| NEW YORK, July 10
NEW YORK, July 10 Oil prices jumped on Wednesday
after a sharp drop in U.S. fuel stockpiles, and copper and gold
closed firm as the dollar fell on signs the Federal Reserve may
extend its economic stimulus.
Among crops, U.S. new-crop soybean futures rose to a nearly
three-week high on concerns that rains in the eastern Midwest
would prevent farmers from planting the last of their acres.
Raw sugar turned lower after data from Brazil showed hefty
sugar output in the world's top grower, despite a slowdown in
cane crushing expected by traders due to rains.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
settled up nearly 1 percent for its biggest daily gain
in nearly five weeks.
"The markets have moved quite a bit lower over the course of
June and have likely priced in a good amount of the negative
news that has come our way over the past few weeks. They are,
therefore, due for a modest bounce from here," Edward Meir,
metals analyst at INTL FC Stone, wrote in his daily commentary.
U.S. crude oil's front-month contract settled up
$2.99, or nearly 3 percent, at $106.52 a barrel. It had surged
to a 16-month high of $106.66 earlier.
The rally in oil came after data showing U.S. crude
inventories plunging about 10 million barrels for a second week
in a row, highlighting the unexpectedly rapid tightening of the
market after three years of pent-up supply due to a dramatic
resurgence in domestic production.
London's Brent crude closed up 70 cents, or 0.7
percent, at $108.51 a barrel.
Gold and copper ended in positive territory after minutes
from the Federal Reserve's June meeting showed many officials
wanting more reassurance that the job market was on solid ground
before withdrawing the central bank's economic stimulus.
The spot price of bullion was up half a percent late
afternoon in New York, hovering at around $1,251 an ounce, after
rising as much as 1 percent earlier.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange,
untraded at the close, was bid at $6,825 per tonne, up from
$6,730 at the close on Tuesday.
Copper was partly bolstered by hopes the People's Bank of
China might resort to monetary easing or other stimulus measures
to lift the country's economy after data showing a drop in
Chinese exports in June. China is the No. 1 copper consumer,
accounting for as much as 40 percent of global refined demand.
(Editing by Marguerita Choy)