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Wheat gains on overseas demand

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of wheat rose by the most in two weeks Thursday after the U.S. government reported strong demand for the grain from overseas buyers.

Wheat for delivery in July rose 14.75 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $7.0325 a bushel, its biggest advance since May 9.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly export sales report Thursday that overseas buyers had placed orders for 953,000 tons of wheat. That was more than traders and analysts had expected, boosting the outlook for demand.

The report "gave the market a little hope that maybe there's international interest for U.S. wheat," said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN.

In other agricultural products trading, soybeans and corn also rose.

Soybeans for July rose 5.25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $14.995 a bushel. Corn for delivery in the same month gained 3.5 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $6.62 a bushel.

Trading in metals was mixed.

Gold for June delivery rose $24.40, or 1.8 percent, to $1,391.80 an ounce. Silver for July advanced 3.6 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $22.5080 an ounce.

July copper fell 7.65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to 3.3040 per pound and platinum for the same month declined $12, or 0.8 percent, to $1,457.20 an ounce. Palladium dropped $13.50, or 1.8 percent, to $738.65 an ounce.

In energy trading, crude oil for July delivery fell 3 cents to $94.25 a barrel.

Heating oil for July fell 1.2 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.8565 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline for July rose 0.59 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $2.8181 a gallon.

Natural gas for June delivery rose 7.5 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $4.2610 per 1,000 cubic feet.