January 14, 2013 / 8:50 PM / 5 years ago

COMMODITIES-Platinum jumps to 3-month highs; corn rallies more

* Dollar tumble entices commodity buyers holding euro
    * Platinum prices close to parity with gold
    * Corn set for longest rally since June
    * Oil, gold up; arabica at 2-month high before cooling

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Platinum prices jumped on
Monday, hitting three-month highs and closing in on parity with
gold after a supply squeeze in the metal critical to automakers,
while corn was set for its longest rally since June on sharply
lower U.S. stockpile forecasts.
    Commodities also got a boost as the dollar tumbled against
the euro, attracting buyers using the single European currency.
    Oil and gold edged higher and arabica coffee briefly hit
two-month peaks as the euro surged to an 11-month high against
the dollar on bets that the European Central Bank would be less
likely to undertake monetary easing.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB index settled
higher for a third straight session, gaining nearly half a
percent, after 10 of the 19 markets on the commodities
bellwether ended up. Soybeans and silver rose more than 2
percent each while corn, wheat, heating oil and natural gas all
rose about 2 percent.
    Platinum rose to its highest levels since October on the
prospect of further supply outages.
    News that South Africa's Anglo American Platinum is
likely to sell or shut its Union mine as part of a review of its
platinum business by parent Anglo American triggered
strong buying by commodity funds.
    Spot platinum was up 1.5 percent at $1,652.50 an
ounce by 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT), having touched a three-month
high at $1,660 an ounce.
    That brought the price of platinum, used to remove toxins
from auto fumes, almost with parity to gold prices. The spot
price of gold was at above $1,668 an ounce, up 0.4
percent, after a session peak at $1,674.40. 
    "Platinum prices definitely have room to move higher," said
Howard Wen, metals analyst at HSBC. 
    Platinum's discount to gold narrowed to around $10 from
about $140 at the start of the year.   
    Analysts expect the review at Amplats, the world's top
platinum producer, will lead to at least some shaft closures due
to soaring costs and falling profits.

    U.S. grains notched their highest prices in three weeks,
with corn set for its longest rally since June after a
government report last week forecast stockpiles in the world's
top producer to hit a 17-year low by summer's end.  
    Soybean futures jumped more than 3 percent, on pace for the
biggest daily bounce since August on a rebound from last week's
six-month low. The rebound followed the announcement of No.1 soy
importer China's fourth large purchase of U.S. soybeans in two
    Corn marked a sixth straight session of gains - the longest
streak of higher prices since the first days of the June rally
that stirred futures to a record peak in August. March futures
for the grain traded in Chicago finished up 2.2 percent,
or 15-1/4 cents, at $7.24 per bushel.
    March soybeans ended up 3.3 percent, or 44-3/4 cents,
at $14.18 per bushel, setting the largest daily increase since
Aug. 9. 
    Arabica coffee futures turned down slightly after jumping to
a 2-1/2-month high, as the U.S. dollar pared earlier losses, and
producers in South and Central America sold into the rally.
    Arabicas extended the previous session's rally but then
turned down a shade as producer selling entered the market as
the U.S. dollar gave back earlier losses, dealers said.
    Arabica for March settled down 0.05 cent at $1.5330
per lb in New York, after touching a 2-1/2-month high at
    In oil, London's benchmark Brent crude closed up 1.1
percent, or $1.24, at $111.88 a barrel. 
 Prices at 3:22 p.m. EST (2022 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    94.13     0.57   0.6%    2.5%
 Brent crude                111.89     1.25   1.1%    0.7%
 Natural gas                 3.373    0.046   1.4%    0.7%
 US gold                   1669.40     8.80   0.5%   -0.4%
 Gold                      1667.34     5.36   0.3%   -0.4%
 US Copper                  363.40    -2.00  -0.5%   -0.5%
 LME Copper                8000.00   -45.00  -0.6%    0.9%
 Dollar                     79.486   -0.077  -0.1%    3.5%
 US corn                    724.00    15.25   2.2%    3.7%
 US soybeans               1459.75    35.00   2.5%    2.9%
 US wheat                   767.00    12.25   1.6%   -1.4%
 US Coffee                  153.30    -0.05   0.0%    6.6%
 US Cocoa                  2267.00    11.00   0.5%    1.4%
 US Sugar                    18.90    -0.27  -1.4%   -3.1%
 US silver                  31.110    0.702   2.3%    2.9%
 US platinum               1656.30    27.00   1.7%    7.6%
 US palladium               703.30     1.85   0.3%    0.0%
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