Gold reached a six-week high Wednesday as the yellow metal climbed for the third time in four days following a weakened U.S. dollar. Silver gained as well while platinum dipped slightly. Breaking a five-day winning streak, crude-oil declined as the government reported rising inventories. U.S. stocks ended mixed with the Nasdaq breaking away for the 11th straight day of gains.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for September delivery rose 22.2 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 13.70 an ounce.
Gold for August delivery gained $6.40, or 0.7 percent, to $953.30 an ounce — the highest level since June 11.
- October platinum declined $1.30, or 0.1 percent, to $1,175.70 an ounce.
Notable precious metal quotes on the day follow:
"If the dollar starts to weaken significantly again, it will send gold off to the races," Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg.
"We are stuck in a range," Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at MKS Finance in Geneva, was quoted on Reuters. "We have to break below $944 or above $955 in order to see some interest in the market."
"Bullion was also seen tracking crude oil prices, which managed to turn a near-$1 loss into practically no loss by the start of the afternoon," wrote Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Inc.
In London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed 50 cents higher earlier in the day to $948.25 an ounce. Silver fell 12 cents to $13.40 an ounce. Platinum was adjusted $15 lower to stand at $1,166.00.
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.
Oil and gasoline prices
Oil fell slightly to mark the first loss in six days "as U.S. data showed total petroleum inventories continued to rise last week, adding to what already was a 19-year high as petroleum demand remained weak," wrote Moming Zhou of MarketWatch.
The weekly Energy Information Administration report showed gasoline and distillate stockpiles rose by a respective 813,000 and 1.22 million barrels.
"There’s still plenty of oil around, and until we see signs of an economic recovery, the price outlook isn’t going to look good,’ Chip Hodge, managing director at MFC Global Investment Management in Boston, was quoted on Bloomberg.
New York crude-oil for September delivery fell 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, to close at $65.40 a barrel.
For the first time in weeks, prices at the pump climbed. The national average for unleaded gasoline rose three-tenths of a cent to $2.461 a gallon, according to AAA. The price is 4.3 cents cheaper than last week, 22.9 cents less than a month back, and $1.59 lower than a year ago.
U.S. stocks ended mixed Wednesday with the Dow breaking a seven-day winning streak. The S&P declined modestly while the Nasdaq closed higher for the 11th straight day.
For the numbers: the Dow Jones industrial average fell 34.68 points, or 0.39 percent, to 8,881.26; the S&P 500 Index edged down 0.51 of a point, or 0.05 percent, to 954.07; the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 10.18 points, or 0.53 percent, to 1,926.38.
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