Weak dollar pushes gold above $1,100 an ounce

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 6:01 PM

Gold prices climbed to another new high Monday as the U.S. dollar sank to a 15-month low.

Gold for December delivery soared as high as $1,111.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange before settling at $1,101.40 an ounce, up $5.70, or 0.5 percent.

The gains came as the ICE Futures US dollar index, which measures the dollar against other currencies, dropped more than 1 percent to its lowest level since August 2008.

The dollar weakened after finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries pledged over the weekend to maintain their stimulus efforts and keep interest rates low to further a global economic recovery. The G-20 leaders did not address how they might support currencies that have fallen in response to low rates.

U.S. rates are near zero, which has contributed to the dollar's decline. Gold, meanwhile, is seen as a hedge against the weak dollar and inflation, which investors fear could become a problem down the road if the greenback keeps falling.

"Short-term traders are looking at gold as an inverse play on the dollar," said Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy at ETF Securities in London.

Other commodities that are bought and sold in dollars have benefited from the greenback's slide because foreign investors can buy more with less money.

In other Nymex trading, December silver rose 10.5 cents to $17.48 an ounce, while December platinum rose $19 to $1,364 an ounce. December copper futures added 1.5 cents to $2.9675 a pound.

In addition to the weaker dollar, jitters over tropical storm Ida helped support higher energy prices Monday. However, forecasters say the storm will likely weaken and bypass most drilling platforms and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $2 to settle at $79.43 a barrel.

Heating oil futures rose 5.92 cents to $2.0627 a gallon and gasoline futures gained 5.75 cents to $1.9818 a gallon.

Grain prices surged on the Chicago Board of Trade.

December wheat futures jumped 22.75 cents to $5.20 a bushel, while corn for December delivery rose 19 cents to $3.86 a bushel.

January soybeans gained 17 cents to $9.72 a bushel.

Prices for cotton, coffee and orange juice also rose.