Oil, Gold Rise as Traders Nervously Watch Syria

NEW YORK (AP) -

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.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, gained 86 cents, to $116.12 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In the U.S., the average price of a gallon of gasoline slipped 1 penny, to $3.58. That’s unchanged from a week ago, but down 24 cents from this time last year.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.85 per gallon.
  • Natural gas fell 5 cents to $3.53 per 1,000 cubic feet.
  • Heating oil added 2 cents to $3.16 per gallon.

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.

Wheat and corn futures rose, while soybeans ended little changed.

Wheat for December delivery rose 7.5 cents to $6.4775 a bushel, December corn rose 7.25 cents a bushel and soybeans for November delivery edged up 0.25 cents to $13.6775 a bushel.