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Gold prices sink after batch of economic reports

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm •  Published: May 15, 2014

Gold prices fell Thursday after a batch of economic reports led traders to drop the yellow metal.

Gold for June delivery fell $12.30 to settle at $1,293.60 an ounce. Silver for July slipped 29 cents to $19.48 an ounce.

The federal government said the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in seven years last week. Meanwhile, the European Union's official statistics agency said the region's economy expanded at slower pace than economists had forecast. The economic news helped support the dollar, pressing gold and other metals down.

"When you have a rising dollar, it's hard for gold to go up," said Sterling Smith, a commodities specialist with Citigroup in Chicago.

Industrial metals settled lower. Copper for July dipped 2 cents to $3.14 a pound. Platinum for July lost $15.80 to $1,469.90 an ounce, while palladium for June lost $16.70 to $812.10 an ounce.

Contracts for grains and crops also slumped. Wheat fell 12 cents to $6.78 a bushel. Corn dropped 11 cents to $4.84 a bushel. Soybeans fell 17 cents to $14.70 a bushel.

In the oil and gas market, the price of oil fell below $102 a barrel after official figures showed U.S. crude production at a 28-year high and stockpiles rising again. Benchmark crude fell 87 cents to close at $101.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.6 of a cent to $2.95 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.95 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 10 cents to $4.47 per 1,000 cubic feet.