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Oil, Other Commodities Rise Following Budget Deal

By The Associated Press

Prices for crude oil and most other commodities rose Wednesday after lawmakers cobbled together a last-minute budget agreement in Washington.

Most energy products were higher.

Commodities followed the stock market up after Congress passed a budget plan that would avert sweeping tax increases and cuts to government spending. That set off a rally in stocks and encouraged investors to shift money into other higher-risk assets like commodities. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 308 points, its biggest gain since December 2011.

Benchmark crude for February delivery rose $1.30 to finish the first trading day of the year at $93.12 a barrel. It went as high as $93.87 a barrel earlier in the session.

Precious metals also rose broadly. Gold gained $13 to $1,688.80 an ounce, an increase of nearly 1 percent. Silver rose even more. The March contract jumped 78 cents to $31.007 an ounce, a rise of 2.6 percent.

April platinum increased $25.60 to $1,568 an ounce. March palladium rose $4.60 to $707.95 an ounce.

Agricultural futures mostly fell. Wheat for March delivery lost 22.75 cents to $7.5525 a bushel. March corn fell 7.5 cents to $6.9075 a bushel and March soybeans fell 17.25 cents to $13.9225 a bushel.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, wholesale gasoline rose 3.34 cents to finish at $2.7951 a gallon. Heating oil added 1.45 cents to end at $3.0463 a gallon. Natural gas fell 11.8 cents to finish at $3.2330 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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