* Dlr at 7-mth high vs currency basket, 3-mth peak to euro
* Oil also pressured by large U.S. crude inventories
* Gold slips after strong U.S. retail sales data
* Robusta coffee hit by profit-taking; soy down on supplies
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, March 13 Commodities fell on
Wednesday, snapping four straight days of gains, with a strong
dollar and a general slowdown in demand pressuring prices for
oil, metals and most crops.
Some raw materials, like robusta coffee and corn, slid on
profit-taking as traders unwound bullish bets built since last
Thursday on optimism about the U.S. economic recovery.
Benchmark Brent crude oil in London fell after the dollar
climbed to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies
and hit a three-month peak versus the euro.
A larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories,
and a trimmed demand forecast from the International Energy
Agency, also weighed on oil prices.
Copper was also hit by the stronger dollar while gold
slipped after a failure to rise past $1,600 an ounce prompted
investors in bullion to reduce positions.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
bellwether for commodity prices, settled down 0.3 percent.
Thirteen of the 19 markets tracked by the CRB ended down, with
coffee, soybeans, silver and heating oil falling 1 percent each.
NATGAS, COTTON BUCK TREND
Natural gas and cotton each rose about 1 percent, bucking
the lower trend. Gas hit a three-month high on forecasts
for more cold weather in key U.S. consuming regions.
Short-covering and mill options drove cotton to 10-month
Brent crude settled down $1.13 at $108.52 per
barrel, dropping below its 200-day moving average of $109.37, a
technical level monitored by chart-watching traders and
U.S. crude oil finished down 2 cents at $92.52.
The selloff in oil came after the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report domestic crude
stocks rose 2.62 million barrels last week, slightly more than
the build of 2.3 million barrels forecast on average by analysts
surveyed by Reuters.
In gold, the key futures contract in New York, April
, ended down $3.30 at $1,588.40, with trading volume
below the 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
Gold came under pressure after data showed U.S. retail sales
expanded at their fastest pace in five months in February. The
report came on the heels of strong gains in employment and
manufacturing, increasing chances the Federal Reserve might halt
its bond-buying earlier than thought.
London's robusta coffee closed down $3 at $2,203 a
tonne, sliding from a 5-month high as profit-taking cut into
gains made earlier in the day on concern over unfavorable
growing weather in top producer Vietnam.
Soybeans' second-month contract in Chicago tumbled
21-3/4 cents to $14.47 a bushel on slowing global demand for the
remnants of last autumn's U.S. harvest as South American
supplies begin to flood the market.
Prices at 4:22 p.m. EST (2022 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 92.47 -0.07 -0.1% 0.7%
Brent crude 108.38 -1.27 -1.2% -2.5%
Natural gas 3.680 0.035 1.0% 9.8%
US gold 1588.40 -3.30 -0.2% -5.2%
Gold 1587.76 -4.33 -0.3% -5.2%
US Copper 350.95 -2.85 -0.8% -3.9%
LME Copper 7787.50 -42.50 -0.5% -1.8%
Dollar 82.937 0.348 0.4% 8.0%
US corn 741.25 0.25 0.0% 6.2%
US soybeans 1475.00 -14.75 -1.0% 4.0%
US wheat 707.25 6.75 1.0% -9.1%
US Coffee 140.60 -1.75 -1.2% -2.2%
US Cocoa 2147.00 -11.00 -0.5% -4.0%
US Sugar 18.80 -0.02 -0.1% -3.6%
US silver 28.958 -0.213 -0.7% -4.2%
US platinum 1593.10 -1.90 -0.1% 3.5%
US palladium 771.25 -4.25 -0.5% 9.7%