GLOBAL MARKETS-Commodities off record highs; Japan yen firms

* Global shares on track for biggest 1-day fall in 4 weeks

* Oil rebounds but commodities off record highs

* Yen up as investors unwind carry trades

By Sebastian Tong

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – Global share prices fell on
Tuesday and commodity prices traded off record peaks after fresh
concerns about inflation and Japan’s nuclear crisis fuelled a
debate about the strength of the economic recovery.

Retreating commodity prices helped send MSCI’s main world
equity index (.MIWD00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research) down 0.7 percent, on track for its
biggest one-day fall in four weeks.

The failure of U.S. aluminium producer Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to
meet analysts’ revenue forecasts was a focal point for investor
uncertainty over first quarter earnings. [ID:nN1199754]

The FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) of top European shares
slipped 1.2 percent, with miners and energy firms among the
heaviest losers. Emerging markets (.MSCIEF: Quote, Profile, Research), which count several
resource exporters in their ranks, fell 1.3 percent.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For oil futures positions vs. oil price since 2007:
http://r.reuters.com/duc98r

All Commodities Futures Trading Commission positions:
http://r.reuters.com/buv87r
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Brent crude (LC0c1: Quote, Profile, Research) firmed 0.7 percent but remained off
Monday’s 2-1/2 year high after slipping on a broader bout of
profit-taking that knocked commodity prices.

The sell-off was triggered in part by a report from
long-term commodity bull Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) warning that oil
and other raw material prices could retreat after strong recent
gains. [ID:nN11303064]

Spot gold (XAU=: Quote, Profile, Research) fell from Monday’s record high while silver
(XAG=: Quote, Profile, Research) sagged from the previous session’s 31-year high.

Anxiety over global growth outlook was fuelled by the
International Energy Agency, which warned that high oil prices
could erode demand. [ID:nL3E7FC04S]

Societe Generale said rising gasoline prices in the U.S.
were fuelling a debate about “demand destruction” in the world’s
top economy. “Geopolitics (are) still critical. But with prices
high, markets may be having doubts on demand,” SocGen said.

YEN UP

Concerns over global growth were heightened after Japan’s
economic minister warned that the economic damage wrought by
last month’s earthquake and tsunami could be worse than
initially thought.[ID:nL3E7FC092]
Japan’s move to put the severity of radiation leakage at its
stricken Fukushima nuclear plant on a par with the worst nuclear
disaster at Chernobyl also weighed on sentiment. [ID:nL3E7FB2TZ]
Heightened risk aversion prompted investors to unwind some
carry trade positions using the Japanese yen (JPY=: Quote, Profile, Research) as a low
interest rate currency to buy higher yielding assets.

“Our positioning data shows some carry trades are pretty
extended,” said Chris Walker, currency strategist at UBS.

The yen firmed to a 1-1/2 week high versus the dollar (JPY=: Quote, Profile, Research)
but gains are likely to be curbed by the Bank of Japan’s
perceived determination to keep monetary policy loose to aid
economic recovery.

Still, the steadier yen offered the dollar some respite,
allowing the greenback to stay above Friday’s 16-month lows
against a basket of major currencies (.DXY: Quote, Profile, Research).

Dovish comments from key U.S. Federal Reserve officials are
likely to cap the greenback’s gains.

Two of the Fed’s most powerful officials, Janet Yellen and
William Dudley, said the U.S. central bank should stick to its
super-easy monetary policy as inflation was not a threat and
unemployment remains too high. [ID:nN11296347]

Diverging monetary policy direction among the world’s major
central banks is likely to remain an investment theme in the
coming months — and a below-forecast UK inflation reading in
March knocked sterling to a 5-1/2 month low against the euro
(EURGBP=D4: Quote, Profile, Research). [ID:nWEA4034]

Heightened risk aversion nudged German Bunds higher with the
June Bund future (FGBLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) up 36 ticks.

Emerging sovereign spreads (11EMJ: Quote, Profile, Research) widened 3 basis points to
trade at 251 bps over U.S. Treasuries.

(Additional reporting by Neal Armstrong and Zaida Espana;
Editing by John Stonestreet)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Commodities off record highs; Japan yen firms