Metals rise on hope for successful Greek bond swap

AP News
Posted: Mar 08, 2012 4:03 PM
Metals rise on hope for successful Greek bond swap

Metals prices rose Thursday on signs that Greece's multi-billion dollar bond swap will go through.

The goal of the swap is to slash Greece's debt burden and help the country avoid a disastrous default. The results are scheduled to be released Friday.

Resolving Greece's debt crisis would calm long-running fears about the stability of Europe's shared currency, the euro. That, in turn, could encourage more economic growth and increase demand for industrial metals and other commodities.

Copper for May delivery rose 2.45 cents to finish at $3.7915 per pound, April platinum rose $29.40 to $1,656.70 an ounce and June palladium rose $14.10 to $699.45 an ounce.

Gold and silver also rose because investors are concerned about a dispute over Iran's nuclear program, R.J. O'Brien commodities broker Phil Streible said. The U.S., Europe and others fear that Iran may be building a nuclear weapon. Iran has denied it.

April gold rose $14.80 to finish at $1,698.70 an ounce and May silver increased 24.6 cents to $33.831 per ounce.

In other trading, grains fell ahead of a the U.S. Agriculture Department's revised report on global supply and demand estimates, which is scheduled to be released Friday.

Wheat for May delivery fell 4.5 cents to finish at $6.3475 per bushel and May corn declined 3.25 cents to $6.355 per bushel. Soybeans rose 11.75 cents to end at $13.385 per bushel.

Natural gas prices fell sharply after spring-like weather blanketed much of the country, raising expectations that demand will remain weak. At the same time, supplies have stayed well above year-ago levels. Natural gas fell 3 cents to finish at $2.27 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Benchmark crude rose 42 cents to end at $106.58 per barrel, heating oil rose 5 cents to $3.27 per gallon and gasoline futures increased 3 cents to $3.31 per gallon.