Gold, other metals gain even as dollar rises

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 6:11 PM

Gold edged higher Friday, recovering some of its recent losses, even as the dollar strengthened.

Gold for February delivery gained $4.10 to settle at $1,111.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal closed the week down 0.8 percent.

After weeks of record-setting gains, gold prices have fallen about 10 percent from a high of $1,227.50 hit earlier this month as the dollar steadies. Gold is used as a hedge against a weak dollar and inflation. As the dollar has weakened this year amid record-low interest rates, gold prices have risen sharply.

Recently, though, investors have been bulking up on safe-haven assets like the dollar at the expense of stocks and commodities.

Many investors also believe that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than expected as the economy improves, which would boost the dollar.

Analysts say the dollar may have hit a bottom, at least for now. At the same time though, analysts see commodities recovering from their recent pullback and moving higher in the new year.

"I get a feeling that commodities are going to de-couple from the dollar a little bit," said Andrew Neale, portfolio manager at New York-based wealth management firm Fogel Neale Partners. "I would have suspected that commodities would do even worse given the strength of the dollar over the last couple of days."

The ICE Futures U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar against other major currencies, rose 1.5 percent this week, its best weekly gain since early June.

Most other metals also rose Friday. March silver jumped 12.5 cents to $17.32 an ounce, while January platinum added $3.40 to $1,429.30 an ounce.

March copper futures rose 1.05 cents to $3.1385 a pound.

What Is John Brennan Hiding?
Sheriff David Clarke (Ret.)

Oil prices gained on the Nymex after word that Iranian troops crossed into Iraq and seized one of the country's largest oil fields. However, Iranian troops are believed to have left the region.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 34 cents to settle at $74.42 a barrel.

Gasoline futures rose 4.28 cents to $1.8948 a gallon, while heating oil futures slipped less than a cent to $1.9567 a gallon. Natural gas prices increased 1.4 cents to $5.782 per 1,000 cubic feet.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, March wheat futures jumped 9.5 cents to $5.28 a bushel, while March corn rose less than a penny to $3.9775 a bushel.

March soybeans fell 10 cents to $10.20 a bushel.

Other soft commodities, including sugar, cocoa and coffee, fell.