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COMMODITIES-U.S. crude lowest in nearly 4 months; copper, gold down too
October 23, 2013 / 7:52 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-U.S. crude lowest in nearly 4 months; copper, gold down too

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil fell to its
lowest in nearly four months on Wednesday, tumbling for a third
straight session on pressure from surging stockpiles, while most
other commodities ended lower after a weaker demand outlook and
firm dollar.
    Copper slid more than 2 percent as fears of tighter monetary
policy in top metals user China outweighed speculation that
tepid U.S. jobs data will deter the Federal Reserve from
tapering its stimulus this year. 
    Gold fell on selling by investors who took profit from a
rally in the previous session sparked by weak September U.S.
jobs data that encouraged bullion buying as a hedge. The slump
in oil and the firmer dollar also weighed on gold. 
    The dollar, yen and Swiss franc all rose after a spike in
China's short-term money-market interest rates drove risk
aversion, and upped bids for the three safe-haven currencies.
    In crop markets, arabica coffee hit a 4-1/2-year low
in New York as abundant global supplies attracted follow-through
selling and deterred buyers. Robusta coffee closed up in
London after a three-year low hit earlier in the day. 
    Wheat was one of the few commodities that posted gains,
surging to near 4-month highs on concerns about the fate of
crops in several key regions, including the Black Sea, Australia
and Argentina. 
    The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index fell 1
percent, its sharpest decline since September 20.
    Eleven of the CRB's 19 commodities settled in the negative.
Copper led losses with a 2 percent decline. Oil,
cocoa, nickel, gasoline and heating oil
 fell more than 1 percent each.
    U.S. crude has dropped more than 5 percent in five sessions,
reaching below $97 a barrel for the first time since July. For
Wednesday, it settled down $1.44, or 1.5 percent, at $96.86 a
barrel, having hit its lowest level since July 1.
    Benchmark Brent crude out of Europe's North Sea 
closed down $2.17, or 2 percent, at $107.80 a barrel.
    Data showed total U.S. oil inventories had risen more than 5
million barrels in the week to Oct. 18, near double market
estimates. Refinery run rates have, meanwhile, dropped by some
6.6 percent in the last six weeks due to seasonal maintenance,
curbing crude demand for the moment.
    "You've seen a refinery rate drop of more than 6 percent
which suggests when we don't run our refineries all out we have
to put oil back in storage," said Gene McGillian, analyst with
Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. 
 Prices at 3:28 p.m. EDT (1928 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                     96.80    -1.50  -1.5%    5.4%
 Brent crude                 107.41    -2.56  -2.3%   -3.3%
 Natural gas                  3.619    0.038   1.1%    8.0%
 US gold                    1334.00    -8.60  -0.6%  -20.4%
 Gold                       1332.90    -7.14  -0.5%  -20.4%
 US Copper                     3.27    -0.06  -1.9%  -10.6%
 LME Copper                 7171.00  -161.00  -2.2%   -9.6%
 Dollar                      79.261    0.031   0.0%    3.2%
 CRB                        281.742   -2.979  -1.1%   -4.5%
 US corn                     442.75     4.50   1.0%  -36.6%
 US soybeans                1310.00     7.75   0.6%   -7.7%
 US wheat                    701.75     1.00   0.1%   -9.8%
 US Coffee                   110.55    -1.40  -1.3%  -23.1%
 US Cocoa                   2714.00   -55.00  -2.0%   21.4%
 US Sugar                     19.28    -0.17  -0.9%   -1.2%
 US silver                   22.582   22.354   1.7%  -25.3%
 US platinum                1436.70   -11.10   0.0%   -6.6%
 US palladium                745.10    -6.80  -0.9%    5.9%

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