COMMODITIES-Copper dives on US gov't shutdown; oil, gold down too
NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Copper prices tumbled more than 1 percent on Thursday and gold and oil fell too, as data showing slower service sector growth in September compounded worries about raw materials demand given a budget crisis and the U.S. government's partial shutdown. Grain market fundamentals lifted wheat to 3-1/2 month highs and its highest premium to corn since 2010, due to strong export demand and supply risks in major producing countries. Cocoa had its sharpest fall in more than a month after technical selling triggered by bearish price patterns. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a bellwether for commodity prices, shed 0.3 percent as 9 of the 19 markets on the index closed lower. The losses came despite a weaker dollar that usually boosts prices of commodities quoted in the currency. Traders said oil, gold and copper were all pressured by the U.S. government's spending impasse, and higher-stakes wrangling due in mid-October over its borrowing power. Weaker-than-expected growth in the U.S. service sector also weighed on copper. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to 54.4 last month after nearing an eight-year high in August. Since the start of the year, copper prices have fallen 9 percent from a combination of a weak demand outlook and rising stockpiles of the metal at exchange-monitored warehouses. "Copper's fundamentals are deteriorating," said Stephen Briggs, strategist at BNP Paribas. Copper's benchmark three-month futures on the London Metal Exchange closed down 1.2 percent at $7,189 per tonne. In New York, the most-active copper contract on COMEX, December, settled down 1.4 percent at $3.2685 a lb. Wheat futures rose for a third straight session after forecasts of crop-threatening frost in Australia added to a flow of recent news suggesting a tightening global wheat market. Wheat's front-month contract on the Chicago Board of Trade, December, settled up 3-1/4 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $6.89-1/4 a bushel. Cocoa slumped in a technically-driven long liquidation. ICE Futures' most active cocoa contract, December CCZ3, settled down $53, or nearly 2 percent, at $2,585 a tonne in New York. It was the contract's sharpest one-day decline since Aug 21.
Prices at 3:17 p.m. EDT (1917 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 103.00 -1.10 -1.1% 12.2% Brent crude 108.62 -0.57 -0.5% -2.2% Natural gas 3.499 -0.043 -1.2% 4.4% US gold 1317.60 -3.10 -0.2% -21.4% Gold 1316.30 1.66 0.1% -21.4% US Copper 3.26 -0.05 -1.5% -10.7% LME Copper 7185.00 -94.00 -1.3% -9.4% Dollar 79.774 -0.126 -0.2% 3.9% CRB 285.552 -0.891 -0.3% -3.2% US corn 439.25 0.25 0.1% -37.1% US soybeans 1288.25 13.25 1.0% -9.2% US wheat 689.25 3.25 0.5% -11.4% US Coffee 115.35 0.90 0.8% -19.8% US Cocoa 2585.00 -47.00 -1.8% 15.6% US Sugar 17.48 0.00 0.0% -10.4% US silver 21.739 21.521 1.6% -28.1% US platinum 1369.50 -20.30 0.0% -11.0% US palladium 699.20 -21.00 -2.9% -0.6%