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COMMODITIES-Index sinks to more than 1-year low as energy sectors weigh
November 19, 2013 / 10:41 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Index sinks to more than 1-year low as energy sectors weigh

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) - A benchmark commodities index
sank to the lowest level since June 2012 on Tuesday as a weak
cash market weighed on natural gas futures and easing supply
concerns pressured Brent crude oil.
    The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index 
touched a more than one-year low of 272.3570 and closed down 0.2
percent at 272.4745 as nine of its 19 components fell.
    Commodities markets tracked with global financial markets,
as stocks dipped amid signs of tepid economic growth.
    Slowing emerging markets are dragging on the world's
economic recovery and advanced nations remain hampered by the
debt crisis, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development said. 
    A U.S. Federal Reserve official said the central bank needs
to wait until next year to begin dialing back its massive
bond-buying program. 
    Commodities losses came in the face of support from a
slightly weaker U.S. dollar. 
    The softer currency encourages buying of dollar-traded
commodities, making them less expensive to holders of other
currencies. 
    
    ENERGY MARKETS FLAG
    Natural gas led the day's declines, as a weak cash prices
offset forecasts for colder weather and the prospect of higher
demand. 
    "I would have thought that the below normal temps in the six
to 10's (day forecast) would have the bulls running, but (Henry)
Hub cash is keeping a lid on NYMEX futures," Drew Wozniak, vice
president at ICAP Energy, said in a report.
    Front-month gas futures on the New York Mercantile
Exchange ended down 6.1 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $3.556 per
million British thermal units 
    Brent crude futures dropped more than $1 a barrel as
exports from Libya's western Mellitah port resumed following
protests and as dealers eyed the potential for easing of
sanctions against Iran.
    January Brent crude fell $1.55 to settle at $106.92
a barrel, for a third straight session loss.
    "The bearish news out of Libya is really weighing on the
Brent," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC.
"That resumption (of exports) is helping to pressure it right
now, as well as the hopes for the Iran meetings tomorrow."
    Talks are set to begin on Wednesday between Iran and six
major world powers to broker an interim deal on the oil-rich
country's nuclear program.
    
    METALS REVERSE LOSSES
    Gold inched up, stabilizing after the previous day's losses.
Investor focus was expected to shift on Wednesday to the reading
the Fed's October meeting minutes for clues about its future
monetary policy. 
    Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,274.44 an ounce by
3:05 p.m. EST (2005 GMT), after Monday's 1.2 percent drop.
    Copper futures finished little-changed, recovering from more
than three-month low of $6,910 a tonne on short-covering.
 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange 
finished down 0.1 percent at $6,970.
    
    CORN, WHEAT RECOVER
    Technical support lifted corn and wheat prices after losses
during previous session, while soybeans sank on concerns over
export sales. 
    "It seems like the trade is buying corn and selling beans
against it," said Garret Toay, risk management consultant at
Toay Commodities Futures Group. "The focus is starting to shift
to South America. With weather being benign down there, you are
seeing a bit of a unwind of that (long soy/short corn) trade."
    CBOT wheat posted its biggest gain a month to settle
up 8 cents to $6.50-1/4 a bushel. 
    Chicago Board of Trade corn for December delivery 
settled up 5-3/4 cents at $4.17-3/4 a bushel after touching a
more than three-year low of $4.10-3/4 in over three years in
overnight trading.
    CBOT January soybean futures ended down 11-1/4 cents
at $12.76-1/4 a bushel. During Tuesday's session, prices fell
below key support at their 200-day moving average for the first
time since Nov. 8 but closed above that technical point.
    Elsewhere in commodities, cocoa prices rose for a sixth
straight session to a two-year peak on global supply concerns.
    
    
    Prices at 4:50 p.m. EDT (2149 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
US crude              93.35     0.32   0.3%    1.7%
Brent crude         107.09    -1.38  -1.3%   -3.6%
Natural gas           3.556   -0.061  -1.7%    6.1%
                                                          
US gold             1273.50     1.20   0.1%  -24.0%
Gold                1275.06     0.42   0.0%  -23.9%
US Copper              3.16     0.01   0.3%  -13.6%
LME Copper         6970.00    -5.00  -0.1%  -12.1%
Dollar               80.655   -0.170  -0.2%    5.1%
CRB              272.475   -0.448  -0.2%   -7.6%
                                                          
US corn               417.75     5.75   1.4%  -40.2%
US soybeans          1276.25   -11.00  -0.9%  -10.0%
US wheat              650.25     8.00   1.3%  -16.4%
                                                          
US Coffee            104.65    -1.10  -1.0%  -27.2%
US Cocoa            2795.00    15.00   0.5%   25.0%
US Sugar              17.65    -0.10  -0.6%   -9.5%
                                                          
US silver            20.334   20.130   1.6%  -32.7%
US platinum         1419.90     8.90   0.0%   -7.7%
US palladium         721.90     5.15   0.7%    2.6%

 (Reporting by Chris Prentice; editing by Andrew Hay)

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