NEW YORK Aug 6 Oil prices fell on Tuesday on
signs Iran-West tensions may ease enough to remove some of the
risk in Middle East crude supplies, while gold hit three-week
lows as better data on the U.S. economy led fewer investors to
see bullion as an economic hedge.
Soybean futures fell to a more than one-year low,
weighed down by favorable crop conditions and weather that
points to a bumper harvest.
Arabica, the premium grade for coffee, also closed
lower after the government of Brazil, the world's biggest
grower, disappointed investor by failing to announce price
support measures widely expected by the market.
Copper was one of the few commodities that bucked the
broadly lower trend. Futures of the metal closed slightly higher
in London on a weaker dollar and ahead of data from
China expected to shed light on copper demand from the No. 1
consumer of the commodity.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
settled down for a third session in a row. It lost 0.6
percent after a 0.2 percent decline on Monday and half percent
drop on Friday.
Oil fell as Iran's new president signalled willingness to
negotiate with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program
and as U.S. gasoline prices slid after a sell-off in ethanol
U.S. crude oil settled down $1.26 at $105.30 per
barrel. Benchmark Brent crude out of Europe's North Sea
dropped 52 cents to finish at $108.18.
Gold came under pressure after international trade data
showed the U.S. economy likely grew faster than initially
reported in the second quarter, thanks to a sharp narrowing in
the trade deficit to its lowest in more than 3-1/2 years in June
as exports touched a record high and imports fell.
Spot gold fell 1.7 percent to $1,281.29 an ounce by
6:38 p.m. EDT (2238 GMT), having earlier dropped as much as 1.9
percent to its lowest since July 18 at $1,279.24.