Commodities Prices Jump

July 1, 2008

Toward the end of the quarter, there was reason to hope that maybe, just maybe, the price of commodity-king crude oil was finally tamping demand.



It was a cruel tease.

After a few days of respite from a relentless climb, oil charged higher Thursday, helping to send the stock market down to its lowest point of the year, followed by more gains -- and stock-market losses -- the following day. By the end of Monday, oil futures had risen 38% in three months to $140 a barrel.

Other commodities shared the love. Corn surged about 28% and for the first time passed the $8-a-bushel mark; soybeans rose 34% in sync. And gold, enjoying its biggest one-day dollar move in 23 years last week, ended the quarter up 1.1%.