Gold prices rise, oil almost unchanged

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gold prices rose, but other precious metals and agricultural commodities dropped Friday as Wall Street added to its gains this week, while oil prices were mostly flat.

Commodities prices have correlated strongly with equities in recent weeks, as the buck and Treasurys lured spooked investors from stocks and commodities. Markets are afraid that a weak economy will curb demand for raw materials needed for industry and consumer goods.

But Wall Street finished its week up sharply, in its biggest five-day rally in more than 75 years. The Dow Jones industrials and the Standard & Poor's 500 index finished higher for the fifth straight session. It was the Dow's first five-day streak of gains since July 2007.

Gold for February delivery rose $7.70 to settle at $819 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Other precious metal prices dropped. March silver fell 3.9 cents to $10.250 an ounce, while March copper futures fell 4.2 cents to $1.6495 a pound.

Energy prices were almost unchanged on the Nymex ahead of an OPEC meeting Saturday that could result in a production cut.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery settled down a penny at $54.43.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline futures for January rose less than a penny to settle at $1.2096, heating oil dropped 3.335 cents to $1.7271 a gallon while natural gas for January delivery fell 36.8 cents to settle at $6.51 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Grain prices were mixed on the Chicago Board of Trade.

March wheat futures gained 7.25 cents to $5.61 a bushel, while corn for March delivery shed 5.3 cents to $3.66 a bushel.

January soybeans dropped 3 cents to $8.83 a bushel.

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