Commodities: Mostly Down In Thin Pre-Holiday Trade; Gas, Zinc Up
Commodities ended broadly lower in thin trading on Monday, with a few markets like natural gas and zinc being the exception, as players pared risk ahead of the year-end holidays.
Gold edged lower on heightening concerns over deflation, oil slipped on profit-taking after three days of gains and cocoa fell from a 2-year high, consolidating from last week's rally.
The Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB index settled down 0.4 percent after losses in 14 of its 19 components. Nickel, aluminium, sugar and cotton were among markets that lost about 1 percent or more.
Trading volumes were light across commodities, with players wary of putting on significant positions ahead of the impending Christmas and New Year holidays.
"The few traders who are in the office are likely to be booking profits instead of building a new position," said Addison Armstrong, senior director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Gold edged lower, heading for its biggest annual loss in three decades and facing further downside forecasts for 2014.
Bullion is on track to end the year down nearly 30 percent at a six-month low below $1,200 an ounce, and some forecasters said the market could break under the April 2010 bottom of below $1,050 in the new year.
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