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COMMODITIES-Grains, natgas jump on hot, drier US weather
August 19, 2013 / 8:07 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Grains, natgas jump on hot, drier US weather

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Grains prices surged on Monday
as dry weather threatened to trim U.S. crop yields, and gold and
copper fell on the possibility of a cut in the U.S. monetary
stimulus program starting next month.
    In energy markets, natural gas had its largest gain
in a month on forecasts that hot weather would return to the
midwest and northern United States, regions that are big users
of gas to generate power for air conditioning. Oil prices
  slipped on profit-taking after rallying in the
past week on unrest in Egypt. 
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-CRB index rose by
a modest 0.2 percent to close up for a fourth straight day. The
advance was mainly helped by higher prices for grains such as
corn, soybeans and wheat.
    "It's a weather market, there's not much rain," said
Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup, referring to
the drier conditions in the U.S. Midwest that were expected to
result in crop stress and lower output.
    Corn's benchmark December contract on the Chicago
Board of Trade rose nearly 5 percent to $4.86-1/4 a bushel
before settling at $4.85-1/2. 
    CBOT soybeans for November hit a eight-week high of
$13.02-3/4 a bushel and settled at $13.03-1/4 a bushel, up 3.5
percent. Wheat for September closed up 1.7 percent at
$6.41-1/2 a bushel. 
    The drier crop weather comes as analysts were penciling in
bumper U.S. corn and soybean harvests this year, after a
wetter-than-usual spring delayed sowing and a mild summer
boosted crop yields.    
    Gold fell after hitting two-month highs earlier in the day
as bond yields rose, signalling that the U.S. Federal Reserve
could be moving closer to reducing monetary stimulus next month.
    The Fed publishes the minutes of its July 30-31 meeting on
Wednesday, and uncertainty remains over the pace and timing of
plans to trim its bond-buying program.
    The spot price of gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,366.42
an ounce by 1930 GMT, having earlier hit a two-month peak of
$1,384.10. Benchmark U.S. gold futures were down 0.4
percent at $1,366.20. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange 
closed down 1.3 percent at $7,305 a tonne, as some investors
booked profits after the market gained 1.7 percent last week.
 
    
 Prices at 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    106.91    -0.55  -0.5%   16.4%
 Brent crude                 109.64    -0.76  -0.7%   -1.3%
 Natural gas                  3.463    0.095   2.8%    3.3%
 
 US gold                    1366.20    -5.50  -0.4%  -18.5%
 Gold                       1366.51    -9.39  -0.7%  -18.4%
 US Copper                     3.33    -0.03  -1.0%   -8.8%
 LME Copper                 7306.00   -94.00  -1.3%   -7.9%
 Dollar                      81.253   -0.004   0.0%    5.8%
 CRB                        293.068    0.577   0.2%   -0.7%
 
 US corn                     493.25    19.50   4.1%  -29.4%
 US soybeans                1322.00    38.75   3.0%   -6.8%
 US wheat                    641.50    10.50   1.7%  -17.5%
 
 US Coffee                   119.25    -1.25  -1.0%  -17.1%
 US Cocoa                   2464.00    19.00   0.8%   10.2%
 US Sugar                     16.53    -0.41  -2.4%  -15.3%
 
 US silver                   23.166   22.933   1.7%  -23.4%
 US platinum                1509.00   -18.60   0.0%   -1.9%
 US palladium                752.90   -10.15  -1.3%    7.0%

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