- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Gold prices dipped Tuesday as stocks moved higher. Oil prices were flat, while grain prices rose.

Gold has largely been at the mercy of Wall Street in recent weeks, falling as stocks gain ground, and inching higher whenever the market stumbles.

Though investors have been uneasy about corporate earnings reports in the past few sessions, encouraging words from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday gave investors a green light to buy up stocks after a big drop the previous day.

Geithner said “the vast majority” of banks have more capital than they need. Investors have been particularly concerned about the health of the financial system on which they pin hopes for an economic recovery.

A six-week rally in stocks that has pulled the major indexes up off of 12-year lows has put considerable pressure on gold, keeping prices below the $900 mark since the beginning of the month.

Prices have also been stifled by a strengthening of the dollar. But on Tuesday, the dollar fell against other major currencies, which put some support under gold prices. Investors often turn to gold as a hedge against inflation, which can be spurred on by a weak dollar.

Gold for June delivery slipped $4.80 to settle at $882.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

May silver shed 4.5 cents to $12.06 an ounce, while July copper futures fell 2.5 cents to $2.08 a pound.

Oil prices were little changed on the Nymex, as the gains in the stock market helped to offset some of the concerns about declining energy demand.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery added 4 cents to settle at $48.55 a barrel. Gasoline futures dipped less than 1 cent to $1.4194 a gallon, while heating oil futures rose 1.3 cents to $1.3658 a gallon.

Grain prices were higher on the Chicago Board of Trade.

July wheat futures added 4.5 cents to $5.2075 a bushel, while corn for July delivery rose 4.25 cents to $3.83 a bushel.

July soybeans jumped 21.5 cents to $10.33 a bushel.

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