China slowdown, Fed outlook sends metals lower

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm •  Published: February 20, 2014

A slowdown in China's manufacturing helped push down prices for copper and other metals Thursday.

Indications that some policymakers at the Federal Reserve may consider raising interest rates sooner than previously expected also sent metals prices lower.

Higher interest rates tend to push the value of the dollar higher and some metals prices lower. One reason investors buy gold and silver is fear that the dollar will weaken. Higher interest rates make that less likely to happen.

The actively traded April contract for gold fell $3.50, or 0.3 percent, to $1,316.90 an ounce. Silver for March delivery lost 17 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $21.68 an ounce. March copper fell less than a penny, or 0.2 percent, to $3.28 a pound Thursday.

Platinum for April delivery fell $12, or 0.8 percent, to $1,412.50 an ounce. Palladium rose 90 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $736.30 an ounce.

Agricultural contracts were mixed. Wheat for March delivery fell four cents, or 0.6 percent, to $6.1625 a bushel. Corn for March delivery rose two cents, or 0.4 percent, to $4.5575 a bushel and soybeans for the same month rose 5.75 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $13.4775 a bushel.

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