Gold on track for first annual loss since 2000

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2013 3:43 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Gold prices fell again Monday, keeping the metal on track for its first annual loss since 2000.

The actively traded February contract edged down $6.70, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,197 an ounce.

Gold is down 29 percent this year. It has been falling as fears have dissipated that the Federal Reserve's easy-money policies would cause inflation and weaken the dollar. Last week the central bank said it would start to reduce its huge bond-buying program in January.

Silver for March delivery fell four cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.413 an ounce.

Other metals mostly fell. March palladium fell $3.10, or 0.4 percent, to $695.65 an ounce and January platinum fell $4.80, or 0.4 percent, to $1,327.40 an ounce

High-grade copper for March delivery was flat at $3.3075 a pound.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 41 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $98.91 a barrel. The price of oil rose nearly 3 percent last week, largely because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.

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In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.78 a gallon, heating oil lost 2 cents to $3.06 a gallon and natural gas added 5 cents to $4.46 per thousand cubic feet.

Crop prices were mixed.

Corn for March delivery rose a penny, or 0.2 percent, to $4.3425 a bushel, January soybeans fell 10.5 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $13.285 a bushel. March wheat fell four cents, or 0.7 percent, to $6.095 a bushel.