Gold futures were on the rise Wednesday as economic fears and rocky earnings increased safe-haven demand for the precious metal.

Futures were rising $6.40 to $888.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has traded as low as $883.00 and as high as $889.40 so far during the session.

Silver futures were adding 9 cents to $12.15 an ounce, and copper prices were slipping 4 cents to $2.07 a pound.

Gold traders are caught in a tug-of-war. Mixed first-quarter earnings news and economic data are keeping the precious metal rangebound as traders look for signs of a recovery. Also supporting gold is the fact that a sale from ETFs was not as big as expected, says George Gero, vice president of global futures at RBC Capital Markets. "This helps stabilize gold on the way down."

In other metals, Gero says "platinum is doing better especially now that we are told that Ford ( F) doesn't need TARP money and will continue to manufacture and sell cars." Palladium and platinum, two metals used in car manufacturing, traditionally do well as car demand increases.

As for gold stocks, Newmont Mining ( NEM) was unchanged at $39.09 while Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising slightly to $28.60. Shares of Yamana Gold ( AUY) were up more than 1% to $7.73.

Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) was adding 2.4% to $46.75, and the Gold Shares ( GLD) exchange-traded fund was flat at $87.16.
Alix joined TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.

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