By The Associated PressMetals and oil prices closed mostly lower Thursday as a partial shutdown of the U.S. government dragged on. Gold and silver edged lower after two days of big swings. Gold for December delivery slipped $3.10 to $1,317.60 an ounce, while December silver fell 11.1 cents to $21.786 an ounce. Oil for November delivery fell 79 cents to close at $103.31 a barrel in New York. Investors are concerned that a prolonged shutdown could hurt demand for energy. Republicans in the House of Representatives have insisted on linking new budget legislation with scaling back the new health care law. Traders are increasingly concerned that the dispute could cause a delay in increasing the government's borrowing limit this month so it can continue to pay its bills. In other energy trading, natural gas dropped 4 cents to $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline edged up 1 cent to $2.64 per gallon and heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.00 per gallon. December copper fell 4.75 cents to $3.2685 a pound, January platinum fell $20.10 to $1,373.30 an ounce and December palladium fell $21 to $700.20 an ounce. Crop prices rose. December wheat rose 3.25 cents to $6.8925 a bushel and November soybeans rose 14.5 cents to $12.8825 a bushel. December corn edged up 0.25 cent to $4.3925 a bushel.