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COMMODITIES-Nickel jumps 1.4 pct; arabica down, oats hit record

Barani Krishnan
Thursday, 6 Feb 2014 | 5:48 PM ET

NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Nickel prices jumped, nearing a one-week high after Indonesia upheld a shipment ban on the ore of the metal used in coin- and stainless steel-making, and arabica coffee slumped 5 percent to reverse the previous day's rally on profit-taking. Oats, a thinly traded grain, hit record highs due to transportation bottlenecks that slowed shipments from Canada. Raw sugar fell about 2 percent, hit by profit-taking after a run-up this week triggered by Brazil's drought. Natural gas fell similarly as a U.S. government report showed lower-than-expected draws of gas stockpiles over the past week amid freezing temperatures. Copper settled about 1 percent up on expectations that top metals importer China will increase purchases when it resumes work next week from a long festive holiday. The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity Index, a bellwether for commodities, settled flat after the mixed performance across the 19 markets it tracked. Eight of the CRB's components moved less than half a percent on the day. Nickel led the index's gains as Indonesia's government remained firm about its ban on exports of unprocessed minerals, despite market hopes that the country, which has been one of the leading exporters of nickel ore, may waver. "I think the market assumption is that there is going to be some easing of the restrictions," BNP Paribas analyst Stephen Briggs said. "There are no signs of that at the moment. As things stand, the government in Indonesia is talking tough." Three-month nickel on the LME closed up $195, or 1.4 percent, at $13,970 a tonne. It rose to $14,066 during the session, a dollar shy of a Jan. 31 peak. Oat prices surged after severe railroad delays and other logistical problems in Canada sent the price of the grain above corn for the first time in eight years. The front-month oat contract in Chicago soared by its daily 20-cent limit to $4.63-1/4 a bushel, to set the highest-ever spot price for oat. It settled up 3 percent at $4.56-1/2. Arabica coffee fell after hitting a nine-month high, as investors took profits late in the session on a commodity that gained 26 percent over eight sessions on concerns about Brazil's drought. Arabica for March delivery settled down 7.35 cents, or 5.1 percent, at $1.3575 a lb, after scaling a 9-month peak of $1.4415. Prices at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT CLOSE CHG CHG US crude 97.91 0.46 0.5% Brent crude 107.35 1.10 1.0% Natural gas 4.931 -0.099 -2.0% US gold 1257.60 0.30 0.0% Gold 1257.19 -0.07 0.0% US Copper 3.23 0.04 1.3% LME Copper 7129.50 90.50 1.3% Dollar 80.890 -0.149 -0.2% CRB 287.218 0.111 0.0% US corn 443.00 -0.25 -0.1% US soybeans 1325.75 9.50 0.7% US wheat 580.75 -6.75 -1.2% US Coffee 135.75 -7.35 -5.1% US Cocoa 2886.00 2.00 0.1% US Sugar 15.85 -0.25 -1.6% US silver 19.928 19.730 1.6% US palladium 710.35 3.25 0.5%

(Editing by David Gregorio)