Fri Aug 3, 2012 11:37am EDT
* US jobs growth in July slow enough to point to Fed
* NY crude up more than 4 pct to above $91
* Grains markets snap profit-taking bid on fresh crop yield
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Oil prices jumped more than 4 percent on Friday and metals markets rose too after weak U.S. employment data convinced many investors that the Federal Reserve would have to act to stimulate the economy.
Grains markets jumped, ending a three-day slide, as private forecasters projected crop yields well below government estimates due to the nagging drought in the U.S. farm belt.
Soybeans and corn rose more than 1 percent each. Wheat surged 3 percent on worries that poor Russian weather could hit production out of the Black Sea.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index rose nearly 2 percent, heading for its biggest gain in two weeks, as a weak dollar fed the bull market sentiment.
The greenback fell to a one-month low against the euro, making dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for euro holders, after the release of the U.S. employment report for July.
The data showed employers hired 163,000 workers, the most in five months and above expectations calling for an increase of 100,000 jobs. But an increase in the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent raised speculation the Fed will have to pump fresh stimulus money to get the job market and economy into higher gear.
U.S. crude oil futures soared to above $91 per barrel in New York trading, gaining more than $3.80 or 4 percent, as stocks on Wall Street rallied on optimism about a Fed intervention due to the mundane employment numbers.
“The noose … (is) still around the Fed’s neck and everybody is very cognizant of the fact that we could fall off the economic cliff any day,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive
of Sarhan Capital in New York.
London’s benchmark Brent crude rose 2.6 percent to above $108 per barrel, tracking the U.S. market and reacting to worries about tighter Brent supply caused by maintenance of oil fields in the North Sea.
Rising tensions in the Middle East have also encouraged buying in oil in recent days as the civil war in Syria raged on and the U.S. Congress approved a new sanctions against 4th largest crude producer Iran .
Soybean, corn and wheat futures all rallied after players bet a U.S. Department of Agriculture report scheduled for next week will further cut crop yield estimates due to the hot and dry weather that has ravaged the Midwest farm belt.
“There are concerns that yields are going to be down, so people don’t want to be short ahead of the USDA report,” said Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.
Key soybean futures in Chicago were up more than 17 cents, or 1 percent, to above $16.34 per bushel. Corn rose over 13 cents, or 1.7 percent, to above $8.09.
Wheat jumped 28 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $8.92 abushel, also because of a drought in the Black Sea producing countries, including Russia, which normally supply a quarter of the world’s wheat export volumes.
Prices at 11:21 a.m. EST (1521 GMT)
LAST NET PCT YTD
CHG CHG CHG
US crude 91.01 3.88 4.5% -7.9%
Brent crude 108.63 2.73 2.6% 1.2%
Natural gas 2.936 0.015 0.6% -1.8%
US gold 1604.70 14.00 0.9% 2.4%
Gold 1601.70 11.96 0.8% 2.4%
US Copper 335.65 6.55 2.0% -2.3%
LME Copper 7424.75 94.75 1.3% -2.3%
Dollar 82.391 -0.970 -1.2% 2.8%
CRB 300.070 5.570 1.9% -1.7%
US corn 808.25 14.25 1.8% 25.0%
US soybeans 1660.00 7.00 0.4% 38.5%
US wheat 893.00 28.00 3.2% 36.8%
US Coffee 173.05 1.40 0.8% -24.1%
US Cocoa 2413.00 44.00 1.9% 14.4%
US Sugar 22.02 -0.02 -0.1% -5.2%
US silver 27.620 0.625 2.3% -1.1%
US platinum 1400.00 12.20 0.9% -0.3%
US palladium 576.90 9.05 1.6% -12.1%
(Additional reporting by Chris Kelly; Editing by David