COMMODITIES-Up on China growth pledge, Dow rally; Brent spikes
* China vow for 7.5 pct growth a year boosts prices * Dow Jones record high fuels broad gains * Brent crude gains most since Dec as outages help * Copper, soy rise but arabica coffee slumps By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - Commodities closed up broadly for a second straight day on Tuesday, with oil posting its biggest gains since December on supply outages and a U.S. stock market rally, and metals rising on China's bullish growth outlook. Soybeans hit a near four-month high on strong overseas demand for U.S. soy, before paring gains as the dollar soared against the euro. The surge in the U.S. currency following record highs in Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average index and solid U.S. services sector growth in February limited gains in other commodities as well. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a commodities bellwether, rose by just 0.3 percent despite gains in 12 of the 19 markets it tracks. Gasoline and heating oil led gains on the CRB by rising about 2 percent each. Nickel, corn and cotton climbed about 1 percent. However, Arabica coffee bucked the trend, falling about 4 percent to become the CRB's biggest loser, after breaking below technical support levels. BRENT CRUDE UP AFTER 5-DAY FALL In oil, concerns over supply disruptions and optimism about China's oil demand helped the benchmark Brent crude buck a five-day losing streak. The rally in U.S. equities also underpinned gains in oil. Brent rose $1.52, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $111.61 per barrel. It was the largest one-day rise since December 26 for Brent, but the gain did not show up on the CRB as the U.S.-based index does not track the London-based market. U.S. crude, quoted on the CRB, finished up 70 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $90.82 per barrel. Brent's 80,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) system was shut for a second time in seven weeks after oil and associated gas was found to have leaked into a leg of the 10,000 bpd Cormorant Alpha platform that had been offline since January. In Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L> declared force majeure on its Bonny Light crude deliveries following a leak on a pipeline that was discovered on Sunday. It was not immediately clear how long it would take to repair the line. Oil also gained as commodity investors cheered China's vow on Tuesday to deliver economic growth at 7.5 percent and concentrate on boosting domestic consumption. The pledge by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao countered concerns about demand in the world's No. 2 oil market. Purchasing manager surveys over the weekend had suggested growth in China's key manufacturing and service sectors may be slowing. Copper rose as China's vow to maintain strong economic growth boosted the demand outlook for base metals from the world's largest consumer of the commodity. Demand from China, which accounts for 40 percent of global copper consumption, slowed last month ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, but expectations of a rebound have gathered pace ahead of the seasonally stronger second quarter. "Over the short term we're likely to see prices at around current levels for the next few months. You do have some continuation in the Chinese recovery story and that will help to support prices," said Ross Strachan, an economist at Capital Economics in London. But demand could slow again later in the year, she said. "In the second half, we think that the recovery (in Chinese demand) will be more disappointing than some have anticipated. We're expecting prices of around $7,000 for copper by the end of the year." Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 closed at $7,772 a tonne, up from Monday's close of $7,725. Last week, copper hit its lowest level in more than three months at $7,652. Prices at 3:40 p.m. EST (2040 GMT) LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 90.87 0.75 0.8% -1.0% Brent crude 111.68 1.59 1.4% 0.5% Natural gas 3.529 0.000 0.0% 5.3% US gold 1574.90 2.50 0.2% -6.0% Gold 1576.81 3.47 0.2% -5.8% US Copper 349.65 1.35 0.4% -4.3% LME Copper 7772.00 47.00 0.6% -2.0% Dollar 82.095 -0.100 -0.1% 6.9% US corn 732.00 9.00 1.2% 4.8% US soybeans 1496.50 6.25 0.4% 5.5% US wheat 696.25 0.25 0.0% -10.5% US Coffee 141.15 -5.50 -3.8% -1.8% US Cocoa 2059.00 3.00 0.1% -7.9% US Sugar 18.19 0.11 0.6% -6.8% US silver 28.604 0.108 0.4% -5.4% US platinum 1585.70 19.50 1.2% 3.1% US palladium 734.60 20.15 2.8% 4.4%
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.