COMMODITIES-Markets tumble on US shutdown fears; gold jumps on Q3

Reuters

By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Oil and metals fell on Monday

on fears of an imminent U.S. government shutdown and grains

tumbled on oversupply concerns, while gold slipped for the

session amid strong quarterly gains.

The weaker U.S. dollar was little help to commodities priced

in the currency as investors focused on the broader implications

for business if Washington's budget crisis passed a midnight

deadline without solution.

Analysts caution that a government shutdown would have a

wide-ranging impact on most types of assets. If a deal were

reached quickly, markets might recover, but a prolonged shutdown

could do significant harm to the economy and consumer

confidence.

The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a

bellwether for commodities, finished down half a percent for the

session after 10 of the 19 markets on the index ended in the

negative.

For the third quarter, the CRB was up nearly 4 percent for

its best quarterly performance in a year. For September, the

index finished down 2 percent.

Gold was the star performer in the quarter. The spot price

of bullion traded at above $1,328 an ounce, up 8 percent

on the quarter, the most over a three-month period since an 11

percent gain in the third quarter of 2012.

Despite such gains, the precious metal is down 20 percent on

the year, with market forecasters pinning a recovery on the

extension of the U.S. monetary stimulus.

At its September meeting, the U.S. Federal Reserve stuck

with its bond-buying programme, surprising markets which had

expected a small reduction from this month. The Fed meets next

on Oct. 29-30.

"It seems to us that the central bank will likely stand pat

again, perhaps not wanting to take two completely different

directional views on rate policy in the span of just 30 days,"

INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

In oil, benchmark Brent crude out of Europe's North

Sea finished the session down a quarter percent at $108.37 a

barrel. U.S. crude settled down half a percent at

$102.33.

Copper's key three-month contract in London ended at

$7,302 a tonne, a touch higher versus Friday's close of $7,300.

U.S. corn plunged to a three-year low and soybeans

slid to a five-week low after a government crop report

surprised traders by showing larger-than-expected stocks of both

commodities.

Raw sugar prices jumped, taking back the previous

session's steep losses, on concerns that rain in top grower

Brazil will delay harvest.

Prices at 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT)

LAST/ NET PCT YTD

CLOSE CHG CHG CHG

US crude 102.46 -0.41 -0.4% 11.6%

Brent crude 108.46 -0.17 -0.2% -2.4%

Natural gas 3.560 -0.029 -0.8% 6.2%

US gold 1327.00 -12.20 -0.9% -20.8%

Gold 1329.41 -6.30 -0.5% -20.6%

US Copper 3.32 0.00 -0.1% -9.1%

LME Copper 7302.00 2.00 0.0% -7.9%

Dollar 80.222 -0.065 -0.1% 4.5%

CRB 285.541 -1.434 -0.5% -3.2%

US corn 441.50 -12.50 -2.8% -36.8%

US soybeans 1282.75 -37.00 -2.8% -9.6%

US wheat 678.50 -4.50 -0.7% -12.8%

US Coffee 113.70 0.00 0.0% -20.9%

US Cocoa 2640.00 1.00 0.0% 18.1%

US Sugar 17.48 0.61 3.6% -10.4%

US silver 21.656 21.438 1.6% -28.4%

US platinum 1408.10 -6.80 0.0% -8.5%

US palladium 726.15 -4.65 -0.6% 3.2%

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