* Forecast for increases in supplies weigh on U.S. crude
* Upbeat U.S. economic data pressures gold
* Disappointing exports pull wheat to a 6-week low.
By Marina Lopes
NEW YORK, Nov 5 Oil and precious metals fell on
Thursday, with gold falling for the seventh straight session, as
upbeat U.S. economic data challenged assumptions of a prolonged
Federal Reserve stimulus.
Speculation that the European Central Bank may announce
lower interest rates this week pressured the Euro, while the
dollar strengthened on data showing an acceleration in U.S.
service sector activity.
Investors await U.S. October non-farm payroll data, due
Friday, to forecast how long the Fed will maintain its stimulus
policy. The Fed has stipulated that it will hold down interest
rates until unemployment drops to 6.5 percent from its current
Expectations of a bumper harvest pressured corn to a
near three-year low, while weak exports pushed wheat futures
their lowest since Sept. 24.
In base metals, copper gained support from upbeat
global manufacturing data, while aluminum closed down,
but up from the day's low, which was the lowest since
The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index, fell
0.26 percent to a near 1-1/2 year low, weighed by losses in 15
of the 19 commodities it tracks.
U.S. stocks seesawed throughout the day, as investors
pondered the implications of the upbeat economic data on the
"We've seen some quite good economic data out of the U.S.,
which has led to a rise in the dollar and has weighed on
commodity prices, gold especially," Commerzbank analyst Daniel
OIL SLIPS ON SUPPLIES
U.S. crude oil futures settled at a five-month low on
Tuesday, pressured by forecasts for rising supplies and
continued weak demand as Gulf Coast refineries were expected to
remain offline at least through the end of this week.
A steady build in U.S. oil stocks has kept prices under
pressure in recent weeks. Data is expected to show a new weekly
increase of around 1.8 million barrels, according to a Reuters
poll ahead of reports from industry group the American Petroleum
Institute (API) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
"North America is creating an avalanche of oil that doesn't
seem to have a home right now," said Gene McGillian, an analyst
at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Illinois.
UPBEAT DATA WEIGHS ON PRECIOUS METALS
Gold prices fell on Tuesday after a reading of U.S.
service-sector business activity came in stronger than expected.
The business activity lifted the dollar, while the euro
retreated ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this
Speculation that U.S. monetary easing is set to end has
pushed gold prices down 20 percent this year.
Gold demand in major consumer India failed to pick up after
a soft week. Consumers bought little gold during Diwali, the
Hindu festival of lights, over the weekend, although it is
usually a popular occasion for bullion purchases.
GRAINS DOWN ON HARVEST PRESSURE
U.S. wheat futures fell to their lowest in nearly six weeks
on Tuesday due to improving crop prospects in the U.S. Plains
and declining demand in the export market, traders said.
Soybeans also fell, hitting their lowest since February
2012, while corn was close to unchanged and hovering near a
three-year low. Expectations that an upcoming U.S. government
report will show huge U.S. production of both crops weighed on
Trading volume was thin across the agriculture markets as
many traders were awaiting the U.S. Agriculture Department's
monthly supply and demand reports, due on Friday.
"The grains are just biding time at this point," Matt
Zeller, director of marketing information at INTL FCStone, said
in a note to clients.