Metals Edge Lower as Shutdown Continues

NEW YORK (AP) -

Metals prices closed mostly lower Thursday, as a partial shutdown of the U.S. government dragged on.

Gold and silver edged lower, after two days of big swings. Gold for December delivery slipped $3.10 to $1,317.60 an ounce, while December silver fell 11.1 cents to $21.786 an ounce.

Investors are concerned that a prolonged shutdown could hurt demand for energy. Republicans in the House of Representatives have insisted on linking new budget legislation with scaling back the new health care law.

Traders are increasingly concerned that the dispute could cause a delay in increasing the government’s borrowing limit this month so it can continue to pay its bills.

December copper fell 4.75 cents to $3.2685 a pound, January platinum fell $20.10 to $1,373.30 an ounce and December palladium fell $21 to $700.20 an ounce.

Crop prices rose. December wheat rose 3.25 cents to $6.8925 a bushel, and November soybeans rose 14.5 cents to $12.8825 a bushel. December corn edged up 0.25 cents to $4.3925 a bushel.