October 9, 2012 / 6:10 PM / 5 years ago

COMMODITIES-Oil jumps on Syria-Turkey threat; wheat, cocoa up

* Mideast turmoil raises political premium in oil prices
    * Brent near 3-week high above $114; US crude up 3.4 pct
    * Gasoline, heating oil also up with crude
    * Wheat, cocoa edge higher; arabica coffee at 1-month low
    * Stronger dollar weighs on gold, copper

    By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose to three-week
highs on Tuesday after threats of more Syrian-Turkish violence
raised supply concerns and other markets in energy, as well as
crops, rebounded from a broad decline in the previous session.
    Metals ended flat to lower as continued strength in the U.S.
dollar weighed down gold and copper prices, which are quoted in
the currency. 
    The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a
commodities bellwether, rose nearly 1 percent, with 11 of its 19
components ending in positive territory.
    Crude oil was the biggest gainer, rising more than 3
percent. Other energy markets with major gains included gasoline
 and heating oil, which rose 2 percent or more.
    Copper futures settled flat in New York and slightly
lower in London as worries over weak global growth and
its implications for industrial metal demand offset expectations
of further pro-growth policies from top consumer China. 
    The spot price of gold was down about 0.5 percent as
concerns over the euro zone's peripheral economies sent the euro
to session lows against the dollar. 
    Oil snapped two days of losses, rebounding as the threat of
supply disruption in a tense Middle East countered concerns
about slower growth and resulting sluggish demand for energy. 
    "It's a political risk premium coming into the market now,
not really supported by fundamental data," said Andy Sommer, oil
market analyst with EGL in Switzerland. 
    "If you look at the demand side, prices should be a bit
lower than they are currently. But the risk, or fear, that this
Turkey-Syria conflict might spread further in the Arab world is
increasing that risk premium."
    NATO said it has drawn up plans to defend Turkey if
necessary against any further spillover of violence from Syria's
border areas where rebels and government forces are fighting for
    The turmoil in Syria has reinforced worries over the
security of oil supplies that have been at the fore for months
now due to Israel and the West's objection to Tehran's
controversial nuclear program. The nuclear dispute has led to
tough U.S.-led  sanctions on Iran and a European Union ban on
importing Iranian crude.
    Benchmark Brent crude oil in London settled at
$114.50 a barrel - up 2.4 percent and just shy of the day's peak
of $114.55, which marked a three-week high.  
    U.S. crude - which dominates index weightings on the CRB,
but lags Brent in oil price impact - settled up 3.4 percent at
$92.39. During the session, it hit a one-week high of $92.42.
    Gains on the agricultural front were more modest.
    Wheat led the rise in grains, running up on expectations
that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would reduce its
forecast of production from leading wheat exporters Australia
and Russia, and also trim global stockpile estimates.
    U.S. wheat futures' front-month contract settled up
0.4 percent at $8.64-1/4 a bushel in Chicago. Soybeans futures
in Chicago settled flat after initially running up on
expectations of more demand from economic stimulus in top
importer China. 
    Among soft commodities, cocoa rebounded from Monday's
two-month low as short sellers liquidated their positions and a
report surfaced that Nigeria's production of the crop may be
delayed by heavy rainfall and a lack of sunshine.
    London-traded cocoa futures for March closed up 23
pounds, or 1.5 percent, at 1,568 pounds per tonne, after dipping
to 1,525 pounds on Monday. In New York, U.S. cocoa for December
delivery ended up $36, or 1.5 percent, at $2,417 a tonne.
    Arabica coffee dropped to a one-month low on
favorable crop conditions in top coffee growing nation Brazil.
 Prices at 3:27 p.m. EDT (1926 GMT)      
                             LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                             CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    92.26     2.92   3.3%   -6.6%
 Brent crude                114.48     2.66   2.4%    6.6%
 Natural gas                 3.467    0.064   1.9%   16.0%
 US gold                   1765.00   -10.70  -0.6%   12.6%
 Gold                      1764.81    -9.48  -0.5%   12.9%
 US Copper                  371.80     0.00   0.0%    8.2%
 LME Copper                8145.00   -40.00  -0.5%    7.2%
 Dollar                     80.012    0.472   0.6%   -0.2%
 US corn                    742.25     0.25   0.0%   14.8%
 US soybeans               1549.25     1.25   0.1%   29.3%
 US wheat                   875.75     4.50   0.5%   34.2%
 US Coffee                  165.30    -3.80  -2.2%  -27.6%
 US Cocoa                  2417.00    36.00   1.5%   14.6%
 US Sugar                    21.47     0.05   0.2%   -7.6%
 US silver                  33.985   -0.032  -0.1%   21.7%
 US platinum               1693.40    -3.40  -0.2%   20.5%
 US palladium               658.20     1.25   0.2%    0.3%
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