Gold Sees Modest Decline

Wheat prices soar to a record.
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Gold prices were falling Wednesday as traders opted to book some profits after a month of sustained gains for the metal.

December-dated contracts for gold bullion were slipping $5.80 at $715.30 an ounce in recent New York futures market action.

"Certainly, I wouldn't blame anyone for taking profits here," says Andy Montano, director of precious metals at bullion bank ScotiaMocatta in Toronto, noting the spectacular rally in gold over the past few weeks.

Since mid-August, spot prices for the metal have rallied from around $665. Buyers of physical gold, rather than those who trade futures, were notably absent from the marketplace and so weren't giving price support as the cost of bullion sank, Montano adds.

The other metals followed gold lower. Silver prices were down 17 cents at $12.67 an ounce, while copper was easing 3 cents to $3.36 a pound.

The exchange-traded funds that track prices of metals futures were all lower also. The

PowerShares DB Gold

(DGL) - Get Report

was slipping 0.6%. The

PowerShares DB Silver

(DBS) - Get Report

and the

PowerShares DB Base Metals

(DBB) - Get Report

were both off more than 1%.

As for stocks, copper and molybdenum miner

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold

(FCX) - Get Report

announced it had sold its international wire and cable business to

General Cable

(BGC)

for $735 million.

Shares of Freeport were recently rising 0.2%. General Cable was jumping almost 8%.

Elsewhere in the commodities complex, wheat prices were soaring to record levels of $9.05 a bushel, up 1.6% on the back of a weak harvests and strong demand.

Corn prices were ahead almost 3% at $3.51 a bushel despite an increased estimate of crop yields from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.