December 7, 2012 / 10:45 PM / 5 years ago

COMMODITIES-Mostly down as budget impasse hampers US jobs growth

* Brent crude flat on day but down 4 pct on week
    * Copper up for both session and week
    * Gold rises for the day but ends week lower
    * Corn at 2-1/2 week low, biggest fall in almost a month
    * Arabica up on short covering, rising from 2-1/2 year low

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Oil seesawed before closing
lower on Friday and sharply lower for the week, while copper
rose on the day as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth in
November offset deadlocked talks in Congress to avert a budget
    On the agricultural side, corn fell to a 2-1/2-week low in
its steepest slide in nearly a month, pressured by technical
selling and concerns that stockpiles were growing as elevated
prices blunted demand.
    Soybeans retreated from one-month peaks, pulling wheat lower
    Coffee was one of the few crops that bucked the downtrend,
with the premium arabica grade seeing a wave of
short-covering in New York futures trade that closed it higher
on Friday and lifted it from a 2-1/2-year low earlier this week.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
benchmark for commodities, settled 0.4 percent lower after 10 of
the 19 markets it tracks ended in negative territory.
    Natural gas was the CRB's biggest loser, falling 3 percent,
as computer weather models predict mild weather for the U.S.
Northeast region. Gas is one of the key heating fuels in the
region, and warmer weather naturally weighs on the commodity's
    Oil's benchmark Brent crude in London ended just a
penny lower on the day, at $107.02 a barrel. Despite that near
flat finish, Brent fell nearly 4 percent on the week, due to
losses in the previous four sessions, as global economic worries
raised questions on oil demand in 2013 and beyond.
    U.S. crude, traded in New York, fell 0.4 percent to
finish Friday's session at $85.93 a barrel.
    Oil prices initially rose on U.S. Labor Department data for
November, showing the national unemployment rate at a four-year
low of 7.7 percent. 
    The rally fizzled when House of Representatives Speaker John
Boehner, the top Republican in Congress and rival to President
Obama, said there was "no progress to report" in budget talks
aimed at averting $600 billion in tax increases and spending
cuts in January that could severely hurt the U.S.
    Also deflating sentiment, was a Thomson Reuters/University
of Michigan U.S. consumer confidence poll that hit its lowest
levels since early April.
    "Oil got a boost from the jobs numbers, but the consumer
confidence pulled us back some and now traders will have to
decide if they want to be short going into the weekend with the
situation in the Middle East still so volatile," said Phil
Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. 
    Protests surged around Egypt's presidential palace on Friday
as opposition groups opposed President Mohamed Mursi's recent
decree that expanded his powers, after clashes resulted in
several deaths this week. 
    Benchmark three-month copper in London rose to a
session high of $8,065.25 a tonne after the payrolls data, and
ended up $35 at $8,035. For the week, copper rose half a
    Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to above $1,703 an
ounce, rebounding from a one-month low of $1,683.79. 
    Gold finished up for the day as upbeat U.S. nonfarm payrolls
data did not alter the view that the Federal Reserve will
continue to use bullion-friendly economic stimulus to boost
growth. For the week, however, spot gold was down 0.7 percent.
    Corn, the second largest loser on the CRB, fell around 2
percent on the day, with the key March futures contract in
Chicago finishing at $7.37-1/4 a bushel. For the week,
the market fell 2 percent. 
 Prices at 5:05 p.m. EST (2205 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    85.99    -0.27  -0.3%  -13.0%
 Brent crude                107.17     0.14   0.1%   -0.2%
 Natural gas                 3.551   -0.115  -3.1%   18.8%
 US gold                   1704.00     3.70   0.2%    8.8%
 Gold                      1703.64     0.60   0.0%    8.9%
 US Copper                  364.75     2.05   0.6%    6.2%
 LME Copper                8035.00    35.00   0.4%    5.7%
 Dollar                     80.417    0.159   0.2%    0.3%
 US corn                    732.75   -15.00  -2.0%   13.3%
 US soybeans               1472.25   -19.00  -1.3%   22.8%
 US wheat                   844.25    -1.00  -0.1%   29.3%
 US Coffee                  142.10     1.65   1.2%  -37.7%
 US Cocoa                  2471.00    -2.00  -0.1%   17.2%
 US Sugar                    19.21    -0.15  -0.8%  -17.3%
 US silver                  33.053    0.014   0.0%   18.4%
 US platinum               1605.50     6.30   0.4%   14.3%
 US palladium               696.50     0.95   0.1%    6.1%

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