South Africa labor talks sink platinum, palladium

NEW YORK (AP) — Platinum and palladium prices are dropping sharply on signs that South African mining companies are close to reaching a labor agreement that would end a four-month strike.

Platinum fell $28, or 2 percent, to close at $1,400.70 an ounce. Palladium lost $29.30, or 3.6 percent, to $777.80 an ounce.

South Africa mines have been closed since Jan. 23 when mine workers when on strike for higher wages. The Wall Street Journal reports that the country's three biggest mining companies are looking to offer raises to the 80,000 workers on strike to end the standstill.

Other metals also fell. Gold fell 0.4 percent and silver fell 1.3 percent. Copper fell 0.1 percent.

In other commodities, wheat, corn and soybeans all fell. Crude oil edged higher.

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