Gold tops $1,400 on strong economic reports (AP)

Gold pushed above $1,400 an ounce Tuesday as improving retail sales sparked interest in the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.

Gold prices stayed within a narrow range after the sales details were released. IG Markets Inc. CEO Dan Cook said there seems to be growing optimism about improvement in the economy, which could drive near-term metals prices higher.

In other trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note reached its highest level since May, which tempered gold’s gains. At the same time, gold was supported by rising stock markets and a dollar that grew weaker against other currencies. Since commodities are priced in dollars, a weaker dollar makes them more of a bargain for traders who buy with foreign currencies.

Nonetheless, lingering worries about inflation means that “nobody really wants to sell the gold,” said George Gero, a senior vice president with RBC Global Futures in New York.

Gold for February delivery rose $6.30 to settle at $1,404.30 an ounce.

Silver, platinum and palladium all settled higher amid expectations for improving demand. In contracts for March delivery, silver rose 16.4 cents to settle at $29.788 an ounce, palladium added $15.75 to $768.20 an ounce and copper gained 0.2 cent to $4.2015 a pound. January platinum settled up $16.60 at $1,713.90 an ounce.

Energy prices were mixed after economic news pointed to improving demand for oil and gas in the coming months. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose for the fifth straight month in November. A Business Roundtable survey found 45 percent of executives polled expect their companies to add more workers and spend more in the next six months. The Labor Department said wholesale prices rose in November.

Benchmark oil for January delivery slipped 33 cents to settle at $88.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other Nymex trading in January contracts, heating oil added 0.27 cent to settle at $2.4679 a gallon, gasoline slipped 2.2 cents to $2.2964 a gallon and natural gas fell 16.5 cents to $4.255 a gallon.

Meanwhile, March wheat gave up 17 cents to settle at $7.6325 a bushel; March corn dipped 1.25 cents to $5.8725 a bushel and January soybeans gave up 6.50 cents to $12.9600 a bushel.

It, Gold tops $1,400 on strong economic reports
quoted from US Economy

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