Commodity prices rise, gold hits another record

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2009 3:37 PM

Gold prices surged to another new record Wednesday and other commodity prices also rallied as the dollar weakened.

In what is becoming a nearly daily occurrence, investors backed away from the dollar, helping bolster demand for commodities, led by gold. Many commodities are traded in dollars so when the dollar weakens it makes the price of commodities more attractive for foreign investors.

Gold for February delivery rose $21.20 to settle at $1,188.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It touched a record high of $1,191.80. during trading.

Investors have been funneling money into gold as an alternative to the dollar and as a safe-haven investment because of its stable store of value.

Other metals also rose along with gold prices.

March silver rose 30.6 cents to $18.80 an ounce, while March copper futures rose 5.35 cents to $3.197 a pound.

December platinum rose $35.70 to $1,479.00 an ounce.

The dollar has dropped out of favor with investors as the Federal Reserve continues its policy of keeping interest rates at historical lows in an effort to stimulate the economy.

The ICE Futures US dollar index, a widely used measure of the dollar's value against other currencies, fell 0.855 to 74.28. It hit a low for the year of 74.245 earlier in trading.

Energy prices also rose Wednesday as the weak dollar more than offset an increase in the amount of unused crude, gasoline and natural gas being placed into storage. Typically increased reserves will push prices lower.

Benchmark crude for January delivery rose $1.94 to $77.96 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for December delivery rose 5.86 cents to $1.9976 a gallon. Heating oil gained 4.04 cents to $1.9901 a gallon. Natural gas for January delivery rose 39.7 cents to $5.163 per 1,000 cubic feet.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, March wheat futures rose 18 cents to $5.715 a bushel, while March corn rose 16 cents to $4.08 a bushel.

January soybeans rose 8.5 cents to $10.545 a bushel.