* Brent crude oil falls more than $1/barrel * Gold turns negative after touching 2-month high * Copper at 7-week low By Marcy Nicholson NEW YORK, Jan 27 U.S. natural gas futures slumped 6.5 percent on Monday, as a thaw after last week's deep freeze reduced heating demand across much of the country, while oil slid as investors shed risky assets and gold fell 1 percent on profit taking after the precious metal hit a one-month high during the session. Copper futures hit their lowest in seven weeks on worries about an economic slowdown in top consumer China, while U.S. government export data helped lift soybean prices. The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index, a benchmark for global commodities made up of 19 components, closed down 1 percent, or 2.8245, at 279.7108. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the front-month February natural gas futures contract, which will expire on Wednesday, closed down 33.5 cents, or 6.5 percent, at $4.847 per million British thermal units. It was the first drop in five sessions, as investors grabbed profits after last week's rally on brutally cold weather across much of the United States. Brent crude oil futures dropped more than $1 a barrel as investors kept dumping risky assets due to concern about weaker growth in emerging markets. Brent crude futures settled down $1.19, or 1.10 percent, at $106.69 per barrel, while U.S. crude oil futures dropped 92 cents to close at $95.72. In precious metals, gold retreated from a two-month high earlier in the session, pressured by expectations that the U.S> Federal Reserve could further cut monetary stimulus from the $10 billion-a-month reduction to its bond purchases decided in December. The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to begin its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Spot gold was down 1.07 percent at $1,255.10 an ounce by 3:54 p.m. EST (2054 GMT), after tapping a two-month high at $1,278.01. Copper futures fell to a seven-week low on a combination of worries about China's economic slowdown and its shadow banking sector as well as concerns about the Fed decision. Daily London Metal Exchange (LME) data showing copper stocks continued to dwindle, however, prevented deeper losses. Three-month copper on the LME ended at $7,150 a tonne, its lowest since Dec. 11, a drop of 0.4 percent from Friday's close. In agricultural commodities, U.S. soybean futures rose following government data that showed larger-than-expected export shipments, while the small cocoa futures market surged to a 2-1/2-year high on heavy chart-based buying and supply concerns. (Editing by David Gregorio)
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