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Coffee slumps on worries over large supplies

The Associated Press

Coffee prices slid again Wednesday as investors worry about large supplies coming from South America.

Coffee for March delivery fell 1.95 cent to settle at $1.421 a pound Wednesday. The contract is down 4 percent so far this week.

Sterling Smith, commodities futures specialist at Citigroup in Chicago, said the coffee market may be close to finding a bottom. If the contract can finish the week above $1.40 a pound, he said, buyers are likely to return.

In other trading, metals and agricultural contracts were mixed.

Gold for April delivery rose $5.30 to $1,678.80 per ounce.

Silver for March delivery edged up 0.2 cent to $31.877 per ounce. March copper slipped 2.95 cents to $3.7405 per pound.

March palladium fell 65 cents to settle at $764.80 per ounce. April platinum gained $29.30 to $1,736.50 per ounce.

In March contracts, wheat rose 4 cents to $7.615 per bushel. Corn slipped 6.5 cents to $7.225 per bushel. Soybeans edged down 8 cents to $14.875 per bushel.

Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 2 cents to end at $96.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped as low as $95.04 in the morning.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.23 cent to end at $3.0397 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 1.9 cents to finish at $3.418 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil lost half a penny to end at $3.1858 a gallon.