NEW YORK (AP) — Gold surged the most in 10 months Thursday after traders judged that a slump in the price of the precious metal was overdone.

June gold rose $38.30 an ounce, or 2.7 percent, to $1,462 an ounce, its biggest one-day gain since June 29.

Investors dumped the precious metal April 15 on concerns that the central banks of Cyprus and other southern European countries would sell their holdings of gold to help pay off debts. Gold also plunged as other commodities fell after China's economic growth slowed in the first quarter.

The precious metal fell $140 that day, its biggest sell-off in 30 years.

"Traders are starting to get a little bit more confident that the washout in the gold market has finally ended," said Phillip Streible, a commodities broker at RJ O'Brien.

Silver, copper, palladium and platinum also rose Thursday.

Silver for May delivery rose $1.307, or 5.7 percent, to $24.14 an ounce. Copper for delivery in the same month rose 8 cents to $3.237 a pound.

Palladium for June delivery gained $13.75, or 2.1 percent, to $681.40 an ounce and platinum for April delivery rose $33.30, or 2.3 percent, to $1,464.10 an ounce.

In agricultural futures trading, wheat, corn and soybeans also rose.

Soybeans climbed after a government export sales report showed that China bought a significant amount of the new crop. The price of soybeans had fallen on speculation that China would buy less of the crop, which is used as feed for poultry. People have been eating less poultry in China following a recent outbreak of bird flu.

July soybeans rose 27 cents, or 2 percent, to $13.7225 a bushel.

Wheat advanced as speculation grew that cold spring weather in planting regions had damaged this year's crop.

"There is growing concern that the freeze damage of the past three weeks is significant," said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN.

Wheat for July delivery rose 11.75 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $7.035 a bushel. Corn for July delivery rose 6.25 cents to $6.2450 a bushel.

In energy trading, oil rose above $93 a barrel for the first time in two weeks Thursday, as the latest data on U. S. unemployment claims suggested job growth may pick up from last month's sluggish pace. That in turn should boost the economy and lift demand for energy.

Benchmark oil for June delivery rose $2.21 to close at $93.64 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil fell to a year low of $86.68 a barrel last week, but has since risen for six straight days, increasing $6.96, or 8 percent.

Wholesale gasoline rose 5.8 cents to $2.8106 a gallon. Heating oil rose 5.21 cents to $2.8798 a gallon. Natural gas was little changed at $4.20 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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