By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Jan 13 Gold hit one-month highs on
Monday, extending gains from last week driven by weak U.S. jobs
data, even as influential market voice Goldman Sachs predicted a
losing year for bullion and other commodities such as copper and
The spot price of gold rose about half a percent to
above $1,255 an ounce, its highest since Dec. 12, joining a
broad run-up in the commodities complex on Monday as the dollar
stumbled and U.S. stocks eased.
Goldman on Monday forecast a year-end price target of $1,050
for gold that puts the shiny metal on course for a 15 percent
loss from current levels.
A similar percentage loss in copper for 2014 was
predicted by the Wall Street bank and commodities trader. Copper
futures rose slightly to close at $7,329 a tonne in London but
was still down about 1 percent on the year.
In soybeans, Goldman saw a "significant downside"
through the year due to expectations for record South American
output. On Monday, soybeans rallied 1.2 percent to above $12.94
a bushel in Chicago, rebounding from the 6-week low hit in early
January. For the year, soy is little changed.
Goldman said it was neutral on commodities near-term and
underweight over the longer term, forecasting a 3 percent return
over a 3-month period and negative 3 percent over 12 months.
"The uncertainty about oil supplies due to geopolitical
risks in Libya and South Sudan keeps us from taking a stronger
view near term," it said. While it saw a structural bear market
in the distant future, Goldman still recommended holding
commodities in 2014 "from an asset allocation perspective".
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index
rose a modest 0.3 percent on Monday and is down nearly
1.5 percent on the year.
Oil prices fell, with U.S. crude down nearly 1
percent at $91.80 a barrel while benchmark Brent oil
slipping about half a percent to below $107.
Gold prices surged on Friday after U.S. jobs data for
December showed employers hiring the fewest workers in nearly
three years. Gold traders and investors saw the data as a sign
that the Federal Reserve will take longer to taper bond-buying
and raise interest rates than previously thought.
Gold, a favorite hedge against the weak dollar and economic
uncertainty, hit record highs above $1,900 in 2011 as the Fed
accelerated its monetary expansion after the financial crisis.
Last year, after a 12-year rally, it fell for the first time,
plunging nearly 30 percent, and the Fed moved to roll back its
stimulus measures. This year so far, it has risen 4 percent.
Some believe the rebound can continue.
"If gold prices can sustain the $1,200 key support level,
the majority of the 2014 year could very well remain within the
$1,200-$1,400 range," London-based ETF Securities said in an
Natural gas and nickel were among the largest gainers on the
CRB on Monday.
Natgas futures rose over 5 percent in New York
trading, reaching at above $4.26 per million British thermal
units, as cold weather forecasts returned to the northeastern
United States after a brief respite last week.
Nickel gained over 2 percent, adding to Friday's
near 4 percent rise, and reached a 2-week high of above $14,215
a tonne, as a ban on unprocessed ore exports from top exporter
Indonesia came into effect.
Prices at 2:24 p.m. EDT (1924 GMT)
LAST NET PCT
US crude 91.69 -1.03 -1.1%
Brent crude 106.76 -0.49 -0.5%
Natural gas 4.265 0.211 5.2%
US gold 1254.00 6.50 0.5%
Gold 1253.54 6.84 0.5%
US Copper 3.39 0.01 0.4%
LME Copper 7323.00 20.50 0.3%
Dollar 80.556 -0.102 -0.1%
CRB 275.980 0.557 0.2%
US corn 434.00 1.25 0.3%
US soybeans 1327.00 23.00 1.8%
US wheat 573.00 4.50 0.8%
US Coffee 120.00 -0.65 -0.5%
US Cocoa 2707.00 -5.00 -0.2%
US Sugar 15.63 0.06 0.4%
US silver 20.425 0.002 1.0%
US platinum 1435.20 7.20 0.5%
US palladium 740.25 -5.80 -0.8%
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)