COMMODITIES-Gold jumps on weak U.S. jobs data; Brent oil rises
NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Gold surged on Tuesday after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs creation in September boosted the precious metal's safe haven edge, while the dollar's sharp fall against the euro lifted other commodities priced in the U.S. currency. Geopolitical and supply-demand concerns pushed some markets higher. Benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe rose to above $110 a barrel after news of a deterioration in relations between the United States and key OPEC oil producer Saudi Arabia. U.S. crude prices, however, fell after higher inventories of oil reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That drop weighed on the Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index, which counts on U.S. crude as its main component. despite some sharp gains in several markets it tracked. Nickel and silver led the CRB's advance, rising more than 2 percent each. Cocoa, copper, lean hogs, aluminium and gold all rose about 1 percent or more. Gold's most active futures contract on New York's COMEX was up 2 percent at above $1,342 an ounce, after surging to a three-week high of $1,344.70. Gold rallied while the dollar fell to its lowest in nearly two years against the euro after the soft U.S. jobs data for September raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will have to stimulate the economy at the current pace into 2014. U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 148,000 last month, the Labor Department said, well below the 180,000 forecast in a Reuters poll. The data raised worries that the world's largest economy had lost momentum even before a government shutdown this month.
"We were not even close to the 180,000 number ... the main takeaway is that Fed tapering is still a long way away, probably not for this year and that's the reason why everything shot up - equities, commodities and gold in particular," said Robin Bhar, a metals analyst with Societe Generale in London. "The next 24 hours are crucial because on what we have just seen, gold should hold and even move higher if the dollar weakens." The spot price of bullion traded at above $1,341 an ounce after touching a session high at $1,344.46. Oil's benchmark Brent crude jumped after a source close to Saudi policy said Riyadh would make a "major shift" in dealings with the United States in protest at Washington's perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran.
The planned change in ties between the energy superpower and its traditional U.S. ally would have wide-ranging consequences, including on arms purchases and oil sales, the source said. Benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea edged higher at above $109 a barrel, after a session peak at $110.94. U.S. crude fell 0.9 percent to below $99 a barrel.
Prices at 11:32 a.m. EDT (1532 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD CHG CHG CHG US crude 98.47 -0.75 -0.8% 7.2% Brent crude 109.77 0.13 0.1% -1.2% Natural gas 3.638 -0.030 -0.8% 8.6% US gold 1340.70 24.90 1.9% -20.0% Gold 1340.44 25.30 1.9% -19.9% US Copper 3.33 0.03 0.9% -8.7% LME Copper 7311.75 67.75 0.9% -7.8% Dollar 79.285 -0.410 -0.5% 3.3% CRB 284.990 -0.347 -0.1% -3.4% US corn 439.00 -5.00 -1.1% -37.1% US soybeans 1299.50 -3.75 -0.3% -8.4% US wheat 703.00 3.25 0.5% -9.6% US Coffee 112.20 -0.50 -0.4% -22.0% US Cocoa 2769.00 39.00 1.4% 23.8% US Sugar 19.42 0.00 0.0% -0.5% US silver 22.480 0.002 1.1% -25.6% US platinum 1445.40 6.80 0.5% -6.1% US palladium 747.55 -2.70 -0.4% 6.3%