Gold, grains are commodities standouts in 2010

Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2008 file photo, Brian Goodrich shows a  gold brick he removed from the  mold  at the Oxford Assaying and Refining Corp. in Anchorage. In 2010 gold surpassed $1400 an ounce for the first time.  (AP Photo/ Al Grillo, file)

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From gold to grains to oil, commodities finished 2010 at or close to their highest levels in years.

Gold closed Friday at $1,421.40 an ounce, up roughly 31 percent for the year after an almost uninterrupted climb since January.

Grains and soybeans capped off a rally that started this summer and oil prices ended the year at levels many analysts considered unachievable just six months ago.

The jump in commodity prices has been driven by China's seemingly insatiable demand for raw materials and speculators betting that they could profitably ride the momentum higher. Analysts expect the price increases, and volatility, will continue well in 2011.

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