COMMODITIES-Oil down on Syria; gold slips as Fed stimulus cut eyed
NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Tuesday as investors saw little danger of an U.S. attack on Syria that could disrupt Middle East oil supplies, and gold slipped in anticipation the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce a cut in its bond-buying stimulus. Arabica, the premium-grade coffee bean, tumbled to its lowest close in more than four years as the market extended its long-term bear trend. Soybean futures also fell, for a third straight day, on technical weakness and softening cash markets ahead of the U.S. harvest. The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global indicator for commodities, fell nearly 1 percent on the broad selloff. Sixteen of the 19 commodities tracked by the CRB closed down, with crude oil losing 2 percent and arabica coffee as much as 4 percent. Orange juice, a smaller market compared to many U.S. commodities, fell 6 percent, the most on the CRB. Oil's benchmark Brent crude settled at a six-week low as major world powers met to draft a resolution to destroy Syria's cache of chemical weapons, calming investor fears of an imminent U.S. military response. The resumption of some Libyan output also pressured prices. "The Syria story was a 'bulltrap'," said Sarah Emerson, managing director of Energy Security Analysis Inc in Wakefield, Massachusetts. "I guess the excitement had to run its course. The decision on chemical weapons triggered a sell off." Brent settled $1.88 per barrel lower at $108.19, after trading as low as $107.41. U.S. crude settled down $1.17 at $105.42. Gold fell as investors braced for the Fed's expected announcement of a reduction in its bond-buying stimulus. The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee will issue a statement on Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting. Economists polled by Reuters expect policy makers at the U.S. central bank to announce a $10 billion reduction in the Fed's $85 billion monthly bond-buying program, which had been integral to the rally in gold over the past three years. The spot price of gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,310.55 an ounce by 3:13 p.m. EDT (1913 GMT).
Prices at 4:46 p.m. EDT (2046 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 105.54 -1.05 -1.0% 14.9% Brent crude 107.79 -2.28 -2.1% -3.0% Natural gas 3.745 0.007 0.2% 11.8% US gold 1309.40 -8.40 -0.6% -21.9% Gold 1310.20 -3.19 -0.2% -21.7% US Copper 3.22 0.00 0.0% -11.8% LME Copper 7075.00 -10.00 -0.1% -10.8% Dollar 81.150 -0.140 -0.2% 5.7% CRB 286.718 -2.744 -1.0% -2.8% US corn 454.00 -2.50 -0.6% -35.0% US soybeans 1342.50 -5.75 -0.4% -5.4% US wheat 643.00 1.75 0.3% -17.4% US Coffee 111.05 -3.75 -3.3% -22.8% US Cocoa 2576.00 0.00 0.0% 15.2% US Sugar 16.79 -0.15 -0.9% -13.9% US silver 21.735 21.515 1.6% -28.1% US platinum 1422.40 -18.80 0.0% -7.6% US palladium 705.25 0.95 0.1% 0.3%