By SANDY SHORE
Commodity prices were mixed Monday after the leaders of Germany and France unveiled a plan to bolster long-term confidence in the euro.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for changes to the European Union treaty that are aimed at avoiding another economic crisis by establishing more fiscal discipline for the 17 nations that use the euro currency. European leaders will discuss the issues Friday during a summit in Brussels.
Investors sorted through the details of the plan to try to determine if it could ease concerns about Europe's economy and sovereign debt problems. Gold fell about 1 percent as some investors sold holdings at a profit after the price rose nearly 4 percent last week. Copper, palladium and oil rose on expectations that demand could strengthen.
Analysts expect gold to remain volatile heading into the summit. The price could climb, for example, if there is negative economic news, Kingsview Financial analyst Matt Zeman said. Gold has the reputation of being a safe asset to hold during uncertain economic times.
Gold for February delivery fell $16.80 to end at $1,734.50 an ounce. March silver fell 31.4 cents to $32.372 an ounce and January platinum fell $16 to end at $1,532.50 an ounce.
Copper and palladium are metals used in manufacturing everything from automobiles to electronics. Copper for March delivery rose 3.1 cents to finish at $3.6155 a pound while palladium rose 65 cents to $646.50 an ounce.
In other trading, energy and agriculture contracts were mixed.
Coffee for December delivery rose 6.8 cents, or 3 percent, to finish at $2.3395 a pound. Sterling Smith, a market analyst for Country Hedging LLC, said the increase stemmed from continued production difficulties and weather issues with the crop in Colombia.
Benchmark crude rose 3 cents to end at $100.99 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating oil rose 0.24 cent to end at $2.9924 per gallon, gasoline futures fell 0.25 cent to $2.6137 per gallon and natural gas fell 12.3 cents to $3.461 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Wheat for March delivery fell 14 cents to finish at $6.115 per bushel. March corn fell 4.25 cents to $5.91 per bushel and January soybeans fell 9.5 cents to end at $11.265 per bushel.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.