COMMODITIES-Oil jumps on Syria worries; sugar up too, rest down

Mon May 6, 2013 5:13pm EDT

* Brent crude oil up more than 1 pct on Mideast tensions
    * Sugar jumps most in 2 months on technical buying
    * Copper, gold down as London metals close for holiday
    * Corn down 4 pct on forecasts for dry, warm weather

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on
Monday, helped by tensions in the Middle East, while raw sugar
rallied the most in two months on a surge in technical buying.
    Copper settled lower in New York despite the metal rising
the daily limit in Shanghai trade. Gold eased in quiet trade due
partly to a markets holiday in London. 
    Corn fell nearly 4 percent, its biggest drop in more than a
month, on forecasts for warm and dry weather that will allow
U.S. farmers to rapidly plant crops during the next week. 
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
closely-followed indicator on commodity prices, settled flat
after the rise in oil and a handful of commodities were offset
by losses on the broader complex.
    Benchmark Brent crude oil rose more than 1 percent,
surpassing $105 a barrel in choppy trade as Israeli air strikes
on Syria prompted worries about Middle East supplies that
trumped concerns that global economic weakness may curb demand.
    Israel played down weekend air strikes reported to have
killed dozens of Syrian soldiers close to Damascus, saying they
were not aimed at influencing its neighbor's civil war but only
at stopping Iranian missiles reaching Lebanese Hezbollah
militants. 
    Brent crude settled up $1.27 at $105.46. The session
high of $105.54 was the highest since April 11. U.S. oil 
settled up 55 cents at $96.16, off the session high of $97.17. 
    Brent has rebounded more than $6 a barrel since falling
below $99 last Wednesday, its largest three-day rise since
August 2012. Traders said profit-taking could kick at this level
unless the global economy shows signs of strong growth. 
    Brent's outperformance highlighted the sensitivity of the
European oil market to Middle Eastern tensions, traders said.  
    "At the end of the day, there's no reason for Brent gaining
on U.S. crude if it weren't for this news [about Syria]," said
Phil Flynn, energy analyst with Price Futures Group in Chicago.
 
    Raw sugar futures rose 0.28 cent, or 1.6 percent, to
settle at 17.81 cents a lb in New York. It was the
spot-contract's largest daily rally since early March. 
    
 Prices at 4:52 p.m. EDT (2052 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    95.85     0.24   0.3%    4.4%
 Brent crude                105.37     1.18   1.1%   -5.2%
 Natural gas                 4.011   -0.030  -0.7%   19.7%
 
 US gold                   1468.00     3.80   0.3%  -12.4%
 Gold                      1469.10    -1.10  -0.1%  -12.3%
 US Copper                  331.05    -0.40  -0.1%   -9.4%
 LME Copper                7270.00   422.00   6.2%   -8.3%
 Dollar                     82.322    0.197   0.2%    7.2%
                             
 
 US corn                    678.75   -20.75  -3.0%   -2.8%
 US soybeans               1444.50   -10.50  -0.7%    1.8%
 US wheat                   693.00   -18.25  -2.6%  -10.9%
 
 US Coffee                  141.75     0.85   0.6%   -1.4%
 US Cocoa                  2402.00   -14.00  -0.6%    7.4%
 US Sugar                    17.81     0.28   1.6%   -8.7%
 
 US silver                  23.955   -0.059  -0.2%  -20.7%
 US platinum               1507.70     6.50   0.4%   -2.0%
 US palladium               697.10     3.80   0.5%   -0.9%
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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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