Commodities review

NEW YORK (AP) – Gold’s inability to maintain momentum above $600 an ounce late last week, combined with a stronger U.S. dollar and weaker crude oil, resulted in sharp losses for the metal on Monday.

Liquidation occurred early in the day, when sell stops were hit. Other precious metals met similar fates.

December gold settled down $13.50 to $582.90 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“Friday’s close was not good,” said Pat Lafferty, Commodity Trading Advisor with Fox Investments, a division of Man Financial. “We finally pushed through and closed above $600 on Thursday, after having bounced from it three or four days in a row. Then Friday’s failure to close above $600 was very disappointing.”

Thus, selling set in Monday as the market remained below this key swing level, continued Lafferty.

“A lot of stops were getting hit,” he said. Many of these stops had been raised by traders on the heels of gold’s recent uptick, Lafferty added.

December silver settled down 29.5 cents at $11.67 an ounce.

January platinum fell $7.70 to $1,074.40 an ounce.

December palladium fell $9.15 to $321.35 an ounce.

Most-active December copper settled down 1.10 cent at $3.4510 a pound.

Scott Meyers of Pioneer Futures said copper fell in sympathy with the rest of metals complex and saw selling off the bat after a weak close on Friday.

“There was a weak setting on Friday,” said Meyers, who added that the failure at the $3.52 level set up the weaker levels seen on Monday.

Light, sweet crude oil for December delivery settled 52 cents lower at $58.81 a barrel, near the middle of its trading range.

November heating oil settled down 1.1 cent at $1.6690 a gallon. November unleaded settled down 0.43 cent to $1.4715 a gallon.

November natural gas settled down 36.0 cents at $6.881 per million British thermal units.

On the New York Board of Trade, December Arabica coffee futures closed 4.80 cents higher at $1.0685 a pound, with March up 4.70 cents at $1.1070.

Most-active December cocoa gained $30 to settle at $1,464 per metric ton.

Futures on raw sugar in foreign ports for March settled up 0.09 cent at 11.80 cents a pound.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn rose 5.50 cents to $3.1825 per bushel. November soybeans finished 11 cents higher at $6.1750 per bushel. December wheat closed up 12 cents to $5.17 a bushel.