Metals, oil follow stocks down as cliff approaches

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Prices for metals and oil are ending lower, following stocks downward as investors wait to see if lawmakers will hammer out a compromise on the "fiscal cliff."

Silver, palladium and platinum are down the most, about 1 percent each, despite scattered hints that the economy might be improving. Markets have been yanked around all week by worries about the "fiscal cliff," which refers to broad tax increases and government spending cuts that will kick in Tuesday if Republicans and Democrats can't reach a budget deal before then.

In New York, benchmark crude has closed lower. In London, Brent crude also fell.

Agricultural commodities were the exception. Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans all rose.

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