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Crude oil, natural gas jump; crop prices fall

The Associated Press

Crude oil surged to its highest level in more than a year Thursday on encouraging news about the U.S. economy.

Gold edged higher but crop prices fell.

Oil for August delivery rose $1.56 to $108.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, the highest close since March 19, 2012.

Claims for unemployment benefits fell last week and manufacturing expanded in the mid-Atlantic region this month at the fastest pace in more than two years.

Natural gas rose 18 cents to $3.81 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was flat at $3.11 a gallon and heating oil rose 3 cents to $3.10 a gallon.

August gold edged up $6.70 to $1,284.20 per ounce. September silver fell 3.1 cents to $19.389 an ounce. Copper for September rose 0.3 cents to $3.1315 a pound. October platinum rose $3.80 to $1,418.80 an ounce. September palladium rose $12.05 to $747.50 an ounce.

December corn fell 1.25 cents to $5.0075 a bushel, September wheat fell 4.5 cents to $6.605 a bushel and November soybeans fell 17.75 cents to $12.6575 a bushel.