Gold and silver prices rose sharply Tuesday on concerns about U.S. economic growth and the European financial crisis.
Gold for December delivery jumped $48.10 Tuesday, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $1,700.40 an ounce. December silver was up 1.408 cents, or 4.5 percent, to close at $33.052.
The rally puts gold 4 percent higher for the week, silver 6 percent higher.
Precious metals often rise when traders are worried about economic stagnation or financial turmoil. Both of those concerns were stoked Tuesday.
Stocks slumped on disappointing earnings from industrial conglomerate 3M, Netflix Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. Also, European finance ministers cancelled a meeting to hammer out a rescue package for banks and indebted nations there.
Many traders were expecting that European officials would unveil a broad financial rescue plan Wednesday to shore up the region's banks and heavily indebted nations like Greece. Doubts are growing that a plan will be ready in time.
In other trading, December palladium rose $13.60, or 2 percent, to $652.10 an ounce. January platinum gained $26.80 to finish at $1,568.80 an ounce.
Copper prices fell. Following a strong rally Monday, copper is still up 6 percent for the week. Copper for December delivery lost 2.85 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to settle at $3.4205 a pound.
Crop prices fell. December wheat fell 6.25 cents to finish at $6.3625 per bushel. December corn lost 0.25 cents to end at $6.5075 per bushel. November soybeans dropped 1.25 cents, or 1 percent, to finish at $12.255 a bushel.
Oil prices rose. Benchmark oil rose $1.90 to $93.17 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Heating oil fell 0.3 cents to finish at $3.0512 per gallon, gasoline futures rose 0.44 cents to close at $2.6747 per gallon and natural gas gained 5.4 cents to close at $3.658 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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