COMMODITIES-Gold snaps 3 days of losses; copper down, sugar up

NEW YORK, Sept 24 Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:39pm EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday, snapping a three-day decline, while copper extended losses on near-term uncertainties over U.S. monetary and fiscal policy.

Sugar prices surged in response to lower-than-expected output from top producer Brazil.

Crude oil edged higher after initially trading down most of the day on fewer geopolitical tensions and evidence of more supply from Libya and Iraq.

Despite the higher close of a few commodities, the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index finished the session down 0.4 percent. The 19-commodity index has lost a total of 1.7 percent since Thursday's close, weighed down by markets such as copper and natural gas.

Gas prices lost ground for a third straight session, hitting four-week lows as milder U.S. weather forecasts for the next two weeks dimmed prospects for a pickup in demand.

Gold rose as physical buying at lower prices and technical support helped the bullion market turn higher after recent losses. The spot price of bullion was up 0.2 percent at $1,323.70 an ounce by 3:13 p.m. EDT (1913 GMT).

Copper fell for a third straight session on renewed uncertainty about when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start trimming its stimulus program.

Copper's benchmark three-month on the London Metal Exchange dropped 1.4 percent to close at $7,148 a tonne. The contract fell nearly half a percent on Monday.

Sugar hit 4-1/2 month highs in strong volume after data showed lower-than-expected cane production in top grower Brazil in the first half of September.

Most-active raw sugar futures in New York ended up 0.17 cent, or 1 percent, at 17.93 cents after reaching its highest price since May 10 at 17.96 cents.