Gold, silver prices rise on news of downed plane

 

The Associated Press

Gold and silver prices rose Thursday following news that a passenger plane crashed in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials said the plane was shot down, though both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility.

The incident brought investors new worries about the region. Tensions have been building between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Traders moved money into precious metals futures, a traditional safe-haven investment favored in time of geopolitical instability.

Gold for August delivery rose $17.10, or 1.3 percent, to $1,316.90 an ounce. Silver for September delivery rose 36 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $21.34 an ounce.

It was the biggest one-day gain for gold since June 19, after the Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates low. Gold rose 3.3 percent that day.

In addition to global tensions, low interest rates and the associated risk of inflation also tend to drive up gold prices.

In other metals trading, October platinum rose $18, or 1.2 percent, to $1,503.70 an ounce. September palladium rose $8.35, or 1 percent, to $885.10 an ounce.

Copper for September delivery edged up less than a penny to $3.22 a pound.

Crop futures were mixed. Wheat jumped 13 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $5.51 a bushel. Corn rose half a penny to $3.87 a bushel and soybeans fell eight cents to $10.94 a bushel.

Oil prices rose. Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery rose $1.99, or 2 percent, to $103.19 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.88 a gallon, heating oil was also nearly unchanged at $2.86 a gallon.

Natural gas slumped 17 cents, or 4 percent, to $3.954 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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