The price of platinum rose for a second day as protests continue at a South African mine where nearly four dozen people have been killed during a labour conflict.
Platinum for October delivery gained US$37.90, or 2.6 per cent, to end Friday at US$1,473.10, its highest level since early July. It rose almost three per cent on Thursday.
Thousands of workers walked off the job a week ago at the platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. Its owner, Lonmin PLC, has closed the mine.
Lonmin is the world's third largest producer of platinum, which is used in a variety of products, including automobile catalytic converters, spark plugs and computers.
It also is valued as an investment, similar to gold, and used in jewellery.
Platinum's price gain benefited palladium, which also is used in catalytic converters. September, palladium rose US$21.65, or 3.7 per cent, to end at US$605.10 per ounce.
GOLD: Other commodity prices were mixed after a new report showed improving consumer sentiment. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary August index of consumer sentiment rose to its highest level since May. Most economists predicted a decline.
Trading volumes remained light, which is typical for August when many investors are on vacation.
Gold for December delivery rose 20 cents to finish at US$1,619.40 an ounce.
SILVER: September silver fell 21 cents to US$28.002 per ounce.
COPPER: September copper rose 3.7 cents to US$3.4195 per ounce.
OIL: Benchmark oil rose 41 cents to end at US$96.01 per barrel.
HEATING OIL: Heating oil fell 3.03 cents to US$3.0926 per gallon.
GASOLeNE: Gasolene futures dropped 5.57 cents to US$3.0275 per gallon.
NATURAL GAS: Natural gas ended down 0.5 cent at US$2.719 per 1,000 cubic feet.
WHEAT: Wheat for December delivery rose 12.75 cents to finish at US$8.945 per bushel.
CORN: December corn fell 0.25 cent to US$8.0725 per bushel.
SOYBEANS: November soybeans gained 20.5 cents to US$16.4575 per bushel.