Gold Jumps Near $1400 After Home Sales Plunge

NEW YORK (AP) -

Gold prices are rising sharply after the U.S. government reported that home sales plunged last month, raising concerns about the housing market’s recovery.

Gold for December delivery rose $25, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $1,395.80 an ounce Friday, the highest price since June.

Traders bought gold after the Commerce Department reported that new home sales fell 13.4 percent last month. That shook investors’ confidence in the housing recovery and the broader economy.

Gold tends to rise when traders anticipate weakness in the economy and a slower wind-down of the Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus program. That could weaken the dollar over time, making gold more appealing.

Silver for September delivery rose 70 cents, or 3 percent, to $23.74 an ounce. Copper for September delivery rose 2 cents to $3.35 a pound, October platinum rose $1.50 to $1,541.60 an ounce and September palladium fell $4.20 to $750.85 an ounce.

Beans and grains rose.

November soybeans jumped 41.25 cents to $13.28 a bushel. December corn rose 5.5 cents to $4.70 a bushel and December wheat rose 5.5 cents to $6.46 a bushel.