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COMMODITIES-Copper at 1-week high, silver up on Fed; oil, gold down

Barani Krishnan
Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 4:10 PM ET

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Copper hit a 1-week high on Wednesday and silver rallied too as the Federal Reserve's decision to retain its stimulus efforts for the U.S. economy pushed several commodities higher. Gold fell in choppy trade, erasing earlier gains, as investors took profits after the Fed's move to stick to its monthly purchase of $85 billion in U.S. bonds offered few surprises. Lower prices for oil and a few agricultural markets also weighed on the broader commodities complex. U.S. crude oil had its sharpest fall in a week as it extended Tuesday's decline, raw sugar hit a 4-week low and wheat and corn prices fell. The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB index, which tracks 19 futures markets in all, closed down nearly a quarter percent after the sharp drop in U.S. crude prices. Government data pointing to a third weekly rise in U.S. oil stockpiles drove crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 1.5 percent on the day. NYMEX's front-month crude contract closed lower by $1.43 at $96.77 a barrel. Copper rallied in European trading on bets the Fed will stay its course on the U.S. stimulus. The metal closed the New York session up too and remained positive in post-settlement trade after the Fed affirmed at the end of a 2-day policy meeting that there will be no slowdown in its bond-buying. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up more than 1 percent at $7,298 a tonne, versus Tuesday's close of $7,200, but down from a one-week high of $7,299.50 hit earlier in the session. In New York, copper's most-active contract on COMEX finished up 4.75 cents at $3.3255 a lb, after setting a one-week high at $3.3280. Silver, used heavily in industrial applications despite being grouped in precious metals alongside gold, was the CRB's biggest gainer of the day, rising more than 2 percent. COMEX silver's most-active contract settled up 49.10 cents at $22.983 an ounce. It was the contract's largest gain in a week. Prices at 3:57 p.m. EDT (1957 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 96.68 -1.52 -1.6% 5.3% Brent crude 109.90 0.89 0.8% -1.1% Natural gas 3.620 -0.009 -0.2% 8.0% US gold 1349.30 3.80 0.3% -19.5% Gold 1342.76 -0.93 -0.1% -19.8% US Copper 3.33 0.05 1.4% -9.0% LME Copper 7290.00 90.00 1.3% -8.1% Dollar 79.773 0.166 0.2% 3.9% CRB 280.015 -0.622 -0.2% -5.1% US corn 430.25 -1.75 -0.4% -38.4% US soybeans 1287.50 8.50 0.7% -9.3% US wheat 675.00 -6.25 -0.9% -13.2% US Coffee 106.85 -0.10 -0.1% -25.7% US Cocoa 2660.00 1.00 0.0% 19.0% US Sugar 18.32 -0.13 -0.7% -6.1% US silver 22.983 22.758 1.7% -24.0% US platinum 1479.90 18.00 0.0% -3.8% US palladium 749.50 2.45 0.3% 6.6%