Gold climbed to a new seven-month high on Thursday while oil continued downward for a fifth straight day and reached a two-month low. New York gold futures rose 0.5 percent. Silver and platinum declined slightly by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
March crude-oil declined $1.96, or 5.5 percent. It ended the day at $33.98 a barrel to mark its lowest level since Dec. 19.
The average price for regular unleaded gasoline increased 1.2 cents for the second straight session, rising to $1.952 a gallon, according to AAA.
March silver lost a cent to close to $13.51 an ounce.
April platinum slipped $2.80 to $1,077.90 an ounce
Gold for February increased $4.70 to end at $948.50 an ounce.
"This is a dangerous and volatile time in the economy, and people remain scared and unsure of what to do with their money," Ron Goodis, a retail trading director at Equidex Brokerage Group Inc. in Closter, New Jersey, was quoted on Bloomberg.com. "Gold is perceived as a safe haven and should continue to be an attractive alternative to almost anything else."
Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. A rising greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, like bullion, more expensive for holders of other world currencies.
In spot trading, the London afternoon gold-fixing price — a benchmark for gold traded directly between big institutions — stood at $943.25 an ounce. London silver and platinum were at $13.34 and $1,067.00, respectively.
In bullion coin related news, the US Mint launched 2009 Lincoln Silver Coins Thursday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. New sales figures for U.S. Ultra-high Relief $20 Double Eagles were also reported that show 45,420 of the coins have been sold since their release on Jan. 22.