Hopeful signs about manufacturing sent copper and energy prices higher Tuesday.
Copper for May delivery climbed 6.5 cents to $3.84 per pound after positive reports from China's purchasing managers and the Institute for Supply Management in the U.S. Copper is generally the best metal for gauging industrial growth.
Gold fell slightly. Palladium and platinum, which can be classified as either precious or industrial, were split. Palladium fell slightly and platinum held steady.
Gold for June delivery lost $1.80 to $1,662.40 per ounce. Silver for May delivery lost 8.2 cents to $30.877 per ounce. June palladium fell $1.30 to $681.05 per ounce. Platinum for July delivery rose 40 cents to $1,572.30 per ounce.
The manufacturing reports also pushed up oil prices. Benchmark crude rose $1.29 to finish at $106.16 per barrel in New York. Brent crude increased 19 cents to $119.66 per barrel in London.
Natural gas prices also rose, climbing 8.6 cents at $2.371 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Three key agricultural commodities — wheat, corn and soybeans — all fell. The most notable change was in wheat, which lost 11.5 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to $6.43 per bushel. Corn fell 5.25 cents to $6.29 per bushel. Soybeans lost 2 cents to $15.035 per bushel.