* Wheat rallies on worries Russia could curb exports * Oil down as storm weakens, misses US oil platforms * Metals slip on doubts about Fed easing By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, Aug 29 Wheat prices jumped their most in six weeks on Wednesday as investors worried that Russia will curb exports due to drought, and oil fell after storm Isaac caused little disruption to energy installations in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Copper and gold prices also weakened as better-than-expected U.S. economic data for the second quarter raised questions on whether the Federal Reserve would consider a new round of bond purchases to support growth. Traders and investors expect Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to use his speech at Friday's annual symposium of central bankers and finance ministers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to test the market's mood for a new stimulus. Metal prices "certainly have the capacity to snap back if Bernanke's speech gives them reason to perk up, which at this point, looks to be a pretty good bet to us," said Edward Meir, an analyst for base metals at INTL FCStone. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global benchmark, closed flat, as the drop in oil and metals prices offset the rally in wheat and other crops. U.S. wheat futures jumped more than 3 percent on expectations that No. 3 exporter Russia will ship less of the grain this year due to crops ravaged by drought -- bolstering the potential for top wheat exporter, the United States. Wheat for December delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 30-1/4 cents at $9.05-3/4 a bushel after setting a session high above $9.08. It was the largest one-day gain in CBOT wheat since July 16, and marked an abrupt rally after a 5 percent drop in the last five sessions. Cuts to Russia's export program could boost demand for U.S. wheat exports, which buyers have found too expensive in recent months. Top buyer Egypt has passed over U.S. supplies in its last three purchases. Prices for U.S. wheat were about $50 per ton more expensive than Russian supplies. Still, some analysts, such as Dewey Strickler, president at AgWatch Market Advisors, are optimistic that the United States could win some business in Saudi Arabia's tender on Wednesday to buy 550,000 tonnes of hard wheat from global supplies. Corn and soybean prices also rose, with corn surging back above $8 a bushel. Market watchers believe rainfall from Tropical Storm Isaac will do little to boost crop yields but may delay the harvest of the drought-stricken crops. Oil prices slid on expectations that damage will be limited to oil output from Isaac, which became a hurricane on Tuesday before weakening after landfall. Energy markets were also depressed by data showing a sharp rise in U.S. crude oil stocks. U.S. crude oil settled down 84 cents, or nearly 1 percent, at $95.49 a barrel. London's Brent oil also ended in the negative but was better cushioned than U.S. crude by the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the possibility of a strike by Norwegian oil service sector workers. Brent settled down 4 cents at $112.54 a barrel. Prices at 3:20 p.m. EDT (1920 GMT) LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 95.46 -0.87 -0.9% -3.4% Natural gas 2.634 0.020 0.8% -11.9% US gold 1663.00 -6.70 -0.4% 6.1% Gold 1656.70 -9.82 -0.6% 5.9% US Copper 344.25 -2.00 -0.6% 0.2% #VALUE! Dollar 81.545 0.175 0.2% 1.7% CRB 307.120 0.210 0.1% 0.6% US corn 813.00 16.50 2.1% 25.8% US soybeans 1742.50 28.00 1.6% 45.4% US wheat 913.25 26.75 3.0% 39.9% US Coffee 166.65 -1.30 -0.8% -27.0% US Cocoa 2574.00 6.00 0.2% 22.0% US Sugar 19.76 -0.37 -1.8% -14.9% US silver 30.837 -0.038 -0.1% 10.5% US platinum 1519.30 -0.10 0.0% 8.1% US palladium 634.85 -4.85 -0.8% -3.2%
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