Tension between Ukraine and Russia push metals up

AP News
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 4:32 PM

Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine drove up prices for gold, platinum and palladium Friday.

U.S. officials said that Russian fighter jets had flown into Ukrainian airspace several times over the last 24 hours. At the United Nations, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister told reporters that he fears a Russian invasion is imminent.

Gold for June delivery rose $10.20 to settle at $1,300.80 an ounce, marking its third straight day of gains.

Traders often shift money into gold in anticipation of a crisis. Last month, gold prices hit a high point for the year on concerns over a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

Platinum for July climbed $14.70 to $1,424.30 an ounce. Palladium for June surged $8.90, or 1 percent, to $811.20 an ounce. That's just 30 cents shy of its highest settlement price this year, according to the data provider FactSet.

The threat of sanctions against Russia, one of the world's top producers of both palladium and platinum, has started to drive up prices for both metals.

Other metals barely budged in Friday trading. Silver was unchanged at $19.69 an ounce. Copper was also unchanged at $3.12 a pound.

In other commodities trading, wheat, corn and soybean rose. Wheat gained 12 cents to $7.08 a bushel. Corn rose 6 cents to $5.13 a bushel, while soybeans rose 24 cents to $14.94 a bushel.

In the market for oil and gas contracts, benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery dropped $1.34 to $100.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline slipped 2 cents to $3.03 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 3 cents to $2.98 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 7 cents to $4.66 per 1,000 cubic feet.