Energy Prices Rise As Mideast Tensions Flare Up

The Associated Press

Prices for crude oil and other energy futures closed higher Wednesday as traders worried about supply disruptions because of escalating tensions in the Mideast.

Other commodities prices ended mixed. Metals prices were mostly higher, as were corn and soybeans. Copper and wheat futures fell.

Benchmark oil rose 94 cents to finish at $86.32 per barrel. That's a gain of just over 1 percent.

Airstrikes from Israel into Gaza killed a Hamas commander. Israeli leaders said the strikes were the start of a broad operation in response to days of heavy rocket fire from militants in the Palestinian territory.

In other energy trading, heating oil rose 2.74 cents to end at $2.9882 per gallon, gasoline futures rose 2.52 cents to end at $2.679 per gallon and natural gas rose 2.1 cents to end at $3.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copper was the only major metal to fall. December gold rose $5.30 to $1,730.10 an ounce, December silver rose 39.3 cents to $32.88 an ounce, December palladium rose $4.95 to $641.55 an ounce and January platinum rose $5.20 to $1,591.60 an ounce.

High grade copper edged down 1.75 cents to $3.4535 a pound.

In agricultural contracts, December wheat slid 2.25 cents to $8.4875 a bushel, its fourth straight decline. December corn climbed 2.25 cents to $7.2575 a bushel and January soybeans rose 11 cents to $14.19 per bushel.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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