| NEW YORK, Sept 23
NEW YORK, Sept 23 Commodity markets traded mixed
on Monday, with supply increases hitting oil prices, demand
increases lifting grains and metals down modestly on uncertainty
about when the Federal Reserve will decide to reduce economic
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
finished the session down 0.44 percent, pressured by
oil and metal prices. Higher grains and softs prices limited the
Global oil prices slid about 1 percent, down by more than $1
per barrel. Traders cited higher crude output from Libya, Iraq
and South Sudan and a possible thaw in U.S.-Iran relations.
Prices dropped despite upbeat economic data from China and
Europe, with Brent crude futures settling at $108.16 per
barrel, down $1.06 or 0.97 percent, and U.S. crude oil futures
off $1,16 or 1.11 percent, closing at $103.59.
Copper prices fell for a second straight session as a weak
euro and concerns about growing supply offset expectations of a
rebound in demand from top consumer China.
While a flood of new orders helped European and Chinese
firms in September, weaker U.S. factory activity tempered
evidence of a healing global economy.
The dollar also slumped for a second straight session as
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New
York, defended the U.S. central bank's decision last week to
continue its easy money policy.
Dudley said the timeline Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke of
in June for scaling back the central bank's stimulus measures is
"still very much intact," as long as the economy keeps
improving. He noted that the Fed chief did not specify that the
first bond buying reduction would come at the Fed's September
Gold edged lower on renewed worries that the U.S. Federal
Reserve will begin cutting its bond-buying purchases as early as
next month. An uncertain timeline for the Fed to unwind its
monetary stimulus have led to increased volatility in the gold
"Gold is going to see more downward pressure as continued
slow U.S. growth should allow the Fed to slowly ease out its
position on stimulus," said head precious metals dealer at
commodities brokerage Alliance Financial LLC.
Spot gold was down 0.22 percent at $1,322.07 an ounce
by 4:34 p.m. EDT (2034 GMT).
In Chicago, U.S. wheat futures rose 1.1 percent, supported
by rising global demand and a round of short-covering. Corn
futures edged higher on spillover strength from wheat, but
soybeans dipped on hopes that recent rains in the U.S. Midwest
could boost final harvest yields.
Among soft commodities, ICE arabica coffee rose by the most
in almost two weeks as investors covered short positions after
last week's slide to four year lows and as rains in top grower
Brazil threatened to hamper harvest of a bumper crop.