Metals, energy prices drop; crop prices mixed

AP News
Posted: Sep 23, 2013 6:04 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Metal and energy prices fell Monday as traders continued to digest the Federal Reserve's announcement last week that it plans to keep its economic stimulus in place.

Gold fell $5.50 to $1,327 an ounce Monday. Silver lost 7 cents to $21.857 an ounce.

Volatility hit the gold and silver markets last week after the Fed voted to keep up its $85 billion bond-buying program. The two metals had their biggest gains since the financial crisis on Wednesday and Thursday. Investors anticipated that the Fed's continuation of its program could cause inflation and weaken the dollar. Those trends tend to lift gold and silver prices.

But prices have dropped back since then.

"Things are starting to settle down a bit," said Sterling Smith, vice president at Citibank Institutional Client Group. "Gold prices spiked on the Fed announcement but they could not get any traction."

Other metals prices also fell. December copper dropped 2 cents to $3.30 a pound. October platinum fell $6.70 to $1,425.90 an ounce and December palladium fell$4 to $717.95 an ounce.

Energy prices fell as well. Benchmark oil dropped $1.16, or 1.1 percent, to close at $103.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline fell five cents to $2.62 per gallon, natural gas was down 9 cents to $3.68 per 1,000 cubic feet and heating oil fell 5 cents to $2.96 per gallon.

Crop futures were mixed. December wheat rose 7 cents to $6.54 a bushel. December corn was up 2 cents to $4.54 a bushel and November soybeans fell 7.5 cents to $13.08 a bushel.