3% -0.8%
US soybeans 1481.25 -6.50 -0.4% 4.4%
US wheat 721.75 0.50 0.1% -7.2%
US Coffee 143.40 1.65 1.2% -0.3%
US Cocoa 2165.00 22.00 1.0% -3.2%
US Sugar 18.22 0.10 0.6% -6.6%
US silver 28.455 -0.249 -0.9% -5.9%
US platinum 1605.80 -14.20 -0.9% 4.4%
US palladium 733.60 0.00 0.0% 4.3%