Gold prices outshone other commodities Friday, soaring to a new high of $1,100 an ounce, as prices for copper, oil and soybeans fell.
Gold prices have been rallying in recent weeks as investors fear the government's low interest rate policy will undermine the dollar and lead to inflation, even though the Federal Reserve insists inflation will be subdued for some time.
Gold is seen as a hedge against a weak dollar and inflation. The precious metal has safe-haven appeal as well. Investors often look to gold because its value holds up well in times of economic uncertainty.
The Labor Department's worse-than-expected employment report on Friday signaled more bumps in the road to recovery and affirmed for investors that the Federal Reserve will have to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future to support the economy. That will likely weaken the dollar even more.
On Friday, the dollar wavered between gains and losses against other currencies.
After briefly touching $1,100, gold for December delivery added $6.40 to settle at $1,095.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have risen for five straight days, gaining 5.3 percent this week.
A weak dollar bodes well for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes them cheaper for foreign investors. But analysts say many commodities prices have run up more than current economic conditions would support. So long as there's high unemployment, consumers will keep a lid on their spending, hurting demand for basic goods and materials.
The Labor Department said employers cut more jobs than expected in October, pushing the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent _ the highest level since 1983.
Among other metals, December silver fell 3.5 cents to $17.375 an ounce, while December platinum dropped $14.70 to $1,345 an ounce.
December copper futures slipped less than 1 cent to $2.9525 a pound.
Energy prices fell sharply on the Nymex. Light, sweet crude for December delivery tumbled 2.19 cents to $77.43 a barrel.
Gasoline futures fell 6.34 cents to $1.9243 a gallon, while heating oil futures fell 5.41 cents to $2.0035 a gallon.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December wheat futures fell 15 cents to $4.9725 a bushel, while corn for December delivery lost 9.5 cents to $3.67 a bushel.
January soybeans fell 17 cents to $9.55 a bushel.