Commodities ended mostly higher; Gold, silver up

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Commodities futures ended mostly higher Thursday. Natural gas futures jumped 3 percent as supplies fell more than expected.

Natural gas gained 14 cents to close at $4.66 per 1,000 cubic feet Thursday after the Energy Department said supplies fell by 152 billion cubic feet last week to 1.2 trillion cubic feet.

Analysts surveyed by Platts expected a drop of 135 billion to 139 billion cubic feet. The nation's supplies of natural gas are 39 percent below where they were a year ago.

In other energy futures, U.S. crude oil for April delivery rose 11 cents at $101.56 a barrel and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.95 per gallon. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.98 per gallon.

In other commodities trading, gold rose $11.50 to $1,351.80 an ounce. Gold, considered to be a "safer" investment by some traders, has risen 2 percent this week as the tensions in Ukraine escalated.

May silver rose 30 cents to $21.57 an ounce. Platinum for April delivery gained $10.20 to $1,486.80 an ounce. Palladium for June rose $8.30 to $781.15 an ounce.

Copper edged up two cents to $3.22 per pound.

Agricultural futures rose slightly.

Corn for May delivery rose nine cents to $4.91 a bushel. Wheat for the same month rose three cents to $6.46 a bushel. Soybeans for May rose 17 cents to $14.38 a bushel.

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