COMMODITIES-Oil down on Libya, Iran; gold up 2nd day on Fed move
By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Oil prices tumbled on Thursday, giving back the bulk of the previous session's gains, after Libyan output increased and tensions over Iran eased while gold extended its run-up on the Federal Reserve's decision to keep the U.S. stimulus intact. Copper rallied, too, hitting three-week highs, as traders and investors reacted for a second day to the Fed's surprise decision, although some were wary of how much the metal's prices could rise near term. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index rose 0.33 percent -- adding to Wednesday's 1 percent gain -- as raw sugar, wheat, corn, arabica coffee and live cattle also finished higher. Early in the oil market session, investors bought contracts to cover short bets. Once that buying dried up, they trained their sights on increased oil production out of Libya and some progress in diplomatic relations with Iran, said Gene McGillian, an analyst with Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "It's pretty clear the short covering after the Fed announcement evaporated early in the morning, then the buying pressure in the market was gone," McGillian said. "The return of Libyan oil and talks between the U.S. and Iran brought some sellers back in." Benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea settled down 1.7 percent at $108.76 a barrel. U.S. crude fell 1.6 percent to $106.39. Both crude grades had risen more than 2 percent in the previous session. In gold, futures of the precious metal traded on New York's COMEX settled up $61.70 at $1,369.30. In Wednesday's session, the spot price of bullion surged more than 4 percent for its biggest daily rise since June 2012. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,335 a tonne in official rings, versus Wednesday's close of $7,184. Prices at 5:46 p.m. EDT (2146 GMT) LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 0.00 0.00 0.0% -100.0% Brent crude 108.79 -1.81 -1.6% -2.1% Natural gas 3.720 0.000 0.0% 11.0% US gold 1369.30 61.70 4.7% -18.3% Gold 1364.34 -0.20 0.0% -18.5% US Copper 3.35 0.07 2.0% -8.4% LME Copper 7335.00 151.00 2.1% -7.5% Dollar 80.369 0.133 0.2% 4.7% CRB 290.512 0.971 0.3% -1.5% US corn 459.50 3.25 0.7% -34.2% US soybeans 1339.50 -8.25 -0.6% -5.6% US wheat 657.00 10.50 1.6% -15.6% US Coffee 111.30 0.00 0.0% -22.6% US Cocoa 2576.00 0.00 0.0% 15.2% US Sugar 17.17 0.28 1.7% -12.0% US silver 23.242 23.027 1.7% -23.1% US platinum 1473.00 47.80 0.0% -4.3% US palladium 736.55 35.10 5.0% 4.7%
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