July 12, 2013 / 8:47 PM / 6 years ago

COMMODITIES-Biggest week for gold since 2011; oil surges too

* Spot gold up 5 pct on week, largest jump since Oct 2011
    * Gold powered by Fed's hint of longer-than-thought stimulus
    * Oil up 2.7 pct on week, copper rises 2.4 pct

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) - Gold fell slightly on Friday
but still managed to post its biggest weekly gain in nearly two
years, joining copper and oil which both had strong weekly
advances, on bets the U.S. economic stimulus may last longer
than investors had expected.
    Crop prices fell sharply in contrast. 
    Raw sugar slipped toward a three-year low, registering a
fourth straight weekly loss under pressure from the weakening
Brazilian real. Arabica coffee posted its biggest daily drop in
three weeks. 
    New-crop U.S. soybean and corn futures sank as traders took
profits following recent gains, while nearby contracts gyrated
in extremely volatile conditions ahead of their
expiration. 
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
 settled flat on the day, and rose more than 2 percent
on the week for its largest weekly gain in 10 months.
    The spot price of gold rose 5 percent on the week to
hover around $1,285 an ounce, for its biggest weekly gain since
October 2011. The rally came after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke on Wednesday said the U.S. central bank needed to keep
a stimulative monetary policy in place given low inflation and
an uncertain job market.
    Some analysts said gold could come under pressure if
investors begin pulling out of exchange-traded funds of the
precious metal to catch another run-up in U.S. stocks.   
    "The fact that the leading U.S. equity indices closed at
record highs yesterday - which could prompt investors to switch
once again from gold ETFs to equities - is problematic for
gold," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at
Commerzbank. 
    "Any prolonged recovery of the gold price is almost
inconceivable unless the ETF outflows abate," Weinberg said.
 
    In copper, the benchmark three-month futures contract on the
London Metal Exchange rose 2.4 percent on the week to
settle at $6,954 a tonne. For the session, however, it fell 0.7
percent on caution about demand from China after dismal trade
numbers this week from the largest buyer of copper.
    "The focus now returns to China. Clearly, the market's view
is that the slowdown in China is quite a substantial one, and
China is more important for metals demand than is the U.S. and
Europe," BNP Paribas analyst Stephen Briggs said. 
    Oil's benchmark Brent crude out of Europe's North Sea
 settled at $108.81 a barrel, up about 1 percent on the
day and week. U.S. crude closed at $105.95, up about 1
percent for the session and 2.7 percent higher for the week.
    Oil's rally on Friday was helped by the biggest surge in
gasoline futures this year as a string of refinery outages
stoked concerns about fuel supplies in the heart of the U.S.
summer driving season.
    News of unexpected glitches at two more refineries along the
Atlantic coast heightened the rally that boosted gasoline
futures by 15 percent this month, the biggest such gain since
March 2011. 
    
 Prices at 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    106.01     1.10   1.1%   15.5%
 Brent crude                 108.88     1.15   1.1%   -2.0%
 Natural gas                  3.644    0.031   0.9%    8.7%
 
 US gold                    1277.60    -2.30  -0.2%  -23.8%
 Gold                       1284.21    -0.48   0.0%  -23.3%
 US Copper                     3.17    -0.01  -0.4%  -13.2%
 LME Copper                 6954.00   -46.00  -0.7%  -12.3%
 Dollar                      82.959    0.213   0.3%    8.1%
 CRB                        286.656   -0.021   0.0%   -2.8%
 
 US corn                     701.50   -15.25  -2.1%    0.5%
 US soybeans                1563.25   -38.00  -2.4%   10.2%
 US wheat                    675.50    -3.75  -0.6%  -13.2%
 
 US Coffee                   119.40    -4.00  -3.2%  -17.0%
 US Cocoa                   2236.00    -3.00  -0.1%    0.0%
 US Sugar                     16.06    -0.04  -0.2%  -17.7%
 
 US silver                   19.792   19.592   1.5%  -34.5%
 US platinum                1406.90    -0.70   0.0%   -8.6%
 US palladium                722.90     4.70   0.7%    2.8%
 
 (Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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