COMMODITIES-Gold dives on fresh speculation over stimulus; oil up
NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gold and most other commodities tumbled on Friday after fresh speculation there might be cuts to U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus by next month after this week's decision by the bank to delay the move. The dollar edged up from 7-month lows, putting more pressure on commodities priced in the currency. The greenback rose after St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said it was possible the Fed might start to cut bond purchases in October, setting off a fresh debate on the course of the stimulus. "Bullard's comments have injected some uncertainty near term, and that has prompted a wave of selling in the gold and the precious metals complex," said James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC. The spot price of gold fell 2.4 percent to $1,331.20 an ounce by 3:32 p.m. EDT (1932 GMT). Despite that, gold finished the week up about half a percent. The weekly gain came after Wednesday's rally of 4 percent -- the biggest for gold since June 2012 -- offset losses in earlier sessions. Gold spiked on Wednesday after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was not on a pre-set course over its monetary easing program. If U.S. data was supportive enough to economic growth, then the Fed might begin tapering its monthly bond buying of $85 billion by year-end, Bernanke said. Nickel, soybeans, wheat and corn were other major losers in Friday's session, falling about 2 percent each. The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index fell 1 percent, giving back almost all of the combined gains from two earlier sessions.
Crude oil was one of the few commodities that rose, recovering from Thursday's sharp loss, after a week of diplomatic progress in Syria and Iran drained some geopolitical risk premium from the market. Benchmark Brent crude oil out of Europe's North Sea settled up 0.4 percent at $109.22 a barrel. It had lost 1.7 percent in the previous session. U.S. crude rose 1.6 percent to $104.67.
Prices at 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT)
LAST/ NET PCT YTD CLOSE CHG CHG CHG US crude 104.70 -1.72 -1.6% 14.0% Brent crude 109.34 0.58 0.5% -1.6% Natural gas 3.687 -0.033 -0.9% 10.0% US gold 1332.50 -36.80 -2.7% -20.5% Gold 1325.71 -38.68 -2.8% -20.8% US Copper 3.32 -0.03 -0.8% -9.1% LME Copper 7280.00 -55.00 -0.7% -8.2% Dollar 80.435 0.068 0.1% 4.8% CRB 287.438 -3.074 -1.1% -2.6% US corn 451.00 -8.50 -1.9% -35.4% US soybeans 1315.25 -24.25 -1.8% -7.3% US wheat 646.25 -10.75 -1.6% -16.9% US Coffee 111.30 0.00 0.0% -22.6% US Cocoa 2576.00 0.00 0.0% 15.2% US Sugar 17.18 0.01 0.1% -11.9% US silver 21.876 21.644 1.6% -27.6% US platinum 1432.60 -40.40 0.0% -6.9% US palladium 720.30 -16.25 -2.2% 2.4%