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Corn prices rebound on hot weather forecast

Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer

Corn prices rose 3 percent Monday as hot weather began moving across much of the Midwest.

Higher-than-normal temperatures accompanied by some rainfall are expected over the next two weeks in the nation's main corn growing region, according to Accuweather.com.

Traders speculated that the hot days could cause crop deterioration in some states. Corn for July delivery rose 16.5 cents to end at $5.68 per bushel.

The weather was a brief detour, however, from economic issues that kept pressure on commodities.

U.S. factory orders fell 0.6 percent in April from March, the second straight month of decline. Orders for capital goods such as heavy machinery and computers also fell in April. It was more evidence of weakness in the U.S. economy following Friday's dismal jobs report.

Meanwhile, China's economic growth is slowing and Europe is mired in a financial crisis that sent the region's unemployment rate soaring. The combined problems are raising questions about the strength of demand for commodities, from energy and metals to agricultural crops.

In this environment of uncertainty, Northstar Commodity analyst Jason Ward said that he expects any improvement in prices for grains and beans will translate into a selling opportunity.

In July crop contracts, wheat increased 15.5 cents to $6.2775 per bushel and soybeans dropped 4.25 cents to $13.40 per bushel.

Other commodities were mixed on speculation that the European Union or the United States may implement measures to stimulate their economies. That could improve commodities demand.

Gold for August delivery fell $8.20 to end at $1,613.90 an ounce and July silver dropped 50.5 cents to $28.007 per ounce.

July copper fell 0.65 cent to finish at $3.307 per pound, July platinum dropped $5.90 to $1,427.30 an ounce and September palladium ended down 10 cents at $613.90 per ounce.

Benchmark oil increased 75 cents to finish at $83.98 per barrel. Heating oil fell 0.1 cent to finish at $2.6269 per gallon, gasoline futures declined 1.39 cents to $2.6707 per gallon and natural gas climbed 8.9 cents to $2.415 per 1,000 cubic feet.