COMMODITIES-Down, ending volatile week; China GDP disappoints

Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:46pm EDT
* China GDP weaker than thought; US consumer data bearish
    * CRB ends down 1 pct on day, 1.2 percent on week
    * US crude, copper, gold in the red, along with few crops

    By Barani Krishnan 
    NEW YORK, April 13 (Reuters) - Commodity markets ended a
volatile week by closing broadly lower on Friday after China's
first-quarter economic data disappointed investors expecting
forecast-beating growth. 
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
commodities benchmark, fell nearly 1 percent on the day as 15 of
the 19 futures markets it tracked settled in the red. For the
week, the CRB lost 1.2 percent. 
    A strong dollar also weighed on commodities, most of
which are largely traded in the U.S. currency. A weak
reading for U.S. consumer sentiment in early April added to the
bearish sentiment.  
    In China, growth of gross domestic product in the first
quarter was at its slowest rate in nearly three years, making
investors worry that a five-quarter slide has not bottomed out
and more policy action will be needed to spur growth in the No.2
economy. China is the biggest importer of base
metals and one of the largest consumers of most major raw
materials produced by the world.  
    Just a day ago, investors had bet China's first-quarter
quarter GDP will exceed expectations, sparking a broad
commodities rally that led to gains in all 19 markets tracked by
the CRB. Flighty investor mood has caused the CRB to swing this
the week, closing down in three out of five sessions. 
    In Friday's trade, U.S. crude oil, several agricultural
markets and copper and gold futures closed lower, reacting
mostly to the Chinese data. 
    "People really need to see a policy catalyst (for growth)
before they come back aggressively," said Walter de We, an
analyst for gold at Standard Bank in London. 
    U.S. crude oil settled at $102.83 a barrel, down 81
cents, or nearly 1 percent, on the day, and off 48 cents, or
about half percent, on the week.  
    Copper fell below $8,000 a tonne and gold
slipped under $1,670 an ounce. 
    Wheat and coffee prices fell 2 percent on the
day while sugar sank 3 percent.   
   Prices at 3:12 p.m. EDT (1912 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                   102.89    -0.75  -0.7%    4.1%
 Brent crude                121.81     0.12   0.1%   13.4%
 Natural gas                 1.981   -0.002  -0.1%  -33.7%
 US gold                   1664.50   -20.50  -1.2%    6.2%
 Gold                      1653.60   -21.18  -1.3%    5.8%
 US Copper                  362.70    -9.35  -2.5%    5.6%
 Dollar                     79.888    0.602   0.8%   -0.4%
 CRB                       302.850   -2.760  -0.9%   -0.8%
 US corn                    629.25    -8.25  -1.3%   -2.7%
 US soybeans               1436.75    -4.25  -0.3%   19.9%
 US wheat                   623.50   -15.75  -2.5%   -4.5%
 US Coffee                  179.20    -3.70  -2.0%  -21.5%
 US Cocoa                  2248.00    88.00   4.1%    6.6%
 US Sugar                    23.37    -0.85  -3.5%    0.6%
 US silver                  31.390   -1.135  -3.5%   12.4%
 US platinum               1587.90   -18.10  -1.1%   13.0%
 US palladium               647.20    -5.90  -0.9%   -1.4%


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