Rising home prices push higher metals, oil
Metals and energy prices finished higher Tuesday, pushed up by a report about rising U.S. home prices.
Metals and energy can rise when investors feel good about the economy, since they're both needed to power manufacturing and other economic activity. Palladium, platinum and copper, which can trade as industrial metals, were all up about 1 percent. Benchmark oil closed above $97 a barrel for the first time in four months.
A housing report from Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller said prices for its 20-city index rose 5.5 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes.
Gold for April delivery rose $7.70 to $1,662.70 per ounce. March silver rose 40.4 cents to $31.184 per ounce. March copper was up 3 cents to $3.6915 per pound. March palladium rose $9.20 to $749.75 per ounce. April platinum was up $16.70 to $1,678.90 per ounce.
In energy contracts, benchmark oil for March delivery rose $1.13, or 1.2 percent, to $97.57 in New York.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 88 cents to $114.36 a barrel in London.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $2.97 per gallon. Heating oil gained 5 cents to finish at $3.11 a gallon. The exception was natural gas, which lost 6 cents to end at $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Agricultural commodities were mixed, but their moves were small. Wheat fell 2.25 cents to $7.77 per bushel. Corn was virtually flat, up 0.25 cent to $7.295 per bushel. Soybeans rose 4 cents to $14.5175 per bushel.