Gold ends week lower as inflation worries ease

AP News
Posted: Oct 07, 2011 3:39 PM
Gold ends week lower as inflation worries ease

Gold closed down for the week after a strong jobs report and continued turmoil in Europe eased inflation concerns.

Gold has rallied this year as investors snapped up precious metals as a bet against inflation. But the dollar gained strength Friday on a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report. The dollar also rose after Fitch downgraded the credit ratings of Italy and Spain.

Gold for December delivery fell $17.40 Friday, or 1 percent, to $1,635.80 an ounce. December silver lost $1.012, or 3.16 percent, to close at $30.993.

Gold closed at $1,657.70 an ounce Monday. The price fell as low as $1,616 an ounce Tuesday as traders worried that prices had been overinflated during a rally this summer, when gold hit $1,891.90.

On Friday morning, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in September, an improvement from the month before. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent. The report eased concerns that the U.S. economy might be headed for another recession.

That optimism, in turn, supported the dollar, hurting gold's value.

"It looks like the jobs figure this morning was not inflationary enough to really push gold to the upside," said George Gero, senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

At the same time, the Fitch rating agency lowered the credit ratings of Italy and Spain. That pushed up the dollar against the euro.

Copper for December delivery gained 2.7 cents to end at $3.2735 a pound. January platinum fell $14.80, or nearly 1 percent to finish at $1,497.30 an ounce and December palladium lost $12.95, or 2 percent, to $585.85 an ounce.

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In energy trading, oil prices rose. Benchmark oil gained 39 cents to end at $82.98 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil fell 0.23 cents to finish at $2.8588 per gallon, gasoline futures lost 3.84 cents to $2.6476 per gallon and natural gas fell 11.7 cents to $3.481 per 1,000 cubic feet.

December wheat lost 8.5 cents to finish at $6.075 per bushel, December corn fell 5.5 cents to end at $6 per bushel and November soybeans dropped 5.5 cents to close at $11.5825 per bushel.