COMMODITIES-Soy down most in a week since 2009; gold up 3rd week

NEW YORK, July 26 Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:20am IST

NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - U.S. soybeans fell again on Friday to post their sharpest weekly loss since 2009 as a giant crop loomed and gold slipped too although it still recorded a third straight week of gains as investors grew more confident the fed was not yet ready to scale back its stimulus program.

Crude prices fell on Friday and were down for the week on fear of waning demand from China as the No. 2 oil consumer, worried about excess manufacturing capacity, ordered its factories to reduce output.

Copper also fell on concerns of slowing demand by China, the largest buyer of the metal.

Robusta was one of the few commodities that bucked the bearish trend, rallying as exchange-monitored stockpiles of the London-traded coffee hit a four-year low.

The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index fell 0.9 percent for the session and 2.2 percent for the week. It was weighed down mostly by the losses in soybeans and U.S. crude, its main component.

Soybeans, and their derivative soymeal, have come under selling pressure as a record-large U.S. soy harvest approaches. Soybeans are usually crushed to make soymeal.

The front-month contract for U.S. soybeans, August settled at $13.49-3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, down 0.4 percent on the day and down nearly 10 percent for the week.

Reuters charts showed it was the sharpest weekly decline for a front-month soybeans contract since a drop of more than 15 percent in early September 2009.

Soymeal's front-month August contract was down 4 percent on the day. For the week, it fell 11 percent, the most since a 14 percent weekly drop in September 2009.

The spot price of gold was above $1,332 an ounce late afternoon in New York, down slightly on the day. For the week, it rose 2.8 percent and was up three weeks in a row the first time since March.

Gold's weekly gain was helped by speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve, at its meeting next week, will drive the dollar down further with statements that indicate less tapering of its monetary stimulus than initially expected.

The dollar hit a five-week low on speculation that the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee will emphasize next week its intention to keep interest rates low for longer.

"It is understandable that money managers be wary of any slight change in verbiage from the Fed in these low interest-rate days," said Carlos Perez-Santalla at brokerage Marex Spectron. (Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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