Gold prices rise as clashes erupt in Ukraine
Gold prices surged Friday as tensions mounted in Ukraine.
Gold for June delivery climbed $19.50 to settle at $1,302.90 an ounce. Silver for July jumped 50 cents to $19.55 an ounce.
Early Friday, the Ukrainian government launched what appeared to be its first major offensive to regain control of an area held by pro-Russian separatists.
Gold prices surged following reports of clashes. Prices had dropped earlier in the day after the U.S. government said employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls in April, the most in two years and more than economists had forecast.
Traders often buy gold in anticipation of a crisis. In March, gold prices reached their highest level this year as tensions in Ukraine began to rise.
In other trading, wheat rose 9 cents to $7.16 a bushel, while soybeans rose 10 cents to $14.71 a bushel.
Corn fell 8 cents to $5 a bushel.
In energy futures trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery gained 34 cents to $99.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.94 a gallon.
— Heating oil added 1 cent to $2.92 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 5 cents to $4.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.