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Metals Lead Gains For Commodities As Dollar Slumps

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Precious metals advanced Friday, with silver and gold both reaching one-month highs, as a slump in the dollar made them more attractive to hold as investments.

Palladium for December delivery led the gains, rising $16.30, or 2.5 percent, to $667.60 an ounce. December silver gained 76.60 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $34.116 an ounce, and December gold gained $23.20, or 1.3 percent, to $1,751.40 an ounce.

Commodities are typically priced in dollars, and when the dollar's value falls, producers demand more dollars in exchange for their commodities. The dollar fell 0.9 percent against a basket of currencies, its biggest decline in more than two months.

"Commodities are being helped by the weaker dollar," said Art Liming, a futures specialist at Citibank. The gains are "just a mirror of what's going on in the dollar."

The price of oil climbed Friday after Israeli troops fired on crowds in Gaza surging toward a border fence, killing one Palestinian and wounding 19. Benchmark crude finished up 90 cents at $88.28 per barrel in New York.

Heating oil gained 0.5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $3.0771. Natural gas futures fell 0.2 cents to $3.9010.

In agricultural contracts, wheat, corn and soybeans all advanced.

December wheat gained 3 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $8.48 a bushel. Corn for December delivery rose 4 cents, or 0.5 percent to $7.45, and January soybeans gained 12 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $14.20 a bushel.

The price of coffee was the only commodity to fall, dropping on signs that favorable weather in Brazil will produce a good crop, boosting supplies.

"The weather is good down in Brazil and they've had good flowering. That's keeping anyone from having much buying interest," said Jack Scoville, vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee beans.

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