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COMMODITIES-Gold up as dollar slides vs euro on ECB; arabica tumbles

(Reuters is considering dropping the daily commodities wrap after March 10 and publishing the report on a discretionary basis. Please send any comments on this move to Josephine Mason at josephine.masonzthomsonreuters.com) NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - Gold rose 1 percent on Thursday, nearing four-month highs hit earlier in the week, as the dollar tumbled against the euro and oil, copper and corn climbed too, pushing commodities broadly higher. Gold prices were boosted by the European Central Bank's decision not to take fresh action to inject liquidity into the euro zone market. The ECB decision helped weaken the dollar and increased bullion's appeal as a hedge against the currency. Arabica coffee fell more than 3 percent after a volatile session that made the market retreat from a 2-year high and 70 percent price gain that made it the best performing commodity of 2014. Live cattle, another market that had gained in recent weeks, closed lower too. The Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB Index, a bellwether for commodity prices, settled half a percent higher after gains in 15 of the 19 markets it tracked. The euro rose 1 percent versus the dollar, its highest gain since late September. "The strong showing of the euro is positive for gold, and geopolitical tensions are supporting the market," said James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC. Gold has been up lately on tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine. In Thursday's session, the spot price of bullion was up 1 percent at around $1,351 an ounce late afternoon in New York. The session high was $1,352.75, nearing Monday's four-month high of $1,354.80. U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $11.50 to $1,351.80 an ounce, with trading volume about 10 percent above the 30-day average, preliminary data from Thomson Reuters showed. Corn prices hit a six-month high as stronger-than-expected weekly U.S. export sales data underscored renewed demand for the grain. U.S. corn for March delivery ended up 10-1/2 cents at $4.85-3/4 per bushel in Chicago, after reaching a September peak of $4.87-1/4. Arabica coffee futures dropped from the previous session's 2-year high on profit-taking after much-needed rain in parts of top coffee growing country Brazil. Unseasonably dry Brazilian weather in January and February, and consequential production concerns have propelled arabica coffee prices up by around 76 percent since the start of the year, taking dealers by surprise. On Wednesday, the market closed above the psychological $2 per lb level for the first time in two years. "We've gone over $2 now and we're seeing some specs willing to take some money off here. Commercials are more willing to sell here as well, and we're seeing that reflected," said Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago. Arabica's most-actively traded second-month position fell 6.85 cents, or 3.4 percent, to close at $1.9555 per lb.

Prices at 6:04 p.m. EDT (2304 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT CLOSE CHG CHG US crude 101.79 0.22 0.2% Brent crude 108.40 0.64 0.6% Natural gas 4.662 0.000 0.0% US gold 1351.80 11.50 0.9% Gold 1349.76 -0.98 -0.1% US Copper 3.28 0.02 0.7% LME Copper 7050.00 20.00 0.3% Dollar 79.659 -0.450 -0.6% CRB 307.591 1.544 0.5% US corn 485.75 10.50 2.2% US soybeans 1437.50 17.50 1.2% US wheat 641.50 4.25 0.7% US Coffee 194.80 -5.85 -2.9% US Cocoa 2938.00 0.00 0.0% US Sugar 16.47 0.00 0.0% US silver 21.542 21.330 1.6% US platinum 1486.80 10.20 0.0% US palladium 780.95 8.30 1.1%

(Editing by Andrew Hay)

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