Higher Grains, OIl Prices Send Gold to $392
Undated (AP) _ Higher oil and grain futures prices helped gold futures soar to a three- month high Friday, while livestock prices were mixed.
On New York’s Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in June traded in the $392 range for the first time since March 22-25. It had closed at $385.40 on Thursday after several days of lackluster activity.
″Everybody was watching the Commodity Research Bureau index and soybeans and crude oil were higher, fanning the fears of inflation,″ said Jon Nader, a vice president of Bank of America.
John O’Connell, an analyst for Refco Inc. in New York said, ″The (commodity index) is everybody’s heart index.
″The bottom line is there so much going on, that finally funds are turning to gold. They own beans, they own coffee. They see that the market is still bullish on commodities, so why not go to gold.″
Gold for June delivery was up $6.20 at $391.60 a troy ounce; July silver was 13.6 cents higher at $5.587 a troy ounce.
Crude oil led energy prices higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Only natural gas prices fell.
″We’re hitting highs we haven’t seen in over a year,″ Bob Baker, an energy analyst with Prudential Securities Inc. in New York, said of crude oil futures. ″There was no new news today or yesterday but the market seems to feel that OPEC has an agreement that’s good for oil prices.″
Meeting earlier this week in Vienna, OPEC ministers decided to keep oil production unchanged throughout the year.
Light sweet crude for July delivery was 80 cents higher at $20.71 a barrel; July heating oil was up 1.5 cents at 52.02 cents a gallon; July unleaded gasoline was 1.73 cents higher to 55.20 cents a gallon; and July natural gas was 4.9 cents lower at $2.085 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Corn and soybean futures prices were up on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat prices were steady to lower.
Forecasters call for continued hot and dry weather the next 10 days over the Midwest growing areas, causing concern about crop damage.
Wheat prices were depressed by lack of exports and news that the harvest is going well. But the commodity rallied a bit late in the day, while beans and corn fell off.
″Traders don’t like the spread between corn and wheat prices to become too wide,″ said Dale Gustafson, grains analyst with Smith Barney Shearson Inc.
Wheat for delivery in July settled unchanged at $3.35 1/4 a bushel; July corn was 1 1/2 cents higher at $2.83 1/4 a bushel; July oats were 8 cents higher at $1.37 1/4 a bushel; and July soybeans were up 9 1/2 cents at $7.11 a bushel.
Livestock and meat futures prices were mixed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
″Things were pretty quite in anticipation of a feed cattle report,″ said Dale Benson, senior livestock analyst with Dean Witter, Discover & Co. in Chicago.
Hog prices were strengthened by the cash markets, where farmers were not moving their animals because of the hot weather, Benson said.
Live cattle for delivery in June settled .08 cent higher at 65.10 cents a pound; August feeder cattle were off .23 cent at 72.52 cents a pound; June hogs were .10 cent higher at 49.02 cents a pound; and July pork bellies dipped .25 cents at 43.95 cents a pound.