COMMODITIES- Markets fall on economic data, roiled by bogus tweet

Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:31am IST

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Stocks

   

* Brent near $100 a barrel on economic data from China,
Germany
    * Gold spikes, oil sinks after false AP tweet
    * Corn down as rains improve U.S. growing conditions

    NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Commodities markets fell for
a second session on Tuesday with Brent crude settling near $100
a barrel and copper hitting a 1-1/2-year low as
weaker-than-expected economic data out of China and Germany
raised concerns about global economic health.
    Oil prices sank and gold spiked briefly as markets for
stocks, bonds, oil and commodities were sent spinning after a
fake tweet sent via the Associated Press said that there had
been explosions at the White House. 
    U.S. crude for June delivery fell as much as 70 cents
a barrel in a three-minute period following the false tweet. The
contract closed down 1 cent at $89.18 a barrel.
    June Brent crude recovered after falling by more
than $1.50, settling down 8 cents at $100.31 a barrel. 
    U.S. gold futures jumped by more than $5 an ounce,
or 0.4 percent, after the false tweet, but were soon trading
lower. 
    "It puts into perspective our increasing dependence on
technology and communications," said Bill Baruch, senior market
strategist at iitrader.com in Chicago.
    "It brings us back to reality in the sense that these
communications are easily misconstrued, easily hacked, so not
only can people put out false information, but they can
capitalize on it."
    U.S. stocks also fell steeply on the tweet, but
recovered shortly after news the tweet was false.
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
benchmark for global commodities, was down for a second straight
session.
    
    CHINA, GERMANY DATA PRESSURE OIL, METALS
    Gold fell 1.4 percent to a session low of $1,405.44
an ounce and had pared losses to $1,412.70 by 3:14 EDT (1914
GMT), off 0.87 percent, under pressure as the dollar index
 gained against a basket of currencies and by outflow from
the world's biggest gold exchange-traded fund. 
    Three-month copper closed at $6,870 a tonne, down 1
percent from a close of $6,935 on Monday. Earlier in the
session, it fell to $6,762.2 a tonne, its lowest level since
October 2011.
    China's factory sector's growth slowed in April due to a
slowdown in new export orders, according to a preliminary survey
of factory managers. 
    The data came on the heels of weaker-than-expected GDP data
in China that sparked concern over demand in the world's largest
consumer of many commodities and prompted a broad commodities
sell-off last week.
    Economic data out of Germany that the country's private
sector shrank in April for the first time in five months added
to the macroeconomic worries on Tuesday.
    "I think the whole commodities space came off because of the
weak PMI out of China and the weak PMI out of Europe, especially
Germany," said Heraeus Precious Metals Management metals trader
David Lee. 
    "That combination is dragging everything from copper to
silver to platinum and palladium down. And gold is going down in
sympathy because it's part of the basket."
    Goldman Sachs lowered its 2013 Brent price forecast to
$105.00 from $110.00, citing a possible slowdown in Chinese
demand, weaker-than-expected European demand, and higher
European refinery activity. 
    
    CORN DOWN ON IMPROVED SUPPLY PROSPECTS
    Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures fell for a second
session, with the new-crop December futures contract 
hitting a 10-month low, trading down 10-1/4 cents per bushel at
$5.22-3/4.
    CBOT corn for May delivery was down 7-1/4 cents per
bushel at $6.38-1/2.
    U.S. corn plantings have been delayed by cold, wet weather
but the recent rainfall has added valuable moisture to
drought-stricken soils. 
    The improved moisture supply prospects pressured prices.
    "The story has been delayed plantings and now the focus is
shifting to the weekend and next week and much better planting
weather," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for Illinois-based
research and advisory firm Allendale Inc.
    
 Prices at 5:15 p.m. EST (2115 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    89.57     0.38   0.4%   -2.5%
 Brent crude                100.44     0.05   0.1%   -9.6%
 Natural gas                 4.238   -0.029  -0.7%   26.5%
 
 US gold                   1408.60   -12.40  -0.9%  -15.9%
 Gold                      1412.44   -12.70  -0.9%  -15.6%
 US Copper                  310.40    -4.00  -1.3%  -15.0%
 LME Copper                6870.00   -65.00  -0.9%  -13.4%
 Dollar                     83.019    0.343   0.4%    8.1%
                          #DIV/0!
 
 US corn                    638.50    -7.25  -1.1%   -8.6%
 US soybeans               1419.75     2.50   0.2%    0.1%
 US wheat                   697.50    -4.75  -0.7%  -10.3%
 
 US Coffee                  137.55    -4.95  -3.5%   -4.3%
 US Cocoa                  2316.00    17.00   0.7%    3.6%
 US Sugar                    17.74    -0.13  -0.7%   -9.1%
 
 US silver                  22.817   -0.507  -2.2%  -24.5%
 US platinum               1416.80   -19.00  -1.3%   -7.9%
 US palladium               673.35    -8.55  -1.3%   -4.3%
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