- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Gold prices fell Thursday as stocks rallied. Energy and agriculture futures also rose.

Investors reacted as finance ministers, gathered in London, pledged steps including $1.1 trillion for lending to less well-off countries and stepped-up regulation of financial markets.

The dollar fell against European currencies but rose against the yen after the European Central Bank reduced its key rate less than expected. Reports on U.S. unemployment and loan delinquencies damped demand for the dollar.

The continued rally on Wall Street hurt demand for gold, a safehaven holding.

Gold for June delivery fell $18.80 to settle at $908.90 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

May silver rose 5 cents to $13.025 an ounce, while May copper futures rose 4.1 cent to $1.8900 a pound.

On Wall Street, stocks continued a four-week rally as the global efforts to end the financial crisis added to the market’s optimism that the economy could be starting to slow its descent. An accounting rule change that could strengthen banks’ balance sheets also helped drive demand for stocks.

Oil jumped nearly 9 percent as investors focused on a weaker dollar, the rising stock market and hope for the U.S. economy. Rising economic activity drives demand for natural resources like oil.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose $4.25 to settle at $52.64 per barrel.

Gasoline for May delivery rose 9.81 cents to settle at $1.4698 a gallon, while heating oil added 9.33 cents to settle at $1.4391 a gallon.

Grain prices rose on the Chicago Board of Trade.

May wheat futures rose 25 cents to $5.5050 a bushel, while corn for May delivery rose 6.5 cents to $4.0250 a bushel.

May soybeans rose 25 cents to $9.77 a bushel.

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