COMMODITIES-U.S. oil tumbles in pre-holiday trade; wheat rallies
NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Commodities fell broadly on Wednesday on lighter trading of the Thanksgiving holiday, with U.S. oil prices losing their most in 2 weeks as unexpectedly large crude stockpiles weighed on prices. Base metal prices slipped too as speculators piled pressure on markets already hampered by surplus supplies. Gold surrendered early gains as the dollar rose after a rash of U.S. data supported the theory that the Federal Reserve might soon pare its monetary stimulus. Crop markets fared better. Wheat futures rose more than 1 percent, resuming a rally buoyed by strong export prospects. Robusta coffee rose for a second straight session, hitting a six-week high, supported by heavy buying on the physical market by a major roaster. Despite those gains, the Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index fell half a percent, as 13 of the 19 markets it tracked traded in negative territory. The holiday mood ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving also pared volumes. Some commodities such as arabica coffee and cocoa had about 25 percent fewer trades than their 30-day norm, Reuters data showed.
U.S. OIL DOWN MOST IN 2 WEEKS U.S. crude oil, the CRB's largest component commanding about a quarter of the index's weighting, settled down 1.5 percent at $92.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was its sharpest loss since Nov. 12. Europe's Brent crude gained 0.4 percent to finish at $111.31. U.S. oil fell after data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed domestic crude inventories rising almost 3 million barrels to their highest level for this time of year since records began in 1982. The EIA report followed Tuesday's data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API), which showed stockpiles rising by 6.9 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected an increase of just around 600,000 barrels.
WHEAT AT 2-WEEK HIGH In wheat, the front-month on the Chicago Board of Trade hit 2-week high above $6.56 a bushel before settling at$6.51-1/4 a bushel, up 0.7 percent on the day. It was the market's fourth gain in five sessions. Harvest problems in Australia and Argentina have brightened the prospects for U.S. wheat exports. Major Australian wheat customer Indonesia said it was looking elsewhere for food imports because of a diplomatic rift with Australia.
"I think it just sent out a message that the U.S. (wheat) is competitive and global prices are indeed coming up a little bit," said Tom Fritz, a partner at EFG Group in Chicago. Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, also underlined robust global demand for the grain by purchasing 60,000 tonnes from France. Libya added to the bullish outlook as its agriculture minister told Reuters on Wednesday it will resume imports soon to meet domestic needs. Prices at 2:57 p.m. EDT (1957 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 92.22 -1.46 -1.6% 0.4% Brent crude 111.37 0.49 0.4% 0.2% Natural gas 3.895 0.031 0.8% 16.2% US gold 1237.80 -3.60 -0.3% -26.1% Gold 1239.46 -3.44 -0.3% -26.0% US Copper 3.20 -0.01 -0.4% -12.4% LME Copper 7020.00 -45.00 -0.6% -11.5% Dollar 80.717 0.106 0.1% 5.1% CRB 273.500 -1.272 -0.5% -7.3% US corn 417.25 -1.25 -0.3% -40.2% US soybeans 1320.00 -9.25 -0.7% -7.0% US wheat 651.25 4.75 0.7% -16.3% US Coffee 107.60 -0.55 -0.5% -25.2% US Cocoa 2770.00 -3.00 -0.1% 23.9% US Sugar 17.22 -0.08 -0.5% -11.7% US silver 19.633 19.435 1.6% -35.0% US platinum 1352.70 -19.20 0.0% -12.1% US palladium 714.35 -1.85 -0.3% 1.6%