Oil rises on Syria tension; Cocoa price jumps

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Energy prices rose Wednesday as momentum built for a military strike against Syria. Cocoa prices rose because of hot, dry weather in the Ivory Coast.

Grains and beans prices were mixed as traders wait to see if there will be a break in the hot conditions that have threatened crops in the Midwest.

Crude oil rose $1.09 to $110.10 a barrel in New York. Oil is the highest it has been since May 2011. Earlier in the day, oil climbed as high as $112.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 5 cents to $2.96 a gallon, heating oil rose 5 cents to $3.21 a gallon and natural gas edged up a penny to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 2.25 cents to $13.7275 a bushel. December corn fell 5.5 cents to $4.8075 a bushel, and December wheat edged down 4.25 cents to $6.595 a bushel.

Cocoa for December delivery jumped $45 to $2,498 a ton as conditions remained dry in the Ivory Coast, a major producer of cocoa. Cocoa has risen 16 percent from a recent low of $2,148 a ton reached June 27.

“If conditions don’t improve, we could see a rather large move up in price,” said Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup in Chicago.

In metals trading, December gold fell $1.40 to $1,418.80 an ounce. Silver for September delivery fell 26 cents to $24.39 an ounce.

Industrial metals were mixed. Copper for September delivery fell 3 cents to $3.30 a pound, October platinum rose $8 to $1,540.10 an ounce and September palladium fell $3.10 to $746.05 an ounce.

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