Oil, gold rise as traders nervously watch Syria

September 6, 2013

CHICAGO (Sept 6)  Prices for crude oil and gold closed higher Friday as tensions built between the U.S. and Syria.

Benchmark oil for October delivery rose $2.16, or 2 percent, to $110.53 a barrel. Most other energy futures also rose, except for natural gas.

Gold and silver also rose as investors parked money in safe-play assets. Gold for December delivery rose $13.50, or 1 percent, to $1,386.50 an ounce, while silver for delivery in the same month rose 63.60 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $23.891 an ounce.

Russian media reported that three Russian naval ships were sailing for Syria and that a fourth was on its way. President Barack Obama, speaking at an economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, continued to press the case for military action against Syria.

A U.S. jobs report for August that came in weaker than economists had expected also helped send precious metals prices higher. The tepid jobs survey suggested that the Federal Reserve may keep up its stimulus measures, which could lead to inflation concerns and a weaker dollar over the long run, both factors that are positive for gold.

Other metals also rose.

October platinum rose $13.60 to $1,495.70 an ounce and December palladium rose $9.65 to $696.85 an ounce.

December copper rose 1.75 cents to $3.2615 a pound.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1.77 cents to $2.8537 a gallon and heating oil rose 2.4 cents to $3.1637 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4.5 cents to $3.53 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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