Metals, energy futures bounce back

Energy and metals futures recover a day after a sharp slide; crop futures end mixed

Associated Press

Energy and metals futures ended higher Thursday, a day after taking a sharp slide.

The price of crude oil jumped 3 percent following encouraging news on the jobs front in the U.S., a drop in weekly claims for unemployment benefits, and an interest rate cut in Europe. Both raised hopes that demand for energy could pick up as the global economy strengthens.

Crude oil for June delivery rose $2.96 to settle at $93.99 a barrel in New York.

Wholesale gasoline rose 6 cents to $2.78 a gallon, heating oil rose 7 cents to $2.86 a gallon, and natural gas fell 30 cents to $4.025 per 1,000 cubic feet. It was the biggest drop for natural gas since August.

In metals trading, gold for June delivery rose $21.40 to $1,467.60 an ounce, an increase of 1.5 percent. Other metals futures also were higher.

Metals prices were recovering from a sharp slide the day before set off by easing worries about inflation and a report out of China that manufacturing slowed in the world's second-largest economy last month.

Silver for July delivery rose 48.7 cents to $23.83 an ounce, a gain of 2.1 percent. July copper rose 2.45 cents to $3.1045 a pound, or 0.8 percent.

July platinum rose $30.70 to $1,500.20 an ounce, or 2.1 percent. June palladium rose $8.55, or 1.2 percent, to $693.30 an ounce.

In trading of agricultural futures, July wheat rose 7.5 cents to $7.285 a bushel, July corn rose 15.25 cents to $6.62 a bushel and July soybeans edged down 0.75 cents to $13.7225 a bushel.

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