* Weak US jobs data for March extends commodity selloff
* Oil at 8-month low, copper stays weak after Thursday rout
* CRB index heads for biggest weekly loss in five months
* Gold, natgas, corn, wheat and sugar rebound
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, April 5 Commodity markets recovered
some of Friday's early losses triggered by disappointing U.S.
jobs data, but a key sector index still headed for its biggest
weekly decline in five months after a rout in the past four
Oil was down by more than 1 percent, touching an 8-month
low. Copper and other metals slipped too after data from the
U.S. Labor Department showed American employers hired at the
slowest pace in nine months in March.
A Reuters survey had earlier predicted moderate jobs growth
for March, and the official data was a sign that Washington's
austerity drive since December may be stealing momentum from the
John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital, an energy hedge fund
in New York, called jobs report "a real disappointment."
"The recent decline in crude oil prices seemed to foreshadow
this negative data point and the outlook for energy demand
growth will be impaired as a result," Kilduff said.
While oil and metals fell, a few commodities such as gold
, natural gas, corn, wheat and sugar
rebounded, helping the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB
index recover from a nine-month low hit earlier in the
By 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), the 19-commodity CRB was down a
quarter percent, after falling about half a percent earlier.
For the week, though, the commodities bellwether was down
2.8 percent, heading for its worst weekly performance since late
Barclays Capital, known for its typically bullish outlook on
commodities, noted that the selloff in raw materials markets
that began in mid-February had continued in April, and the
majority of the complex was now trading at multi-month lows.
"Neither macro nor fundamental trends have offered any
persuasive reasons to counteract this price trend during this
time period," it said in a note.
Oil's benchmark, the London-traded Brent crude, was
down 1.4 percent at $104.85 a barrel, after falling to $104.68
earlier, its lowest level since early August.
U.S. crude dropped to a low of $91.91, from
Thursday's settlement of $93.26. It briefly recouped losses
before slipping again to below $92.60.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
down 0.2 percent at $7,420, after the previous session's close
of $7,440. Thursday's low of $7,331.25 for LME copper was the
weakest since August. Prices are down around 6 percent so far