Platinum and palladium drop on emerging market woe

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Platinum and palladium are slumping as investors fret about the prospects for growth in emerging markets.

Both metals, which are widely used in catalytic converters for autos, tend to track the outlook for growth in emerging economies like China and those in Latin America. A downturn in emerging markets began Thursday following signs that manufacturing was contracting in China, a major importer of raw materials and a key driver of global economic growth.

The price of platinum for delivery in April fell $34.60, or 2.4 percent, to $1,428.60 an ounce. Palladium for March dropped $11.10, or 1.5 percent, to $734.80 an ounce.

In other metals trading, Gold rose and copper and silver fell.

The price of wheat fell. Soybeans and corn made small gains.

In energy trading, oil fell.

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