August 2, 2013 / 7:51 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Oil down as U.S. jobs data disappoints; gold, crops up

3 Min Read

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Friday after weak U.S. job numbers disappointed investors, but crude still posted a weekly gain, and copper closed the day up modestly and notched its first weekly gain in three weeks.

The spot price of gold rose, sliding early and then rebounding as the dollar fell after U.S. jobs data for July showed employers slowing their hiring, with jobs growth of 162,000 below the median forecast of 184,000 in a Reuters poll.

Soybeans rose on technical buying after declines earlier in the week. Arabica, the premium grade for coffee , closed up for the first time in six sessions a day after tumbling to a four-year low.

The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index settled down half a percent, pressured by the drop in U.S. crude oil, its largest component.

"We've got a pullback from the jobs data, but I suspect we are also seeing some profit-taking before the weekend," Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities in New York, said of the sell-off in crude oil.

The U.S. jobs reading sparked concern among investors who had been encouraged this week by surprisingly positive global economic data.

As late as Thursday, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 5-1/2-year low last week. A closely watched index of U.S. manufacturing activity has also hit a two-year high, while a China industrial index beat expectations and a reading for euro zone manufacturing returned to growth.

In Friday's session, U.S. crude lost 0.9 percent, or 95 cents, to finish at $106.94 a barrel.

Benchmark Brent crude out of London settled down 59 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $108.95 per barrel.

Both crude grades still posted weekly gains of about 2 percent.

Copper closed up after hitting a one-week high, although gains were capped by caution over the U.S. economic outlook after the July jobs numbers.

Three-months copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,005 per tonne, after hitting its highest since July 24 at $7,079 a tonne. On Thursday it was last bid at $6,998.

Copper, used in power and construction, had risen 2.4 percent for the week by the close, its first such gain in three weeks. It registered a monthly gain of 1.9 percent in July.

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