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

Barani Krishnan
Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 5:14 PM ET

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%