COMMODITIES-Mixed in thin year-end trade; silver jumps

* Markets mixed in thin year-end trade as dollar up

* Positive US employment reading, bond sale limit downside

* Oil rises slightly, silver jumps 2 pct

* Copper ends down after London record

* Coming up: Reading on U.S. consumer sentiment on Friday

By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Oil ended slightly higher and
silver rallied while a broad range of other commodities were
mixed in thin trade on Thursday as a rebounding dollar made
investors ponder about price outlook ahead of the year-end.

A downgrade of Ireland’s sovereign debt by rating agency
Fitch knocked the euro down and the dollar up, weighing on the
19-commodity Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (.CRB: ), which finished
down a quarter percent.

Even so, copper hit a record high in London before closing
down and silver rose 2 percent in New York, rebounding from the
previous session’s correction after Tuesday’s 30-year highs.

A drop in new claims for unemployment benefits and a solid
Treasury bond sale bolstered investor confidence in the U.S.
economy, limiting the downside for commodities. Investors will
watch a reading on U.S. consumer sentiment due on Friday,
analysts said.

“If the uncertainty with regards to economy and investor
anxiety hangs out here, and people seek more wealth protection
in terms of buying silver and gold, then, who knows? Prices can
clearly go higher,” said Dennis Wheeler, chief executive of top
U.S. silver producer, Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp (CDE.N: ).

U.S. crude’s benchmark front-month contract (CLc1: ) settled
up 9 cents at $88.37 a barrel, in choppy trading. On Tuesday,
the market surged to a 26-month intraday high of $90.76.

Gasoline (RBF1: ) ended 3.59 cents higher at $2.3405 a
gallon, leading energy complex gainers, after the operator of
the giant 500,000 barrels per day Hovensa LLC refinery in St.
Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, confirmed unscheduled repairs to
its gasoline-making unit. [ID:nWENA432]

New York-traded silver for March (SIH1: ) rallied 2 percent
to settle up 56.50 cents an ounce at $28.8170 per ounce, after
declining to a one-week low of $28.01 on Wednesday. It hit a
30-year high at $30.75 an ounce on Tuesday.

Copper settled down from a record high reached earlier on
Thursday in London, as the dollar gained on the euro and
investors decided to grab profits ahead of the launch of a new
copper-backed exchange-traded fund.

Benchmark copper for three-month delivery (CMCU3: ) on the
London Metal Exchange closed at $8,940 a tonne, then slipped to
$8,920 after hours, from $9,015 at the close on Wednesday.
Prices of the metal used in power and construction hit a record
earlier at $9,091, up more than 20 percent this year.

London-based ETF Securities was set to launch its
physically backed copper ETP, or exchange-traded product, on
Friday. Market participants expected its release to cause some
price volatility as it gauges institutional investment demand.
[ID:nLDE6B61QR] [ID:nLDE6A70YE]

The UK-based company will initially offer products backed
by physical copper (PHCU.L: ), nickel (PHNI.L: ) and tin (PHSN.L: ).

LAST/ NET PCT YTD

CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude (CLc1: ) 88.59 0.09 0.1% 11.6%
Brent crude (LCOc1: ) 90.97 0.20 0.2% 16.7%
Natural gas (NGc1: ) 4.435 -0.171 -3.7% -20.4%
US gold (GCG1: ) 1392.80 9.60 0.7% 27.1%
Gold (XAU=: ) 1385.45 -1.94 -0.1% 26.4%
US Copper (HGH1: ) 408.70 -1.35 -0.3% 22.1%
LME Copper (CMCU3: ) 8950.00 -65.00 -0.7% 21.4%
Dollar (.DXY: ) 80.052 0.054 0.1% 2.8%
CRB (.CRB: ) 316.090 -0.780 -0.3% 11.5%
US corn (Cc1: ) 560.25 0.75 0.1% 35.2%
US soybeans (Sc1: ) 1281.50 -14.50 -1.1% 23.3%
US wheat (Wc1: ) 748.25 6.25 0.8% 38.2%
US Coffee (KCH1: ) 204.55 -0.10 0.0% 50.5%
US Cocoa (CCH1: ) 3010.00 -25.00 -0.8% -8.5%
US Sugar (SBH1: ) 28.71 -0.27 -0.9% 6.5%
(Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by David Gregorio;
Editing by David Gregorio)

COMMODITIES-Mixed in thin year-end trade; silver jumps