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COMMODITIES-Up broadly on strong US economic data; gold slumps
May 17, 2013 / 9:06 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Up broadly on strong US economic data; gold slumps

* Oil, copper up on strong US consumer sentiment, stock
    * Corn up too on less sales by farmers focused on planting
    * Gold at 1-month low as Fed pressured to end US stimulus

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Oil and copper prices ended up
on Friday after stronger U.S. economic data and a stock market
rally while corn rose on less crop sales by farmers, pushing
commodities broadly higher.
    Gold fell, touching a 1-month low and closing down for a
seventh straight session as the dollar hit its highest levels
since 2008 after some Federal Reserve officials said the central
bank should end its stimulus for the U.S. economy.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index rose half
a percent for the session and closed the week slightly higher.
    Natural gas rose 3 percent, leading 10 of the CRB's 19
components higher, on speculation that warmer U.S. weather could
drive demand for gas-driven air conditioning. Gold was the CRB's
biggest loser, falling almost 2 percent. 
    Oil climbed for a third straight session on Friday,
supported by a raft of strong economic data from top oil
consumer the United States that also boosted U.S. equities,
although a strong dollar limited gains in oil prices. 
    The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, a gauge of
future U.S. economic activity, rose in April to its highest
level in nearly five years. U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded in
early May to the highest level in nearly six
    Stock prices on Wall Street climbed, with the S&P 500 stock
index erasing the previous session's decline and on track for
its fourth straight weekly advance.  
    "Everyone's feeling buoyant, and we got a nice little bounce
on the S&P 500," said Phil Flynn, energy analyst at Price
Futures Group in Chicago.  
    Benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea 
settled up 0.8 percent at $104.64 a barrel. U.S. crude 
rose nearly 1 percent to finish up for a third straight session
at $96.92. 
    Copper prices rose for a second day, supported by tentative
signs of improved metals demand in top consumer China, although
gains were capped by a stronger dollar and persistent worries
about Chinese economic growth. 
    Data showed copper in warehouses registered by the Shanghai
Futures Exchange fell by 4,713 tonnes or 2.4 percent over the
past week, bringing the total decline since the start of April
to nearly a quarter. 
    There have also been other signs of increasing demand by
Chinese industry recently. 
    "We have anecdotal evidence that stocks at bonded warehouses
in China are declining and spot premiums in China are up, so
those are also positive trends," said analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov
at VTB Capital in London. "LME copper will trade on expectations
on what is going to happen in China." 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange 
ended up 0.40 percent at $7,309 a tonne. 
    Copper was also boosted by comments from a minister for the
Democratic Republic of Congo who said he expects the country's
ban on the export of copper and cobalt concentrates to come into
full force by July or August. 
    Corn futures reversed three days of declines as
farmers focused on planting their 2013 crop rather than selling
in the cash market, traders and analysts said.
    U.S. corn for July delivery ended Chicago trade up
1.8 percent at $6.52-3/4 a bushel. 
    Gold fell for a seventh straight session, its longest losing
streak in four years, as the dollar rose to the highest since
2008 after some Federal Reserve officials said the central bank
should end its stimulus for the U.S. economy. 
    Investors also rejected gold's safe-haven lure after the
latest reading for U.S. consumer sentiment showed Americans
feeling better about their financial and economic prospects.
    U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down 1.6
percent at $1,364.70. For the week, it fell more than 5 percent.
The spot price of bullion hovered below $1,360 an ounce.
 Prices at 4:36 p.m. EDT (2036 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    95.91     0.75   0.8%    4.5%
 Brent crude                104.58     0.80   0.8%   -5.9%
 Natural gas                 4.055    0.123   3.1%   21.0%
 US gold                   1364.70   -22.20  -1.6%  -18.6%
 Gold                      1358.40   -27.29  -2.0%  -18.9%
 US Copper                  332.30     2.85   0.9%   -9.0%
 LME Copper                7305.00    25.00   0.3%   -7.9%
 Dollar                     84.228    0.640   0.8%    9.7%
 US corn                    652.75    11.25   1.8%   -6.5%
 US soybeans               1448.50    21.00   1.5%    2.1%
 US wheat                   683.25    -4.50  -0.7%  -12.2%
 US Coffee                  136.90    -2.95  -2.1%   -4.8%
 US Cocoa                  2300.00     6.00   0.3%    2.9%
 US Sugar                    16.89     0.06   0.4%  -13.4%
 US silver                  22.352   -0.307  -1.4%  -26.1%
 US platinum               1468.00   -17.60  -1.2%   -4.6%
 US palladium               740.25    -0.50  -0.1%    5.2%

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