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COMMODITIES-Cotton jumps on China news; gasoline spikes on U.S. cold

Barani Krishnan
Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 6:24 PM ET

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. cotton prices jumped their most in two weeks on Tuesday on news that top producer China could be paring plantings, and gasoline prices also rallied to lead gains in commodities. Heating oil, natural gas and crude oil prices rose as well, boosted by the coldest U.S. weather in nearly two decades. Still, the Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index , a bellwether for commodities, closed slightly lower after a sharp drop in prices of arabica coffee and silver. Ten of the 19 commodities tracked by the CRB closed lower. Cotton futures rallied for a second consecutive day in New York after a survey by a Chinese industry group said it expected farmers in that country to cut cotton plantings by 9 percent this year. It would be a third straight year of declines in planting by the No. 1 producer and consumer of natural fiber. U.S. cotton's front-month contract, March, settled up 1.04 cents, or 1.2 percent at 84.67 cents after news of the China survey. Also fueling the cotton rally was speculation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture could cite a lower-than-expected inventory figure for cotton in its monthly supply-demand report due on Friday. "There's anticipation that the USDA report could spring a surprise, and together with the Chinese plantings survey, it was enough for the market to rally," said Sharon Johnson, senior cotton analyst at KCG Futures, a division of commodities broker Knight Capital, in Roswell, Georgia. The energy complex rose as frigid weather in North America boosted demand for heating while hurting some refinery operations. U.S. RBOB gasoline futures rose 3.26 cents to $2.6786 a gallon, up 1.2 percent on the day. At least five refineries in the United States and Canada curtailed supply after bitterly cold temperatures caused malfunctions and, in a few cases, full-scale closures. Prices at 6:13 p.m. EST (2313 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 93.99 0.32 0.3% 2.4% Brent crude 107.45 0.72 0.7% -3.3% Natural gas 4.299 0.000 0.0% 28.3% US gold 1229.60 -8.40 -0.7% -26.6% Gold 1231.44 -0.05 0.0% -26.5% US Copper 3.36 0.00 0.0% -8.0% LME Copper 7351.00 26.00 0.4% -7.3% Dollar 80.863 0.210 0.3% 5.3% CRB 276.826 -0.278 -0.1% -6.2% US corn 426.00 -1.75 -0.4% -39.0% US soybeans 1299.50 2.75 0.2% -8.4% US wheat 602.50 -3.25 -0.5% -22.6% US Coffee 117.25 -3.75 -3.1% -18.5% US Cocoa 2675.00 8.00 0.3% 19.6% US Sugar 16.06 -0.02 -0.1% -17.7% US silver 19.787 19.586 1.6% -34.5% US platinum 1412.70 -1.00 0.0% -8.2% US palladium 741.70 3.20 0.4% 5.5%

(Editing by David Gregorio)