Wheat falls; rain heads to drought-stricken Kansas

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Wheat futures fell Tuesday after forecasters called for rain to come to drought-stricken Kansas. Crude oil closed at its highest level in four months.

Wheat for March delivery settled down 12 cents to $7.7925 a bushel.

Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting, a commodity brokerage and advisory firm in Lafayette, Ind., said the rain would be "very welcome" to producers in the southern part of Kansas and Oklahoma still being affected by extreme drought.

Soybeans rose on forecasts for dry weather in southern Brazil and Argentina, which are major producers of the bean. The March contract rose 22.5 cents to $14.5175 a bushel.

Corn futures ended little changed, edging up a penny to $7.285 a bushel.

Metals prices rose broadly.

Gold for February delivery rose $6.20 to $1,693.20 an ounce. March silver rose 24.5 cents to $32.177 an ounce. High-grade copper rose 2.6 cents to $3.705 a pound. April platinum rose $24.50 to $1,698.50 an ounce and March palladium rose $7.15 to $729.90.

Crude oil rose 68 cents to $96.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has risen nearly $3 a barrel over the last four days.

In other energy futures trading:

— Natural gas fell 0.8 cent to $3.558 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 2.98 cents to $2.8411 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 1.38 cents to $3.0557 a gallon.

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