Wheat, corn futures rise; Metals end mixed

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2014 6:05 PM

Wheat and corn futures rose sharply Friday, closing out a volatile week. Metals prices were mixed and energy futures ended slightly higher.

The actively traded May contract for wheat rose 13 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $6.0225 a bushel. May corn rose 9 cents, or 2 percent, to $4.635 a bushel. Soybeans increased 24 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $14.14 a bushel.

Wheat has been on a bumpy ride in recent weeks as traders respond to concerns about transportation problems in Canada hindering that country's crop from coming to market, waning demand from commercial buyers and the release of more wheat into the market by Argentina.

In metals trading, gold for April delivery edged down $10.20 to $1,321.60 an ounce and March silver lost 11 cents to $21.20 an ounce. April platinum fell $6.60 to $1,446.80 an ounce.

March palladium rose $1.60 to $743.85 an ounce and March copper edged up less than a cent to $3.24 a pound.

The price of oil rose slightly, finishing the month with a gain of 5 percent. The price of gasoline had the biggest monthly increase since July as refineries prepared for the U.S. driving season.

U.S. crude oil for April delivery rose 19 cents to $102.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Natural gas ended a wild month by gaining 10 cents to $4.61 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price soared in the middle of the month as homeowners raised the thermostat amid cold temperatures and supplies fell sharply.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $2.79 per gallon and heating oil was flat at $3.09 per gallon.