Gold falls as stronger dollar eases inflation

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2011 4:41 PM
Gold falls as stronger dollar eases inflation

Gold prices fell Tuesday as inflation worries started to ease.

Gold for December delivery fell $23.80, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $1,652.80 an ounce.

Investors often buy gold as protection against inflation. The precious metal is seen as an asset that tends to keeps its value even when currencies fall.

The U.S. dollar gained strength against the euro. The euro is falling on worries that European finance ministers won't be able to resolve the financial crisis there as soon as had been hoped.

Gold had been rising on the belief that Europe would undertake a big stimulus effort to help shore up its banks and heavily indebted countries like Greece. A big stimulus package could increase inflation and boost gold's value.

Last week, the euro gained 4 percent against the dollar when it looked like French and German leaders might be close to a sweeping deal to shore up European banks and prevent a default by Greece. Hopes dimmed this week for a quick rescue package. On Monday a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a full rescue package could take months to craft. On Tuesday, France's finance minister said a growth estimate of 1.5 percent for that country "probably too high."

The euro bought $1.3741 Tuesday afternoon, nearly unchanged from $1.3742 late Monday. It traded as high as $1.3784 and as low as $1.3651 earlier Tuesday.

As the euro declined, fewer investors felt they needed to buy gold to protect their investments against inflation, said Adam Klopfenstein, senior market strategist with Lind-Waldock.

"I think what you had ... was a lot of people that were moving into the dollar as a new haven" for their investments, Klopfenstein said.

In other trading, copper for December delivery dropped 1.8 cents, or less than 1 percent, to end at $3.36 a pound. January platinum fell $11.10 to finish at $1,540.70 an ounce. December palladium gained $3.10, or 0.5 percent, to $619.90 an ounce.

December silver rose 1 cent to close at $31.831.

December wheat gained 1 cent to finish at $6.2525 per bushel. December corn rose 3.5 cents to end at $6.44 per bushel. November soybeans lost 2.25 cents to end at $12.5075 a bushel.

Oil prices rose. Benchmark oil gained $1.92, 2.3 percent, to end at $88.34 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil rose 1.41 cents to finish at $3.0277 per gallon, gasoline futures rose 0.4 cents to close at $2.7469 per gallon and natural gas fell 13.5 cents, or nearly 4 percent, to $3.553 per 1,000 cubic feet.