April 27, 2012 / 9:41 PM / in 5 years

COMMODITIES-Gold, copper, corn sizzle as Fed, dollar eyed

* Gold has biggest weekly gain since Feb
    * Copper at 3-week high; corn posts largest gain on day
    * Sugar bucks trend, falling near 12-month low

    By Barani Krishnan	
    NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - Gold, copper and corn prices
rallied o n Friday, sending commodities broadly higher, after
data showing softer U.S. economic growth in the first quarter
raised the prospect of more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.	
    The weaker-than-expected data on U.S. gross domestic product
pushed the dollar down despite pressure on the euro from a
downgrade of Spain's credit rating. 	
    Dollar-denominated commodities, which comprise nearly all
key raw materials, including oil, rose to adjust to the drop in
the currency. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index,
which tracks 19 commodities all traded in the dollar, gained
nearly 0.75 percent on the day and 1.4 percent for the week.	
    Sugar bucked the trend, falling to a near one-year low in
New York trading. 	
    Gold had its biggest weekly gain since late February, rising
for a fourth consecutive day.	
    "The GDP data may confirm ongoing stimulatory U.S. monetary
policies, which is positive for gold," said James Steel, chief
commodity analyst at HSBC.	
    Commodity prices had risen previously when the Fed engaged
in two rounds of asset purchases to stimulate the economy. The
dollar has fallen since Wednesday, when Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke said the central bank had not ruled out further
stimulus, which in the past has involved printing more money.	
    The spot price of gold, which tracks trades in
bullion, rose 0.4 percent on the day and 1.2 percent on the week
to fetch above $1,662 an ounce. 	
    Traders said investors saw the precious metal as a hedge
against the dollar amid speculation over U.S. stimulus, and a
safe-haven bet against further deterioration in Spanish and euro
zone finances.	
        	
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^	
    CRB graphic: link.reuters.com/ter87s	
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^	
    	
    Copper, often regarded as an economic barometer, hit
three-week highs. Stimulus expectations aside, copper was lifted
by falling stockpiles of the commodity in warehouses linked to
the London Metal Exchange.	
    The LME's benchmark three-month copper contract 
peaked at $8,433 per tonne, its highest since April 4, before
going untraded at the close, and was last bid at $8,415. It
closed on Thursday at $8,322.	
    Corn became the CRB's biggest gainer for the day,
jumping 5 percent to close at $6.53 a bushel on the Chicago
Board of Trade. Its weekly gain of 7 percent was the biggest
since May 2011. Export data showed runaway demand for U.S. corn,
including this week's largest one-day shipment to China in 21
years. 	
    CBOT soybeans rose over 1 percent on the day and more
than 3 percent on the week, topping the key threshold of $15 per
bushel for the first time in nearly four years. 	
    Oil closed little changed on the day, weighing U.S. stimulus
prospects against the possibility of a global drop in demand for
energy.	
    London's Brent crude oil fell 9 cents to settle at
$119.83. Brent had a nearly 1 percent weekly gain but remained
on pace to post a more than 2 percent monthly loss.  	
    U.S. crude rose 38 cents to settle at $104.93 a
barrel, having reached $105. The weekly gain was 1.8 percent, on
track for a similar monthly rise.	
 Prices at 4:55 p.m. EDT (2055 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                   104.78     0.23   0.2%    6.0%
 Brent crude                119.62    -0.30  -0.3%   11.4%
 Natural gas                 2.186    0.060   2.8%  -26.9%
 
 US gold                   1669.30     4.30   0.3%    6.5%
 Gold                      1662.39     5.11   0.3%    6.3%
 US Copper                  382.00     5.30   1.4%   11.2%
                              
 Dollar                     78.746   -0.178  -0.2%   -1.8%
 CRB                       305.510    2.230   0.7%    0.1%
 
 US corn                    653.00    29.00   4.7%    1.0%
 US soybeans               1496.75    15.50   1.1%   24.9%
 US wheat                   642.25    16.25   2.6%   -1.6%
 
 US Coffee                  175.00     0.30   0.2%  -23.3%
 US Cocoa                  2364.00    37.00   1.6%   12.1%
 US Sugar                    21.22    -0.10  -0.5%   -8.7%
 
 US silver                  31.347    0.140   0.4%   12.3%
 US platinum               1575.70     5.50   0.4%   12.2%
 US palladium               681.50     8.85   1.3%    3.9%
 	
 (Editing by Dale Hudson)

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