COMMODITIES-Gold posts big weekly gain but US crude drags commods index

Reuters

By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Gold closed flat on Friday,

concluding a second week of strong gains as investors bet that

continuing U.S. economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve will

keep drawing funds into the precious metal, but copper slid,

hitting a two-week bottom as demand outlook for the base metal

eroded.

In crop markets, U.S. soybean futures edged lower and

corn futures were little changed ahead of what is

expected to be an active weekend of harvesting in the United

States, the world's top producer of both crops.

Coffee futures in New York and London sank

to multi-year lows for a second straight day and posted large

weekly losses as expectations of another year of excess supplies

discouraged buying.

U.S. crude oil futures recovered for a second day

from a sharp selloff early this week. Benchmark Brent crude out

of Europe fell, narrowing its premium over U.S. oil . Traders bet that U.S. refineries would process more

oil and throughput from a new U.S. crude pipeline will slow

buildup in U.S. crude stockpiles.

The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index, which

tracks 19 futures markets, settled up 0.3 percent on the day.

For the week, it fell 1.5 percent for its sharpest weekly

decline in 3 months due to U.S. crude's 3 percent loss on the

week. U.S. crude is the largest component of the CRB.

Gold inched up in Friday's trade as disappointing U.S.

economic data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve

will keep its stimulus intact well into 2014.

The spot price of bullion was up $5.11, or 0.4

percent, at $1,351.31 an ounce by 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT),

hovering below its highest level since Sept. 20 of $1,351.61.

U.S. gold futures' most-active contract, December

, closed up $2.20, or 0.2 percent, at $1,352.40.

For the week, both the spot and futures markets for gold

rose about 3 percent for a second week in a row.

Gold got a boost this week as weak U.S. payrolls data for

September fed expectations that the Federal Reserve will not

reduce, or taper, its economic stimulus until well into next

year. The precious metal hit four-week highs on

Thursday but remains down 20 percent for the year to date.

"Things are sluggishly moving here," Thomas Capalbo, a gold

broker at New York futures brokerage Newedge, said, following

weaker-than-expected consumer confidence and durable goods data

on Friday morning.

"There's no real indication that things are getting much

better, and no indication saying that we are going to see

tapering soon, so that's going to be beneficial for gold and

probably silver too."

Copper fell on Friday to its lowest level in two weeks on

expectations of a growing supply surplus. Patchy data on global

factory growth and fears top consumer China would clamp down on

credit also weighed on the metal.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange

fell to $7,113, its lowest since Oct. 11. It has traded

in a $7,000-$7,420 range since early August due to swelling

supply and slower demand growth from top buyer China.

Prices at 4:27 p.m. EDT (2027 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT YTD

CLOSE CHG CHG CHG

US crude 97.91 0.80 0.8% 6.6%

Brent crude 107.25 0.26 0.2% -3.5%

Natural gas 3.707 0.078 2.1% 10.6%

US gold 1352.50 2.20 0.2% -19.3%

Gold 1351.46 4.92 0.4% -19.3%

US Copper 3.27 0.00 0.1% -10.6%

LME Copper 7185.00 10.00 0.1% -9.4%

Dollar 79.204 0.023 0.0% 3.2%

CRB 282.556 0.893 0.3% -4.2%

US corn 440.00 -0.25 -0.1% -37.0%

US soybeans 1300.00 -9.75 -0.7% -8.4%

US wheat 690.75 -5.75 -0.8% -11.2%

US Coffee 109.10 -1.20 -1.1% -24.1%

US Cocoa 2713.00 27.00 1.0% 21.3%

US Sugar 19.03 0.06 0.3% -2.5%

US silver 22.603 22.375 1.7% -25.2%

US platinum 1452.50 -0.80 0.0% -5.6%

US palladium 746.90 0.10 0.0% 6.2%

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