* U.S. data shows slump in motor fuel inventories
* U.S. crude rises more than 2 pct, gasoline more than 1 pct
* Copper up more than 2 percent, session peak above $7,000
* Gold rises on as dollar falls against euro
* Corn rebounds from 2-week low, sugar near 3-year low
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, April 24 Oil prices rallied as much as
2 percent on Wednesday due to falling U.S. gasoline stockpiles
while copper and gold advanced as the dollar weakened against
Corn rebounded from a two-week low as soybean and wheat
prices turned weak on U.S. weather-related factors affecting
Sugar dropped to its lowest levels in nearly three years on
continued speculator selling as the market faced its third
straight annual surplus.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, an index
of commodities, rose 0.7 percent for its first positive close in
Eight of the 19 commodities on the CRB ended up 1 percent or
more as the euro rose against the dollar on optimism that Italy
could form a new coalition government, overcoming political
Sugar and cotton led the CRB's declines,
falling 2 percent or more.
In oil, London's Brent gained more than $1 a barrel and U.S.
crude rose nearly $2 as stockpiles of gasoline declined in top
consumer the United States.
The possibility of stronger demand for U.S. gasoline emerged
after data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA)
showed stocks of the motor fuel slumped last week.
But a weak March report on U.S. durable goods orders sent
U.S. equity markets lower, limiting gains in oil.
"The macroeconomic headlines were disappointing again," said
Stephen Schork, editor of The Schork Report in Villanova,
Brent crude oil prices are down about 7 percent since the
end of March and U.S. gasoline has tumbled almost 12 percent,
reaching low prices attractive to buyers.
In Wednesday's session, Brent settled at $101.73 a
barrel, up $1.42. U.S. crude gained $2.25 to $91.43.
U.S. gasoline finished up 1 percent at $2.74 per
gallon after going as low as $2.70.
Copper surged above $7,000 a tonne as investors went
bargain-hunting following hefty falls.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) closed up 2.3 percent at $7,029.50 a tonne, after earlier
hitting a session peak of $7,053, its highest since late last
week. It had reached an 18-month low of $6,762.25 on Tuesday.
Gold prices rose on continued physical demand after last
week's historic price tumble.
The spot price of bullion rose 1.1 percent to more
than $1,427 an ounce. On Tuesday it fell for the first time in
six sessions. Gold sank a combined $225 on April 12 and 15 in a
sell-off that surprised investors and gold bulls.
Prices at 3:37 p.m. EDT (1937 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 91.56 2.38 2.7% -0.3%
Brent crude 101.88 1.57 1.6% -8.3%
Natural gas 4.166 -0.072 -1.7% 24.3%
US gold 1423.40 14.80 1.1% -15.1%
Gold 1428.16 15.92 1.1% -14.7%
US Copper 316.50 6.10 2.0% -13.3%
LME Copper 7030.00 160.00 2.3% -11.4%
Dollar 82.905 -0.143 -0.2% 8.0%
US corn 639.50 1.00 0.2% -8.4%
US soybeans 1404.00 -15.75 -1.1% -1.0%
US wheat 691.75 -5.75 -0.8% -11.1%
US Coffee 138.40 0.85 0.6% -3.8%
US Cocoa 2322.00 6.00 0.3% 3.8%
US Sugar 17.40 -0.34 -1.9% -10.8%
US silver 22.833 0.016 0.1% -24.5%
US platinum 1429.80 13.00 0.9% -7.1%
US palladium 667.65 -5.70 -0.8% -5.1%