COMMODITIES-Markets retreat as dollar rises on Greek bailout woes

Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:04pm GMT
 

* Dollar surges on worries over Greek rescue deal
    * Brent oil down 1 pct, backs off from 6-month high
    * Copper falls 3 pct, moves away from 5-month peak
    * Crops extend bearish streak; cocoa at 1-month low

    By Barani Krishnan	
    NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Oil and copper fell
sharply on Friday, snapping their run this week to
multi-month highs, and crop prices extended a bearish streak
after the dollar rose on doubts over Greece's latest bailout
deal.	
    The dollar climbed nearly one percent against the euro,
pulling away from Thursday's two-month low, after the leader of
the far-right party in Greece's coalition declined to back a
rescue deal for Athens. Euro finance ministers also sought
further measures from Greece before signing off on the
130-billion euro ($171.5-billion) bailout package.	
    The greenback's strength, which often translates to weaker
prices for commodities, weighed on metals and energy markets,
and particularly on crops such as wheat and cocoa.	
    The broad decline in prices drove the Thomson
Reuters-Jefferies CRB index down more than 1 percent for
its sharpest drop in nearly two weeks.	
    For the week, the index of 19 commodities was down by just
over half a percent, after accounting for Thursday's higher
close in U.S. crude oil -- its main component.	
    "The market has paused for breath after its sustained
rally," Mark Thomas, energy trader for Marex Spectron in London,
said, referring to Friday's retreat in both U.S. crude and
London's Brent oil.	
    Benchmark U.S. crude  futures in New York settled
down 1.2 percent, or $1.17, at $98.67 per barrel -- its first
lower close in four days.	
    Brent oil in London was also down about 1 percent, hovering
around $117.50 per barrel. Brent closed at a six-month high of
$118.59 on Thursday.	
    Aside from hitches over the Greece bailout, oil was weakened
by a bearish demand growth forecast put out by the International
Energy Agency (IEA) for a sixth straight month. 
 	
    Copper sustained its first weekly loss since early January.	
    The metal's benchmark three-month futures contract in London
 plunged $275, or 3.14 percent, to end at $8,485 a tonne,
falling back from Thursday's five-month high of $8,765.	
    Still, with metals markets moving into a seasonally strong
period, analysts were not taking Friday's losses in copper too
seriously.	
    "Right now, we do not see this as being too significant and
hurting the bulls too much," said Craig Ross, vice president of
ApexFutures.com in Chicago.	
    Standard Chartered's Daniel Smith was one of the analysts
more optimistic about copper, forecasting a $9,000 price in the
weeks ahead.	
    Some metals traders cited the approaching spring season in
the northern hemisphere, which they said usually led to more
construction activity -- one of the biggest sources for copper
demand. 	
    Among crops, U.S. cocoa futures fell for the third day,
dropping 4 percent to a one-month low on heavy spread trade and
long liquidation.	
    U.S. cocoa futures' key May contract dropped $83, or
3.7 percent, to close at $2,161 per tonne. London's May cocoa
 fell 44 pounds or nearly 3 percent to close at 1,424
pounds a tonne. 	
    Prices at 2:47 p.m. EST (1946 GMT)                          
                     	
                             LAST      NET    PCT     YTD 	
                                       CHG    CHG     CHG 	
US crude             98.79    -1.05  -1.0%    0.0% 	
Brent crude        117.47    -1.12  -0.9%    9.4% 	
Natural gas          2.474   -0.003  -0.1%  -17.2% 	
                                                          	
US gold            1717.20   -21.80  -1.3%    9.6% 	
Gold               1717.00   -14.00  -0.8%    9.8% 	
US Copper           386.00   -11.85  -3.0%   12.3% 	
LME Copper        8472.00  -288.00  -3.3%   11.5% 	
Dollar              79.106    0.540   0.7%   -1.3% 	
CRB                312.140   -3.360  -1.1%    2.2% 	
                                                          	
US corn              630.75    -5.25  -0.8%   -2.4% 	
US soybeans         1230.50     1.50   0.1%    2.7% 	
US wheat             630.00   -16.00  -2.5%   -3.5% 	
                                                          	
US Coffee           216.60    -0.70  -0.3%   -5.1% 	
US Cocoa           2150.00   -80.00  -3.6%    1.9% 	
US Sugar             24.65     0.14   0.6%    6.1% 	
                                                          	
US silver           33.495   -0.422  -1.2%   20.0% 	
US platinum        1659.20    -8.40  -0.5%   18.1% 	
US palladium        701.90    -9.40  -1.3%    7.0%
 
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