By The Associated Press
An unexpected increase in consumer prices lured traders to gold and other metals on Friday, lifting their prices.
Gold for April delivery rose $1.90, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $1,592.60 an ounce.
Silver for May rose 4.4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $28.85 per ounce.A measure of U.S. consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in February, the biggest one-month increase in more than three years, the Labor Department said. But it was mainly a result of a 9 percent surge in gas prices. Traders turn to gold and other metals on signs of inflation, because they expect them to keep pace with rising prices. Other metals were mostly higher Friday. Platinum group metals rose, and copper dipped. Platinum for April delivery rose $2.60, or 0.2 percent, to $1,592.40 an ounce. Palladium for June delivery rose $4.90, or 0.6 percent, to $775.65 an ounce. Contracts for May copper slipped 1.6 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.5205 per pound. Trading in grains was mixed, with wheat and soybeans slipping slightly while corn edged up. Wheat for May delivery fell 1.75 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $7.23 a bushel. Soybeans for the same month fell 9.5 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 14.26 a bushel. Corn for May delivery rose half a penny, or 0.1 percent, to $7.17. In energy contracts, crude oil prices rose 42 cents to end at $93.45 per barrel. Crude was up 1.6 percent for the week on signs of improvement in the U.S. job market and manufacturing sector. The price of natural gas rose 6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet. In other trading on the Nymex: â¿¿ Wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to end at $3.16 a gallon. â¿¿ Heating oil rose 1 cent to finish at $2.94 a gallon.