September 6, 2013 / 8:57 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-US crude at two-year high on Syria; gold, copper up

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - 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
sources said.
    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%
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