Gold Futures Surge On Crude Rally, Weak Dollar

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gold prices shot higher Tuesday, approaching a one-month high after crude oil spiked to a new record and the dollar fell - inflationary moves that fed safe-haven buying of precious metals.

Crude's rise touched off a broad commodities rally, with silver, copper heating oil and agriculture futures all trading higher.

In the past week, gold has gained 6 percent and has surged back above $900 an ounce as crude prices push deeper into record territory. Higher crude prices lead to higher costs for food, gasoline and other products, bolstering investor demand for inflation-hedging investments like gold.

"Gold is riding on the back of crude," said Carlos Sanchez, analyst with CPM Group in New York. "The break above $900 was psychologically important because many investors had been waiting for that."

Gold for June delivery jumped $14.40 to settle at $920.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier rising to $924.10, its highest since April 23.

A fresh drop in the dollar versus the euro Tuesday also pushed gold prices higher. A weak greenback encourages investors to shift resources into gold and silver, which are known for holding their value. A weaker dollar as makes commodities like gold cheaper to overseas buyers.

Record oil prices and a falling dollar pushed gold to an all-time high above $1,000 an ounce in March, but the metal has lost some of its appeal lately as the greenback has stabilized and physical demand for gold has weakened.

Gold prices could make another run for $1,000 in the near future, analysts say, although a drop in crude prices would likely take the momentum out of the metal's rally.

"Longer term gold prices will probably head higher, (but) if crude retreats, then you're probably going to see gold retreat," Sanchez said.

Other precious metals also rose Tuesday. July silver added 69.7 cents to settle at $17.725 an ounce on the Nymex, while July copper inched 0.1 cent higher to settle at $3.7765 a pound.

In energy futures, crude oil burst above $129 for the first time Tuesday as supply concerns continued to push prices higher.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery traded as high as $129.60 on the Nymex before easing back to $128.43, up $1.38. The contract was set to expire at the end of the day, adding to the volatility.

Other energy futures also traded higher. June heating oil futures added 8.55 cents to $3.7606 a gallon on the Nymex after earlier rising to a trading record of $3.792. June gasoline futures rose 4.8 cents to $3.2846 a gallon after rising to their own trading record of $3.3035 a gallon.

In agriculture markets, corn gained as wet weather in Midwestern states threatened to hurt crops, adding to supply concerns.

Corn for July delivery rose 7.75 cents to $5.945 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after earlier rising as high as $6.02 a bushel.

Other agriculture futures also traded higher. Wheat for July delivery rose 7 cents to $7.98 a bushel, while July soybeans gained 8 cents to $13.41 a bushel.

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