December 5, 2012 / 6:25 PM / 5 years ago

COMMODITIES-Oil, gasoline down on stockpile surge, copper steady

* Most post thin gains as investors await positive news
    * Oil prices slip half a percent, down for a third day
    * Gasoline falls more than any commodity on inventory jump
    * Gold back at one-month low, cocoa extends Tuesday loss

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell again on
Wednesday on demand worries in a sluggish global economy, but
most other commodities showed slight gains as investors awaited
progress in U.S. budget talks or other news that could bring
vigor back to the markets.
    Oil prices were down about half a percent for a third day of
losses after data showed larger-than-expected increases last
week in stockpiles of refined products in the United States, the
top energy consuming nation. Gasoline prices fell more than
crude oil prices because of a spike in petroleum inventories.
    Gold surrendered early gains to fall back to a
one-month low, pressured by technical selling and a stronger
    Cocoa fell about 1 percent, extending Tuesday's 3
percent slump.
    Copper remained above the fray, bucking the generally weak
trend in commodities over the last week on renewed economic
prospects in China, the biggest market for industrial metals.
    The leading base metal was up for a fourth day running,
gaining a total of 7 percent from a Nov. 9 low of $7,506 a tonne
in London.
    Copper's latest run-up was supported by comments from
China's Communist Party chief Xi Jinping that Beijing would
fine-tune economic policies next year to ensure stable economic
    The selloff in other commodities at one point or another
over the past week was mainly due to worries over sticky U.S.
budget negotiations which, if unresolved by the end of the year,
could bring on $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes that
could derail the economy.
    By 12:30 p.m. EST (1700 GMT), the 19-commodity Thomson
Reuters-Jefferies CRB index rose by nearly a quarter
percent, with 12 of the 19 markets it tracks edging towards
positive territory. Copper aside, markets with substantial gains
included natural gas, which rose 4 percent, and soybeans
, which climbed 1.3 percent.
    Oil's benchmark Brent crude in London slipped below
$109 a barrel before recovering some of its losses.
    The market initially rose to above $110 a barrel before the
combination of higher U.S. refined oil stockpiles, weak euro
zone retail data and a bearish preliminary report on U.S. jobs
data for November.
    "There was some hopeful data from the U.S. last week and
positive noise from China (this week), but Europe's a big
worry," said Richard Langkemper, an analyst at Argos North Sea
Group in Rotterdam.
    The volume of retail trade in the 17-member euro zone fell
1.2 percent in October from September, the biggest drop since
    Oil inventory data reported by the Energy Information
Administration was also a major drag on the market, with
gasoline stockpiles swelling by their most in a week since
September 2001 due to higher-than-expected refinery output.
    Gasoline fell 1.3 percent, leading the CRB's loss.
    "The (EIA) report (on gasoline) is solidly bearish and a
welcomed development for consumers," said John Kilduff, partner
at Again Capital in New York. 
 Prices at 12:26 p.m. EST (1726 GMT)                      
                              LAST      NET    PCT     YTD
                                        CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    88.09    -0.40  -0.5%  -10.9%
 Brent crude                109.21    -0.63  -0.6%    1.7%
 Natural gas                 3.672    0.133   3.8%   22.9%
 US gold                   1694.00    -0.40   0.0%    8.1%
 Gold                      1693.25    -3.49  -0.2%    8.3%
 US Copper                  366.70     3.35   0.9%    6.7%
 LME Copper                8070.25    38.25   0.5%    6.2%
 Dollar                     79.735    0.092   0.1%   -0.6%
 US corn                    752.75     6.25   0.8%   16.4%
 US soybeans               1475.75    20.25   1.4%   23.1%
 US wheat                   841.75     3.25   0.4%   29.0%
 US Coffee                  139.25     1.90   1.4%  -39.0%
 US Cocoa                  2490.00    -1.00   0.0%   18.1%
 US Sugar                    19.50     0.06   0.3%  -16.1%
 US silver                  32.830    0.096   0.3%   17.6%
 US platinum               1583.50     0.60   0.0%   12.7%
 US palladium               676.20    -4.90  -0.7%    3.1%
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