Commodities jumped across the board on Wednesday, mimicking the sharp U-turn the stock market made.
Metals rose, including a 3 percent jump in copper, which is an important gauge of manufacturing activity. So did the benchmark U.S. price for oil, which had been falling steadily since early May.
Agricultural commodities, including July contracts for wheat, corn and soybeans, also rose. Wheat jumped 11 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to $6.2425 a bushel. Soybeans rose 36.75 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to $13.8625. Corn rose 18.75 cents, or more than 3 percent, to $5.8625.
The jump in agricultural futures was set off by reports predicting warm, dry weather for the next two weeks, a crucial period for U.S. crops, said Steve Wagner, a grain broker at Country Hedging in St. Paul, Minn.
Agricultural commodities were also helped by a weakening of the dollar. That makes wheat, soybeans and corn cheaper for buyers in other countries because they’re denominated in dollars. Wagner said that some investors who had been selling corn for the past couple of weeks as the price dropped returned to buying this week.
“We saw that yesterday, we saw that today and more likely than not we’ll see that again tomorrow,” Wagner said.
Commodities prices took their cue from the jump on Wall Street, a welcome change from the malaise that has permeated the market the past few weeks. Investors were hopeful after a report suggested that Germany and the European Union
were working on a way to rescue Spain’s crippled banks. A Federal Reserve official who suggested that the government might do more to boost the U.S. economy also contributed to the rally.
Metals rose across the board, most notably in silver.
Gold for August delivery rose about 1 percent, or $17.30, to $1,634.20 per ounce. July silver jumped nearly 4 percent, or $1.083, to $29.488 per ounce.
July copper rose nearly 3 percent, or 9 cents, to $3.379 per pound. September palladium rose just more than 2 percent, or $13, to $632.80 per ounce. July platinum rose 2 percent, or $28.70, to $1,469.20 per ounce.
Energy prices, which like metals are also used to gauge manufacturing and other economic activity, climbed.
Benchmark oil rose 73 cents to finish at $85.02 per barrel Wednesday in New York. That’s a change from previous weeks. Concerns about the slowing global economy and its impact on future demand for oil and other energy products have hurt oil prices, which have fallen nearly 23 percent from the year’s high of $109.77 per barrel in February.
Brent crude, which is used to price varieties of international oil, gained $1.80 to end at $100.64 per barrel in London.
In other trading, heating oil rose 3.81 cents to end at $2.6717 per gallon and gasoline increased 0.56 cent to $2.6903 per gallon. Natural gas dropped 2.5 cents to $2.421 per 1,000 cubic feet.