By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, Sept 6 U.S. crude oil prices settled
at a two-year high on Friday as fears of a military strike
against Syria returned to make a positive impact on oil, and
gold and copper rose on bets of continued stimulus support from
the Federal Reserve.
On the agricultural side, corn closed up for the first
time in the week as investors squared positions before the
weekend and ahead of a monthly government crop report due next
In other crop markets, raw sugar hit a three-week
high on stronger physical demand. Arabica, the premium
grade for coffee, rebounded from a more than four-year low in
the previous session.
The broad rally lifted the 19-commodity Thomson
Reuters-Jefferies CRB index nearly 1 percent for both
the session and week. Of the 16 CRB components that ended up,
silver had the largest gain for the day at nearly 3 percent as
it rallied along with gold and copper.
U.S. crude oil rose 2 percent, the most after silver, after
Obama told the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, that
failure to act against Syria's use of chemical weapons would
embolden "rogue nations" to use them too. Russia and China are
among major G20 nations that do not support the action against
Obama has declined to give a timing for the missile strike
meant to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his
suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians. The U.S.
Congress will vote next week on the strike, and Obama will
address the American people on Tuesday.
Baghdad and foreign oil companies at work in Iraq's giant
oilfields are adopting extra security measures in anticipation
of retaliatory attacks if the U.S. action goes ahead, industry
U.S. crude's front-month contract settled up 2
percent, or $2.16, at $110.53 per barrel. The last time the
market hit such levels was in May 2011 when it crossed $111.
North Sea Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil,
closed up 86 cents at $116.12 per barrel.
Gold rose by 1.5 percent after weaker-than-expected U.S.
payroll numbers for August raised doubts about whether the
Federal Reserve will start paring its massive stimulus.
Bullion jumped as much as $30, or 2 percent, after data
showed U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected in
August and the jobless rate hit a 4-1/2 year low as Americans
gave up the search for work.
In copper, the three-month contract on the London Metal
Exchange ended up 0.7 percent at $7,160 a tonne, after
touching a session high of $7,217.
Prices at 4:34 p.m. EDT (2034 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD
CLOSE CHG CHG CHG
US crude 110.30 1.93 1.8% 20.1%
Brent crude 115.99 0.73 0.6% 4.4%
Natural gas 3.530 -0.045 -1.3% 5.3%
US gold 1386.50 13.50 1.0% -17.3%
Gold 1390.25 23.62 1.7% -17.0%
US Copper 3.26 0.01 0.5% -10.8%
LME Copper 7160.00 52.00 0.7% -9.7%
Dollar 82.149 -0.484 -0.6% 7.0%
CRB 293.337 2.632 0.9% -0.6%
US corn 491.50 2.00 0.4% -29.6%
US soybeans 1437.00 14.00 1.0% 1.3%
US wheat 635.00 7.75 1.2% -18.4%
US Coffee 113.95 1.40 1.2% -20.8%
US Cocoa 2544.00 -2.00 -0.1% 13.8%
US Sugar 16.79 0.28 1.7% -13.9%
US silver 23.842 23.610 1.7% -21.1%
US platinum 1495.70 13.60 0.0% -2.8%
US palladium 695.45 9.65 1.4% -1.1%