Markets & Stocks
Crude, gold rise sharply
September 14, 2001: 3:15 p.m. ET

NYMEX opens with crude futures up 8% after 3-day halt; dollar weakens
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - U.S. crude oil futures opened more than eight percent higher on Friday as trading resumed after a three-day forced shutdown following terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Fears of U.S. reprisals against Tuesday's suicide attacks lifted New York Mercantile Exchange October crude to $29.98, up $2.35 from its last trade on Tuesday's out-of-hours session.

NYMEX trading began at 2:30 p.m. ET in a shortened, 2-1/2 hour session using an Internet-based version of the ACCESS electronic system for the first time.

World benchmark Brent in London closed up $1.06 a barrel at $29.43 on Friday, some $2.10 up from first news of the disaster.

On Tuesday, Brent crude briefly spiked $3.50 to $31 on fears the attacks could endanger oil supplies from the Middle East if they were linked to recent violence in Israel.

Then the rally subsided amid assurances from OPEC and its biggest producer, Saudi Arabia, that they will ensure adequate supplies for consuming nations.

The trading floor of NYMEX, which is near the devastated World Trade Center complex, was evacuated Tuesday shortly after the first of the two planes rammed into one of the landmark twin towers.

Dollar weakens against other currencies

The dollar tumbled to its lowest levels in more than six months against European currencies and the yen on Friday as pessimism mounted in the wake of the devastating attacks.

Investors were also worried about Monday, when U.S. stock markets are to resume trading. Wall Street has been shut down since the attacks leveled the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday.

The dollar fell to six-month lows against the euro, but had steadied around 92 cents, down a full percent from the previous U.S. close. Overnight, the dollar hit seven-month lows near $1.4790 against the British pound.

The greenback also hit six-month lows under 117 yen on Friday, and was trading around 117.25 yen, down more than 1.25 percent on the day.

Gold traded higher in Europe amid growing concern of U.S. military retaliation in response to Tuesday's attacks against the United States.

Spot gold closed the day at $286.30. Gold had jumped to $288.50 an ounce earlier in the day from a low of $283 Thursday.

-- from staff and wire reports graphic


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