August 27, 2013 / 9:03 PM / 4 years ago

COMMODITIES-Brent oil hits six-month high, gold up on Syria tension

By Barani Krishnan
    NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Oil surged on Tuesday, with
benchmark Brent crude hitting six-month highs, and gold rallied
in safe-haven buying as the West mulled a military strike on
Syria after U.S. accusations the country used chemical weapons
on civilians.
    Copper prices fell slightly as signs of
stabilization in China, a major importer of the metal, were
offset by worries over the potential tapering of the U.S.
stimulus program. 
    Corn and soybean futures slipped as forecasts
for wetter-than-expected weather in U.S. Midwest crop areas
prompted profit-taking on gains made in the two previous
sessions. Raw sugar was weighed down by increased cane
crushing in top grower Brazil, and arabica coffee neared
a four-year low.  
    The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
 settled up 0.6 percent as higher oil, gasoline and
precious metals prices outweighed losses in grains and other
crops.
    Brent crude gained more than 3 percent, its biggest advance
since October, following reports that Western officials told the
Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar
al-Assad's forces within days, according to sources who attended
a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in
Istanbul. 
    "As the rhetoric ratchets up around Syria, the geopolitical
risk premium in the price of oil is once again widening,"
Dominick Chirichella of Energy Management Institute said.
    Brent crude settled up $3.63 at $114.36 a barrel,
after an earlier high of $114.42.
    U.S. crude rose $3.09 to settle at $109.01 a barrel,
after earlier hitting $109.32. 
    Gold touched its highest price in more than three months as
investors looked for safe havens ahead of the potential strike
on Syria and other geopolitical tensions.
    The spot price of gold was up nearly 1 percent,
surpassing $1,415 by 4:35 p.m. EDT (2035 GMT). Earlier it hit
$1,423.41, its highest since May 15.
    U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up
$27.10 at $1,420.20 an ounce. Trading volume was at 156,000
lots, about 20 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary
Reuters data showed. 
    
 Prices at 4:38 p.m. EDT (2038 GMT)      
                              LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                              CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
 US crude                    108.84     2.92   2.8%   18.5%
 Brent crude                 114.33     3.60   3.3%    2.9%
 Natural gas                  3.534    0.021   0.6%    5.5%
 
 US gold                    1420.60    27.60   2.0%  -15.2%
 Gold                       1415.51    11.11   0.8%  -15.5%
 US Copper                     3.33     0.01   0.3%   -8.8%
 LME Copper                 7315.00   -45.00  -0.6%   -7.8%
 Dollar                      81.153   -0.254  -0.3%    5.7%
 CRB                        294.709    1.836   0.6%   -0.1%
 
 US corn                     499.75   -16.00  -3.1%  -28.4%
 US soybeans                1414.00   -13.75  -1.0%   -0.3%
 US wheat                    650.75    -4.00  -0.6%  -16.4%
 
 US Coffee                   113.15    -0.90  -0.8%  -21.3%
 US Cocoa                   2420.00   -27.00  -1.1%    8.2%
 US Sugar                     16.46    -0.15  -0.9%  -15.6%
 
 US silver                   24.651   24.411   1.7%  -18.4%
 US platinum                1532.10   -12.40   0.0%   -0.4%
 US palladium                749.15     3.10   0.4%    6.5%

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