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Corn tumbles; soybeans, wheat fall

NEW YORK --Corn futures tumbled Tuesday on speculative selling amid worries over economic growth in China and technical liquidation.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, March corn ended 14.50 cents lower at $4.11 per bushel, while May corn settled 14.25 cents lower at $4.2425 and December finished 8.50 cents lower at $4.0950.

Soybean futures closed lower in a corrective break from recent gains and under pressure from fund liquidation. March soybeans closed 15.25 cents lower at $7.6350 per bushel, and May soybeans ended down 15.75 cents at $7.7875.

March wheat fell 12.75 cents to $4.7025 per bushel.

April gold settled down $2.60 at $687.20 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from a low of $677.20. May silver settled down 14.2 cents at $14.69, up from a $14.415 low.

April platinum settled up $11.30 at $1,253.30 an ounce. June palladium settled down $4.90 at $356.60 an ounce.

The March copper contract settled down 5.05 cents at $2.8050 per pound, while the most-active May contract fell 4.50 cents to $2.8250.

Crude oil futures closed at two-month highs. The front-month April light, sweet crude contract settled up 7 cents at $61.44 a barrel, the highest for a front-month contract since Dec. 22.

Front month March gasoline settled up 3.84 cents at $1.8161 a gallon. March heating oil settled up 2.31 cents at $1.7793 a gallon. March natural gas settled down 17 cents at $7.533 a million British thermal units.

On the New York Board of Trade, Arabica coffee futures ended weaker but industry buyers curbed a speculative-led slide to three-day lows. March closed down 0.55 cent at $1.1730 a pound, with May off 0.60 cent at $1.1830.

Most-active May cocoa settled down $28 at $1,735 per metric ton, and March settled down $15 at $1,723 a ton.

Futures on raw sugar in foreign ports for March reached a two-month high. The May contract sped to a 1 1/2-week high. March settled up 0.43 cent at 11.45 cents a pound, with May up 0.11 cent at 10.80 cents.