Prices for metals and oil fell Monday as investors grew unnerved over Greece's failure to reach a power-sharing agreement.
Industrial metals and precious metals both fell. Oil hit a low for the year.
Greek leaders are negotiating who will be in charge of the new government, and talks have now dragged into a second week. Investors worry that if the embattled country misses its next debt payment, or is forced to leave the euro, the effects would ripple through the rest of Europe and further depress the struggling economy.
Concerns about a slowdown in China, which is a big importer of industrial metals like copper, have also crimped metals prices.
The turmoil in Greece all but killed investors' appetite for risk. The major stock indexes in Europe and the U.S. fell as investors scrambled to unload assets. U.S. Treasury prices rose, a sign that investors are piling into the safe haven of U.S. government bonds.
Gold for June delivery fell $23, or 1.5 percent, to $1,561 per ounce. Sometimes, an uncertain market can push up the price of gold because investors will seek out as a safe investment. But right now, a stronger dollar _ brought on by a weakening euro _ is hampering demand for gold because it's priced in dollars, said David Meger, director of metals trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago.
"The European sovereign debt situation continues to be this dark, looming cloud over the markets," Meger added.
May silver fell 53.9 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $28.319 per ounce. May copper fell 9.15 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $3.557 per pound. July platinum fell $28.80, or 2 percent, to $1,442.60 per ounce. June palladium fell 1.4 percent, or $8.55, to $594.85 per ounce.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost $1.35 to end the day at $94.78 per barrel in New York. That's the lowest settlement since Dec. 19.
Brent crude, which helps set the price for oil imported by U.S. refineries, gave up $1.26 to finish at $111 per barrel in London.
In other futures trading, heating oil gave up 3.41 cents to end at $2.9295 per gallon while wholesale gasoline lost 4.18 cents to finish at $2.959 per gallon. Natural gas dropped 7.8 cents to finish at $2.431 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In agricultural contracts, wheat rose 1.25 cents to $5.9825 per bushel. Corn rose 2 cents to $5.83 per bushel. Soybeans fell 19 cents to $13.87 per bushel.
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