May 3, 2013 / 4:56 PM / 5 years ago

COMMODITIES-Markets rally on U.S. jobs data; copper up 6 pct

* U.S. unemployment at 4-year low after April jobs growth
    * Copper up most in 18 months; gold flat as dollar rallies
    * Brent crude oil up more than 1 pct on the day and week
    * Gold ends flat on day and up 1 pct on week

 (Updates with settlement prices)
    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) - Copper prices jumped more than 6
percent on Friday, their biggest gain in 18 months, while oil
and other commodities rose with the stock market after robust
U.S. jobs data for April soothed investor worries about the
    Gold ended flat as the U.S. dollar rose its most in two
weeks against the euro after the employment figures. 
    Agricultural markets rose on crop fundamentals, with
soybeans up 1 percent on concerns about a nine-year low in
U.S. soy supplies. Cocoa settled little changed after
rising in early trade near a five-month high.  
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
commodities bellwether, rose 1.2 percent. For the week, the
index tracking 19 mostly U.S.-traded commodities added 1.7
percent - the strongest weekly gain in three months.
    Commodities seemed a lot weaker two days ago, when bearish
U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data sparked a selloff as May's
trading began. Oil and metals markets had also seen a brief but
brutal tumble in mid-April on global economic concerns.
    U.S. nonfarm payrolls for April put markets on a different
course on Friday as traders and investors warmed to data showing
unemployment in the world's largest economy falling to a
four-year low of 7.5 percent. 
    "This shows the job market and the economy in general appear
to be more resilient than investors had feared," said Joe
Manimbo, an analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in
    Commodity markets had been trending higher since Thursday
after the European Central Bank cut lending rates to a record
low, promising enough liquidity to euro zone banks and credit
access to small companies to avert a recession. 
    In Friday's session, copper's benchmark three-month contract
 on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed at $7,265 a
tonne, up 6.4 percent for its biggest one-day gain since
October, 2011. For the week, the industrial metal rose nearly
3.5 percent. 
    Aside from the U.S. jobs figures, copper was also propped up
by data showing an outflow of metal from LME-registered
warehouses MCU-STOCKS over the last two weeks after a
six-month rise previously, signaling improved demand. 
    "Although one swallow does not make a summer ... we
nonetheless believe that the inventory trend reversal could also
support a shift in sentiment among market players, who are
currently assuming a massive copper production surplus of over
400,000 tonnes," Commerzbank said in a research note.
    Copper has been one of the most downtrodden commodities this
year, showing a decline of more than 8 percent for 2013 despite
Friday's rebound.
    Benchmark Brent crude oil out of London finished at
above $104.19 a barrel, up 1.3 percent on the day and 1.2
percent on the week. For the year, it was down 6 percent. 
    U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled at
$1,463.90 an ounce, down slightly on the day and up 1 percent on
the week. The contract was down nearly 13 percent on the year.
 Prices at 3:32 p.m. EST (1932 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    95.48     1.49   1.6%    4.0%
 Brent crude                104.03     1.18   1.2%   -6.4%
 Natural gas                 4.041    0.016   0.4%   20.6%
 US gold                   1464.20    -3.40  -0.2%  -12.6%
 Gold                      1468.50     2.26   0.2%  -12.3%
 US Copper                  331.45    21.00   6.8%   -9.3%
 LME Copper                7270.00   422.00   6.2%   -8.3%
 Dollar                     82.123   -0.101  -0.1%    7.0%
 US corn                    699.50     2.00   0.3%    0.2%
 US soybeans               1455.00    14.00   1.0%    2.6%
 US wheat                   711.25    -7.50  -1.0%   -8.6%
 US Coffee                  140.90     1.45   1.0%   -2.0%
 US Cocoa                  2416.00     2.00   0.1%    8.1%
 US Sugar                    17.53    -0.07  -0.4%  -10.1%
 US silver                  24.014    0.184   0.8%  -20.6%
 US platinum               1501.20     1.00   0.1%   -2.4%
 US palladium               693.30     0.00   0.0%   -1.4%
 (Editing by Dale Hudson and David Gregorio)

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