* ECB rates at record low, boosting risk appetite across
* Brent oil above $101; copper rises too but still below
* Gold futures makes up almost all of Wednesday's decline
* Cocoa at 5-month high, corn prices firm
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, May 2 Brent crude oil jumped to above
$100 a barrel on Thursday and gold and copper prices rose too as
the euro fell after a rate cut, boosting risk appetite across
markets and helping commodities rebound from their weak start
In agricultural commodities, corn firmed on U.S. planting
delays and cocoa hit a five-month high on strong technical
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
indicator for commodity prices, was up 0.8 percent by noon EDT
(1600 GMT). It had fallen 1.7 percent on Wednesday, in the first
session for May.
The rebound came after the European Central Bank cut its
benchmark refinancing rate by 25 basis points to a record low of
0.5 percent, pushing the euro down against the dollar and yen
. The ECB also promised to provide euro zone banks as much
liquidity as they needed and help smaller companies get access
to credit to prevent a recession.
Analysts said the rate cut could spur some traders and
investors to put on more risk, but many remain fearful of
economic headwinds ahead.
A business survey showed on Thursday that factory activity
in Europe's largest economy, Germany, fell for a second month in
April and at a faster pace than in March. That was on the heels
of Wednesday's data showing a slowdown in U.S. and China
"A LOT OF DAMAGE"
"A lot of damage has been done technically and
psychologically, so it's hard to be confident about a
significant bounce" in sentiment, said Stephen Briggs, a metals
strategist at BNP Paribas in London.
May is usually a time for weak prices and activity in
financial markets, including commodities, as traders go on
holiday with the advent of warmer weather in the United States
and other parts of the northern hemisphere. That weakness is
sometimes exacerbated by concerns about the economy, like now,
and how demand for raw materials would fare.
The CRB lost nearly 11 percent in May last year and almost 6
percent the previous year.
Benchmark Brent crude oil out of London surged
nearly 1.5 percent to a session high above $101 a barrel. It
fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday and has lost almost 10
percent this year.
U.S crude climbed more than 2 percent to above $93,
after losing almost 3 percent in the previous session.
"Yesterday's sell-off was a bit overdone," said Jefferies
Bache oil broker Christopher Bellew, who expects Brent to
gradually work its way back to between $103 and $104.
"I am not quite as pessimistic as everybody else," Bellew
said. "In general, the Chinese economy is growing and the
American economy is better, but sometimes it doesn't happen as
quickly as people expect."
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
bounced 1.5 percent to $6,900 a tonne in official midday trading
after sliding 3.7 percent on Wednesday, its weakest since
October 2011 and biggest one-day loss in over a year.
U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose 1.6 percent
to above $1,473 an ounce, making up almost all of Wednesday's
1.8 percent decline.
Prices at 12:21 p.m. EDT (1621 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US crude 93.26 2.22 2.4% 1.6%
Brent crude 101.98 2.03 2.0% -8.2%
Natural gas 4.069 -0.257 -5.9% 21.4%
Gold 1469.06 12.32 0.8% -12.3%
US Copper 310.60 2.60 0.8% -15.0%
LME Copper 6858.00 63.00 0.9% -13.5%
Dollar 82.215 0.731 0.9% 7.1%
CRB <.TRJCRB 0.000 0.000 0.0% -100.0%
US corn 691.75 10.00 1.5% -0.9%
US soybeans 1441.25 3.75 0.3% 1.6%
US wheat 715.50 5.00 0.7% -8.0%
US Coffee 139.65 4.95 3.7% -2.9%
US Cocoa 2407.00 -8.00 -0.3% 7.6%
US Sugar 17.33 0.00 0.0% -11.2%
US silver 23.840 0.497 2.1% -21.1%
US platinum 1488.80 19.30 1.3% -3.2%
US palladium 690.65 5.90 0.9% -1.8%