* Brent crude closes up first time in 4 sessions * Copper, gold extend losses on dollar's strength * Raw sugar near 3-year low, arabica coffee at 1-week low * Wheat at two-week bottom; soy, corn end lower too * Natgas and gasoline buck trend with 1 pct rise By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, May 15 Brent crude oil closed up for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday, spurred by a rally in U.S. stocks, but copper and gold extended their losses as the dollar's strength continued to weigh on various commodities priced in the currency. Raw sugar plumbed lows unseen in nearly three years while arabica coffee fell to a one-week low as traders feared more production in the two crops due to improving weather in top grower Brazil. In wheat, futures hit a two-week low in reaction to the stronger dollar, technical selling and lackluster exports. Soybean and corn prices fell too. The broad decline caused the 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index to close down nearly half a percent for a second straight session. Fifteen of the CRB's 19 components ended in the red, with natural gas and gasoline bucking the trend by rising about 1 percent each. The dollar hit a six-week high against the euro as data showing an unexpectedly large contraction of the euro zone economy raised expectations for more monetary easing by the European Central Bank. The dollar had rallied against other major currencies since late last week, making dollar-denominated raw materials costlier to holders of other currencies. Oil was one of the few commodities to follow the rally in equities as both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes for U.S. stocks hit new highs. "Over the past several days, it seems that the equity/commodity divergence is coming into full view once again, with equity markets surging to record highs just as most commodity prices are beating a hasty retreat," Edward Meir, a metals-focused analyst at INTL FC Stone, said in a commentary. The benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea closed up $1.08 at $103.68 a barrel after falling to $101.20 earlier in the day. New York-traded U.S. crude edged up 9 cents to settle at $94.30 a barrel. The stock market rally aside, oil prices were propped up by news that talks had stalled between the United Nations' nuclear agency and Iran over Tehran's suspected atomic bomb research. Copper went into negative territory after data showed Germany's economy managed a surprisingly weak growth in the first quarter of the year, after a sharp contraction at the end of 2012, while France slipped into recession. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended at $7,198 a tonne, down from Tuesday's close of $7,245, having earlier hit its lowest since May 3 at $7,101. Gold fell for a fifth straight session for its longest daily losing streak since January 2011. It slid below $1,400 an ounce, losing 2 percent, and hit its lowest in nearly a month as the record rally in U.S. equities and economic optimism undermined the safe-haven appeal in bullion. Spot gold dropped as much as 2.5 percent to $1,390.24, its lowest since April 19. It was down 2 percent at around $1,391 an ounce by 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). Prices at 5:06 p.m. EDT (2106 GMT) LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 94.42 0.21 0.2% 2.8% Brent crude 103.73 1.13 1.1% -6.6% Natural gas 4.070 0.046 1.1% 21.5% US gold 1396.20 -28.30 -2.0% -16.7% Gold 1391.84 -33.55 -2.4% -16.9% US Copper 326.50 -2.30 -0.7% -10.6% LME Copper 7198.00 -47.00 -0.6% -9.2% Dollar 83.763 0.168 0.2% 9.1% US corn 650.75 -1.75 -0.3% -6.8% US soybeans 1412.75 -2.00 -0.1% -0.4% US wheat 693.75 -17.00 -2.4% -10.8% US Coffee 140.55 -3.45 -2.4% -2.3% US Cocoa 2344.00 -9.00 -0.4% 4.8% US Sugar 16.95 -0.07 -0.4% -13.1% US silver 22.658 -0.721 -3.1% -25.0% US platinum 1490.70 -11.20 -0.7% -3.1% US palladium 729.05 1.90 0.3% 3.7%
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