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Palladium, Platinum Prices Jump On Supply Concerns

By The Associated Press

Prices for palladium and platinum jumped Friday on supply concerns.

Palladium for March delivery rose $14.30, or 2 percent, to $741 per ounce. April platinum rose $11.10 to $1,694.90 per ounce.

Traders were reacting to a report that Russia's stockpiles of both metals are expected to be smaller this year, according to Howard Wen, a precious metals research analyst at HSBC. When a commodity's supply shrinks, its price tends to rise.

Palladium and platinum can trade as industrial metals, so they were also helped by the ongoing rally in stock prices. Both metals are used in catalytic converters for vehicles.

Other key metals were down and energy prices were lackluster, after the government reported that new-home sales fell last month.

Gold for April delivery fell $13.30 to $1,656.60 per ounce. March silver fell 51.6 cents to $31.206 per ounce. March copper fell 2.45 cents to $3.652 per pound.

Benchmark oil lost 7 cents at $95.88 in New York. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, ended flat at $113.28 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.88 per gallon. Natural gas ended unchanged at $3.44 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.06 a gallon.

March contracts for key agricultural commodities were also mixed. Wheat rose 1 percent, up 8 cents to $7.765 per bushel. Soybeans also rose, up 5.75 cents to $14.41 per bushel. Corn fell 3.5 cents to $7.2075 per bushel.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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