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Scotiabank commodity price index rises in February on strong oil and gas

TORONTO - Scotiabank says its commodity price index rose 7.2 per cent in February, boosted by higher prices for oil and gas.

The oil and gas index rose amid frigid winter weather across North America and stronger U.S. refinery demand for Alberta bitumen.

Scotiabank commodity market specialist Patricia Mohr says while rising supplies of U.S. 'light, tight' oil pose risk to light oil prices across North America by mid-2015, heavy oil prices for Alberta bitumen producers should hold up well, with Houston refineries requiring a heavy oil slate.

Potash also inched ahead to US$297.50 per tonne after bottoming in January at US$295, with demand reported to be strong in Latin America and China.

Gold prices touched a high of US$1,385 in mid-March as nervous investors sought a safe haven after uncertainty in the Ukraine.

The forest products index, meanwhile, edged down in February, falling 1.1 per cent from the previous month.

The Canadian Press

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