* CRB index up after 8-session skid; down 1.6 pct on week
* German business morale lifts oil in Friday trade
* Copper at 2-month lows on fresh worries over Europe banks
(Updates with weekly values, closing prices)
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Feb 22 Oil prices rose on Friday after
a strong reading for German business morale and coffee and sugar
rallied too, helping a broad commodities index end up the first
time in nine sessions.
On a weekly basis, though, the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB
index had its biggest tumble in nearly four months
after accounting for sharp losses from two sessions this week.
The weekly slump came as copper prices plumbed two-month
lows on fresh worries over Europe's banks despite the bullish
German data that boosted oil.
U.S. soybeans closed lower as players took profit on an
early rally fueled by strong Chinese buying and a Brazil port
strike that stalled grains shipments there.
And while raw sugar and coffee's premium grade
arabica rallied more than many other commodities, traders
cautioned that excess supplies could weigh on their prices
"The only thing that can drive prices higher from here would
be maybe macro sentiment. We are not expecting this to come from
fundamentals," Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at Moscow's VTB
Capital, said in a comment about sugar.
After sliding steadily for eight sessions, the CRB settled
up 0.2 percent. Twelve of the 19 markets tracked by the
commodities bellwether rose, with natural gas, nickel, gasoline,
raw sugar and arabica coffee gaining more than 1 percent each.
For the week, CRB ended down 1.7 percent, its sharpest slide
since the week ending Oct. 26.
Commodity markets started 2013 strongly, with the CRB rising
3 percent in January on signs of better economic recovery in the
United States, Europe and China. But uneven business and growth
data in the past two weeks raised market jitters, forcing the
CRB to close lower on Feb. 11 through Feb. 21.
OIL TICKS UP WITH STOCKS
In Friday's session, crude oil followed equity markets
higher after data showed Germany's business morale grew at its
fastest pace in over two years in February. Wall Street's key
stocks index, the S&P500, was up 0.7 percent by 3.30 p.m.
ET (2030GMT), rising for the first time in three sessions.
Oil's benchmark Brent crude in London settled at
$114.10, up 0.5 percent on the day and down 3 percent on the
week. U.S. crude finished at $93.13, up 0.3 percent on
the session and down 2.8 percent on the week.
The selloff in oil earlier this week came after rumors on
Wednesday that a commodities hedge fund was in trouble and
liquidating positions. It accelerated on speculation the U.S.
Federal Reserve may end its bond-buying program, which has
provided liquidity to financial markets, sooner than previously
Copper slipped to its lowest level in 2 months and showed
its biggest weekly loss in 14 months after the European Central
Bank announced crisis loan repayments by euro zone banks at
levels far below market expectations.
Three-month copper in London closed at $7,805 a
tonne, down from Thursday's close of $7,860.
Copper, used in power and construction, fell 5 percent on
the week for its biggest weekly fall since mid-December 2011. On
Thursday, it suffered its biggest one-day slide of 2013.
Prices at 3:23 p.m. EST (2023 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 93.28 0.44 0.5% 1.6%
Brent crude 114.20 0.68 0.6% 2.8%
Natural gas 3.291 0.045 1.4% -1.8%
US gold 1572.40 -5.80 -0.4% -6.2%
Gold 1575.81 0.15 0.0% -5.9%
US Copper 353.30 -2.00 -0.6% -3.3%
LME Copper 7801.00 -60.00 -0.8% -1.6%
Dollar 81.454 -0.007 0.0% 6.1%
US corn 690.25 -0.50 -0.1% -1.1%
US soybeans 1461.25 -26.50 -1.8% 3.0%
US wheat 715.00 -6.25 -0.9% -8.1%
US Coffee 143.10 1.35 1.0% -0.5%
US Cocoa 2161.00 18.00 0.8% -3.4%
US Sugar 18.24 0.12 0.7% -6.5%
US silver 28.460 -0.239 -0.8% -5.8%
US platinum 1607.40 -12.60 -0.8% 4.5%
US palladium 735.30 1.70 0.2% 4.5%
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and David Gregorio)